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July/August 2011

Table of Contents Safety in the Air Bristol Bay Marketplace

INSIDE Ben Mohr on Conservation Myth Busting Pebble Fund

BACK Investing in People

Safety in the Air At the Pebble deposit site in Iliamna, all field operations are supported entirely by helicopter because there is no road access to the area of exploration.

techniques, door operation, noise control and seat belt usage. Proper training ensures safety while traveling and working in the vicinity of helicopters.

In an effort to keep a small environmental footprint, helicopters are used to transport crews, supplies and other support materials in and out of the field. Helicopters even transport drill rigs, which are broken down into several manageable pieces and moved every four to six days. In order to travel via helicopters, all field workers must complete an orientation for each helicopter on which they might fly. Training is completed in two phases, first inside the site operation’s office at the Weathered Inn, then on the tarmac. The orientation consists of a presentation on safety, use of emergency equipment, loading

Helicopters sling supply loads at the Pebble deposit.

Bristol Bay Marketplace Business Competition Alaska Growth Capital (AGC) has launched the first Bristol Bay Marketplace Business Idea Competition. Residents of selected Bristol Bay communities are encouraged to compete for funding to start or expand Bristol Bay-based businesses. Sponsored by the Pebble Partnership and the Pebble Fund, the Bristol Bay Marketplace Business Ideas Competition is modeled after the North Slope Marketplace, also run by AGC, and the Alaska Federation of Natives’ Alaska Marketplace. The competition is designed to encourage economic development and sustainable entrepreneurship in the Bristol Bay region. AGC will offer a preparatory workshop Aug. 10 and 24, 2011, to assist applicants via teleconference.

viability, economic development and job creation for residents. Applications for the competition are due Sept. 9, 2011, 5 p.m. A full outline of the required criteria, as well as additional competition information and forms, can be found at

A panel of judges consisting of AGC staff will determine the winning entries based on a set of criteria that addresses business capacity and experience, financial

Leader of the Pack Ben Mohr, a California outdoorsmanturned-administrative-coordinator for the public affairs and environment departments at the Pebble Partnership (PLP), knows a thing or two about conservation. The former kayaking guide has an ecotourism background and majored in outdoor studies at Alaska Pacific University. He also recently graduated from the National Conservation Leadership Institute (NCLI), a prestigious nine-month intensive that equips participants to become future conservation leaders.

The structure taught by NCLI is known as “adaptive leadership.” This idea supports recognizing the differences between technical challenges and adaptive challenges. Technical problems can be solved by an authority or an expert and have a known solution. However, there are new, upcoming problems that can’t always be solved with a technical answer known as “adaptive challenges.” Mohr says that the Pebble Partnership is implementing adaptive leadership by working with local communities that have a vested

only participant representing industrial and commercial interests. As described by Mohr, the fellowship program involves two different residencies. The first is a 10-day period of classroom-type activities at the National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. One day is spent analyzing different styles of leadership during the Battle of Antietam. Next, participants create their own projects in groups, which are later presented at a four-day second residency at the Horace M. Albright Training Center in Grand Canyon National Park. A key lesson that stuck with Mohr was that people will not buy into a solution without having a hand in its creation. One cannot simply dictate, but rather, must incorporate others in helping to find a solution to a problem. Development in Alaska faces challenges that upcoming conservation leaders will tackle. One example specific to Pebble is a requirement to offset disturbed wetlands. Fortunately, there are few damaged wetlands in the State of Alaska that need repair. Because of this, Pebble is looking at a unique opportunity to potentially apply mitigation efforts nationally or perhaps even internationally, a relatively unusual circumstance that could have a positive impact on an entire species, rather than just one affected area.

A graduate of the National Conservation Leadership Institute, Ben Mohr was the only Fellow representing industrial and commercial interests in the 2010 - 2011 cohort.

Mohr was nominated by PLP’s Vice President of Environment, Ken Taylor, a former deputy commissioner at the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Participants range from state and federal agencies to nongovernmental organizations, Tribal interests and, occasionally, industrial or commercial interests.

interest in Southwest Alaska, using twoway dialogue, open forums, presentations and tours. NCLI has two main areas of focus: developing tools and techniques for graduates to lead their organizations through changing times and building relationships with people. In the program’s last two years, Mohr was the

“Many people confuse the words ‘conservation’ and ‘preservation,’ using them interchangeably,” says Mohr. “Some extreme environmental groups have co-opted the terms to mean locking something down so that we never have access to it.” When asked about his involvement in the conservation program while being prodevelopment, he replies, “Conservation, at its core, is using a resource in a way that we, as well as those in the future, may benefit from it. Conservation is how do we do it right.”


Alaska does not benefit from foreign investments.



The fact of the matter is, historically, the State of Alaska has benefited tremendously throughout the years from foreign investments in natural resources and other sectors of the state. One need look no farther than the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, as well as successful mining projects around the state and even to the tourism industry, to see how companies such as BP, Shell Oil and Holland America have impacted Alaska through foreign investment.

According to, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Alaska plays a critical role in the state’s economy. In addition to making direct capital investments, these companies contribute significantly to the communities where they operate via payrolls, taxes, procurement, supplies and services, as well as through civic contributions. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, cumulative FDI in Alaska totaled more than $30 billion in 2002, responsible for more than 13,000 jobs statewide at U.S. affiliates of foreign companies operating in Alaska. Foreign companies have responsibly funded many of the state’s largest development projects completely or in part via partnerships or joint ventures, such as the agreement between a subsidiary of Anglo American plc and an affiliate of Northern Dynasty Minerals, Ltd., which formed a 50/50 venture to create the Pebble Partnership. These investments are important because they generate tax revenues and create jobs for Alaskans. The seafood industry in Alaska reflects significant FDI from Japan. Alaska’s highly respected mining industry has attracted significant Canadian investment. Teck Alaska Inc. operates the Red Dog Mine, the world’s largest producer of zinc concentrate, located north of Kotzebue. The company employs roughly 500 workers, 56 percent of whom are NANA shareholders. From 1989 to 2009, Red Dog provided $921 million in benefits to the regional economy, including wages, payments in lieu of taxes and direct royalty payments to NANA. Within the last five years alone, the mine provided $749 million in taxes to the local, state and federal governments. The total capital investment in Red Dog Operations exceeds $1 billion.* Other foreign mining interests successfully contributing to Alaska’s economy include Toronto-based Kinross Corp., which operates Fort Knox, a gold mine just north of Fairbanks that employs more than 400 workers. Pogo Mine, which opened in 2006 in a previously undeveloped region of Interior Alaska near Delta Junction, is operated by Sumitomo Corporation and Sumitomo Metal Mining Company Co., Ltd. of Japan, and employs more than 300 people. These are just a handful of FDI projects that support and keep Alaska’s economy healthy. So the next time someone claims that Alaska doesn’t benefit from foreign investment, stop and think for a minute about just where our state would be without that investment today. * Nana Development Corporation website 2011.

Pebble Fund Fall Grant Cycle is Now Open tainable Com m t i es

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Applications are available online for the fall 2011 grant cycle of the Pebble Fund. Created by the Pebble Partnership and administered by The Alaska Community Foundation, nonprofit organizations operating in the Bristol Bay region are encouraged to submit an application. Apply online at The Pebble Fund provides grants for four primary project types: energy, education, community and economic development and renewable resources/fish. Applications are due Sept. 1, 2011.

Made possible by the Pebble Fund

3201 C Street, Suite 604 Anchorage, AK USA 99503 (907) 339-2600 Toll-free: 1 (877) 450-2600

Investing in People The Pebble Partnership is committed to promoting a sustainable economy for Southwest Alaska by providing careers through local hire and by developing young minds through scholarships and vocational education.

For more information or to apply for the pebble scholarship program, go to

In 2010-2011, Pebble awarded scholarships totaling $64,200 to 18 students from the Bristol Bay region who are planning to study various fields, including science, engineering, geology, culinary arts, construction and more. Twenty-five students have already applied for the fall 2011 scholarship cycle. Scholarship applications are reviewed by an independent, external committee, who then make award recommendations to the Pebble Partnership executive team. By providing scholarships, the Pebble Partnership has created a new path for local young people to get a good education and embark on a career. We’d like to see every student in the Bristol Bay region pursue college or vocational education.

Sign up to receive the Pebble Partnership’s new e-communications at

Peb-0194 2011 Newsletter July-Aug  

July/August 2011 techniques, door operation, noise control and seat belt usage. Proper training ensures safety while traveling and working i...