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Calling All Artists!

May 30, 2012

We are looking for some fun and interesting ideas for graphics we can use to create car stickers, signs, t-shirts, and more! Think of a message that our coal campaign relates to such as hunting, fishing, skiing, hiking, clean air, etc., and draw a picture that captures the message. Below is an example of a message developed by Bonnie Zirkle.


Email your creations to or fax them to 907-258-6807 attn: MVC Sticker Contest.

Contest ends June 15th! The top three designs will be chosen by MVC and put out for public vote.

Have fun!


10,000 acres in the heart of the Matanuska Valley

May 23, 2012

Photo courtesy of Tim Leach

This summer, Riversdale Resources wants to take the first steps towards building a coal mine in the heart of the Mat Su.

This development will completely destroy the quality of life and community that lives there.  Just like the Wishbone Hill Coal Mine, all of the coal would be exported overseas, and the impacts and burden of the development will spread across our valley.

In addition to the constant trucking and heavy equipment used, coal development could also threaten our water and destroy our access to the abundant subsistence resources and trails that the Mat Su has to offer.

The good news is that Riversdale Resources has yet to be granted and exploration permit from the Department of Natural Resources.  Submit your comments to Department of Natural Resources below to add your voice to the conversation!

Click on the Arrow to go to Take Action.

Click here to submit comments.


Get Involved.

May 21, 2012

The Ma SuValley is being threatened by coal companies who are trying to sneak into our community unnoticed. THREE coal companies want to turn our beautiful, prosperous community into a dusty, impoverished coal town.

First, it was Usibelli Coal that wanted to put a coal strip mine in the middle of a neighborhood.  Now, two foreign coal companies want to mine over 10,000 acres to export coal overseas and leave our community with mess.

Don’t think it could happen here?  Go ask folks in Appalachia how its working out for them.

Together, we can protect the Mat Su Valley.   Get involved today.  Sign up below to find out what you can do to add your voice to the conversation.


Tell the AMHT No Coal!

May 9, 2012

Would you sacrifice the health of one person for another?  Of course not!  Unfortunately, the Alaska Mental Health Trust (AMHT) is on course to do just that.  The AMHT wants to develop large-scale coal mines that would trade the health of some to fund projects to promote the health of others.

Coal development is the wrong way to fund health programs! 

People living near coal mines have been found to have higher rates of cardiopulmonary disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), hypertension, lung disease (including asthma), and kidney disease.  The AMHT coal development project in the Mat Su would be located in close proximity to neighborhoods and a school

Take action today and tell the AMHT Board of Trustees that coal development is an unacceptable way to fund their programs.  Attend the meeting in Anchorage on Thursday, May 10.

When:     Thursday, May 10 at 4pm

Where:    Trust Authority Building, 3745 Community Park Loop #120, Anchorage

or via teleconference at 1 866-469-3239, Session Number:  808 328 650#

If you can’t make the meeting, click here to send a letter to the AMHT Board of Trustees today to let them know that trading the health of some to promote the health of others is just plain wrong.

Media Storm

May 4, 2012

The suit filed by five organizations within the Mat Valley Coalition have hit national news! Here are some of the articles currently circulating across the country:

Citizens Clamor Shuts Down Wishbone Hill Coal Mine- Alaska Dispatch

Groups Seek Halt to Coal Mining Near Sutton- MSN Money

Usibelli Coal Mine Permits Invalid, Alaska Activists Claim In …-Huffington Post

And a couple closer to home:

Lawsuit seeks to halt Wishbone Hill mining operations– Frontiersman

Groups file suit to halt to Usibelli coal mining in Mat-Su– Anchorage Daily News

Lawsuit Moves Forward

May 2, 2012

Remember this?

60 Day Notice of Violation and Intent to Sue

This morning, several organizations took the next step and moved forward with the lawsuit that alleges Usibelli has operated without a valid permit since 1996.

Press Release:

May 2, 2012

For Immediate Release

Usibelli Mine Company Challenged for Mining Illegally

Groups seek to protect Mat-Su families from dangerous coal mine

Palmer, AK – As the summer work season approaches, local groups have taken action to hold Usibelli Coal Mine, Inc.  responsible for mining without a valid permit at Wishbone Hill. The Wishbone Hill project would be Alaska’s first coal strip mine to operate in the middle of a residential neighborhood.  Communities throughout the Mat-Su are concerned about public safety, noise and light pollution, toxic coal dust, and impacts to property values. Today’s lawsuit follows unsuccessful attempts by the groups to compel state and federal agencies to enforce the prohibition against unpermitted mining.

“The fact that it has taken so long for the agencies to address our concerns lead us to believe that the complaint has merit,” said Kirby Spangler, President of the Castle Mountain Coalition.   “Thousands of residents have voiced valid concerns and we don’t want to continue waiting on regulators as another construction season approaches.”

According to state and federal law, mining permits expire automatically if the permit holder fails to begin mining within three years, or fails to secure an extension of that deadline. A company first acquired permits for mining at Wishbone Hill in 1991. Those permits expired in 1996 when the company had not begun mining and had not secured an extension. But since June 2010, Usibelli has started operating at Wishbone Hill: constructing the haul road, clearing vegetation and logging, and beginning to stockpile topsoil.  In the more than 20 years that have passed since the permits were first issued, the region surrounding the mine has changed drastically, becoming a residential community.  In fact, the access road joins the Glenn Highway directly across from a local elementary school.

“My family has firsthand experience dealing with the coal industry,” said Bonnie Zirkle, local resident, hunting guide and business owner.  “This coal project is already impacting the property values in our community. Coal is dirty and dangerous to the water, air and health of our community.”

“If Usibelli Coal Company wishes to be a responsible company and good neighbor they must follow the rules, including the most basic- obtaining a valid permit to operate,” said Jeremiah Millen, Executive Director of Friends of Mat-Su.   “We believe the scale and location of what is being proposed at Wishbone Hill will result in negative impacts to local residents, property values, fish and wild life habitat and overall quality of life throughout the valley.  We look forward to working with the agencies and the company when and if they obtain a valid permit.”

Stay tuned as we follow their path through the justice system to fight for the residents of the Mat-Su Valley!

Say YES to this:                  and NO to this:     

Toxic Threat: Coal and Your Health

February 9, 2012

At every stage – from mining, transportation, storage, combustion, and disposal of post-combustion wastes – coal development threatens human health.   Pollutants from coal damage all major organ systems in the human body. Coal combustion releases mercury, particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, and dozens of other substances known to be hazardous to human health.

Don’t miss a special presentation by Dr. Alan H. Lockwood, Emeritus Professor of Neurology, University at Buffalo, New York.

Toxic Threat: Coal and Your Health, presented by Dr. Alan Lockwood

Thursday, February 16th

6:30 Reception, 7:00pm Presentation

Palmer Train Depot  (510 S. Valley Way)

Dr. Lockwood will discuss the growing body of medical evidence linking coal development to human health risks. Dr. Lockwood is the principal author of the Physicians for Social Responsibility report “Coal’s Assault on Human Health” which describes the devastating impacts of coal on the human body.

For more information, contact Heidi Zimmer at Alaska Community Action on Toxics at 907-222-7714 or

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