Details

Alaska Conference on Mining Impacts and Prevention

A Gathering of Land and Water Guardians

On March 16-18, 2022, Alaska Conservation Foundation will bring together 100-150 Indigenous leaders, community members, conservation advocates, and funders to learn about preventing industrial-scale mining and associated activities as well as reforming practices and mitigating impacts in Alaska. The three-day gathering will take place at the Hotel Alyeska on the land of the Dena’ina in Girdwood, Alaska.

Since the 1950s, Alaska’s economy has relied on extractive industries. With logging and oil industries continuing to decline, Alaska is already beginning to invest heavily into a new era of extraction in the form of industrial-scale mining. Mining and associated activities intersect with a variety of critical issues Alaskans are already facing. Most importantly, mining operations threaten critical subsistence resources and contribute to toxic air and water pollution that impact community health. Additionally, increased mining activity will expand the need for dirty energy in order to power mining operations and require the building of roads to access mining claims which would intersect critical salmon and other wildlife habitats.

As the country takes necessary steps to shift towards a clean energy future to avoid the worst impacts of the climate crisis, it’s imperative that climate justice is at the forefront. As we begin to consider sourcing additional metals and minerals for clean energy technology, we feel strongly that this transition must be just. This conference offers an opportunity to share knowledge, uplift stories, and build relationships that will further allow for Alaskans to explore the need for a Just Transition (a framework for a fair shift to an economy that is ecologically sustainable, equitable, and just for all Alaskans) and a regenerative economy.

Objectives

  • To identify and support potential collaborative efforts to prevent industrial-scale mining and associated activities in Alaska. 
  • To provide opportunities for participants to learn and expand their knowledge and skills in areas such as organizing, communication, legal and other technical expertise that is pertinent to preventing industrial-scale mining. 
  • To bring funders to Alaska who may be interested in supporting mining reform and preventing industrial-scale mining (and associated activities) in Alaska.

Two vital purposes of this gathering: 

Elevate the experiences of those directly impacted by mining, especially Indigenous peoples, who are often the most affected and who have stewarded our land for generations, as well as other Alaskans, local business owners, and fisherpeople. Establish funders’ interest in mining issues while providing expertise on the impacts of current and potential future industrial-scale mining activity.

Planning Process

As the host of the mining gathering, Alaska Conservation Foundation has worked to ensure community involvement and input by forming and coordinating three working groups:

  • Community Working Group
  • International/National Working Group
  • Alaska Non-Profit Working Group

Alaska Conservation Foundation is very grateful to the 23 individuals across these three working groups who have been helping us since October 2021 to help establish the forthcoming program and agenda.

Registration

Registration for the Alaska Conference on Mining Impacts and Prevention closed on February 28, 2022. 

Format

3-day agenda centered around storytelling, knowledge sharing, and relationship building. Roughly 22 breakout sessions, two plenary sessions, and intentional unscheduled time to foster community building. The following meals will be provided: Lunch on Wednesday, breakfast, and lunch on Thursday and Friday. Dinners will be on your own. 

Timing

The conference will begin on Wednesday, March 16 at 11 AM, and conclude on Friday, March 18 at 12 PM. 

COVID-19 Mitigation

Alaska Conservation Foundation recognizes the risk and responsibility that comes with hosting an in-person conference during a global pandemic. We are committed to creating as safe a space as possible. We will take significant COVID-19 mitigations steps including:

  • Attendees will be required to be vaccinated and boosted and provide proof of vaccination at check-in
  • Masks will be required indoors with the exception of those who are actively speaking
  • All meals will be buffet style and also include a to-go option to encourage attendees not to congregate while eating
  • Rooms will be set up to allow for social distancing as is possible, however 6ft of distance is not guaranteed
  • One Rapid test kit (two tests) will be offered to all participants
  • KN95 masks will be provided 

We will continuously monitor the COVID-19 situation and adjust as needed to keep our communities safe.

Attendance Cost

Conference Fees:

  • Funders and Donors: $400 
  • Non-Profit Professionals $200 
  • Alaskan Community Members: $50

Pay Registration Fee

Lodging Costs at Alyeska Resort:

Hotel rooms (with taxes and fees included) 

  • $220.48/room per night for two guests 
  • $245.48/room per night for three guests 
  • $270.48/room per night for four guests 

To book your hotel room call 907-754-2111 extension 1 and refer to “Block Code ACC16H”, or ask for the Alaska Conservation Foundation block. Alyeska has limited rooms available for the nights of March 15, 16, 17, and 18. Rooms must be booked by March 1 to guarantee this rate. Hotel check-in is at 4 PM and check-out is at 11 AM. 

Attendees are NOT required to stay at the Alyeska Resort. Other options include Airbnb / VRBO in Girdwood. Girdwood is a 45-minute drive from the Anchorage airport. 

Shuttle Information

Alaska Conservation Foundation will provide limited shuttle service to and from the Airport. Shuttles from the Anchorage Airport will depart on Tuesday, March 15, and Wednesday, March 16, and shuttles from Alyeska Resort to the airport will depart on Friday, March 18. More details will be available soon. 

Alyeska Resort is about 1 mile from Girdwood. There is a free local bus that goes to and from the hotel called Glacier Valley Transit.

Attendance Support

Alaska Conservation Foundation doesn’t want finances to inhibit anyone from attending and has budgeted funds to help cover travel, housing, childcare, and/or conference fees for attendees who need it most. 

If you requested support for housing, travel, childcare, and/or the registration fee on the application form, Alaska Conservation Foundation will work to coordinate with you directly. This is how support will be offered:

  • Housing Support: If you select that you require housing support on the registration form, you will be staying at the Alyeska Resort. Alaska Conservation Foundation will follow up directly with you (do not book your own hotel room). Alaska Conservation Foundation can only cover housing needs on Wednesday, March 16, and Thursday, March 17, and on a very limited basis the night of Tuesday, March 15. 
  • Travel Support: If you select that you require travel support on the registration form, Alaska Conservation Foundation will reach out to coordinate. Our preference is that we book your travel for you. If this doesn’t work, we will reimburse travel expenses up to $750. Please keep your receipts as you will need them to be reimbursed. Please do not book travel without communicating with Alaska Conservation Foundation first.  
  • Childcare: If you select that you require childcare support on the registration form,  Alaska Conservation Foundation will provide a childcare stipend of $100 a day for up to 3 days. Note: Alaska Conservation Foundation is unable to provide on-site childcare.
  • Registration Fee: If you select that you require childcare support on the registration form, Alaska Conservation Foundation will waive the fee for you, and no action is required on your part.  

Conference Agenda

Draft Agenda can be found here

Contact

General Inquiries: Dan Cannon, Public Lands Coordinator, dcannon@alaskaconservation.org (907) 433-8214

Funding and COVID Mitigation: Mike Coumbe, Deputy Director, mcoumbe@alaskaconservation.org (907) 433-8216