Bering Coal Fields History
1907 - President Theodore Roosevelt and Gifford Pinchot create the Chugach National Forest protecting the Bering River and Copper River Delta from the Guggenheim Alaska Syndicate;
1962 - Copper River Delta Cooperative Agreement;
1971 - Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA);
1978 - Alaska National Interest Land Claims Act (ANILCA) Passed;
1982 - Chugach Alaska Corporation (CAC) acquires 73,000 acres in the Bering River Region. CAC forms joint venture partnership with Korean Alaska Development Corporation (KADCO) for development of the Bering River coalfields;
1986 - Copper River Delta designated a Fish and Wildlife Management Area;
1990 - Copper River Delta Shorebird Unit formed;
1991 - CAC files for bankruptcy;
1992 - KADCO acquires Bering River Coal patent from CAC in bankruptcy proceedings and in exchange for expenses incurred in Bering River coalfield site exploration, corporate and travel expenses to Alaska;
1997 - Rep. Don Young presents a Chugach Road Rider called the "Carbon Mountain Access Easement" to allow for a road across the Copper River Delta to access the Bering River Coal Fields;
1998 – Chugach Road Rider is pulled from the Governments Omnibus Budget Bill.
2000 - Dr. Shin, Principal of KADCO, agrees to a Memo of Understanding (MOU), supporting conservation for the Bering River Coal Fields and wishes to enter into negotiations;
2000 – 2007 – Negotiations take place between various environmental organizations and agreed-to prices are changed at the bargaining table by the environmental organizations. Bering Coalfield prices ranged from $5M to $7.9. Price of coal was fluctuating around $35 per ton;
2008 – 2013 - The price of coal shoots up; prices fluctuate between $80 to $130 per ton;
2013 - Present - The Forest Service demonstrates its interest by virtue of having funds for the Bering River Delta area as part of the FY13 President's budget request to Congress.
This opportunity now has a confirmed negotiated price, a willing seller, Dr. Shin of the Korean Alaska Development Corporation, and a willing buyer, the U.S. Forest Service. Please note that Dr. Shin is aging, and if he passes away or falls ill, this opportunity will be lost.
Bering coal would be extracted by devastating mountaintop removal, despite the fact that the area is part of one of the most biologically rich ecosystems on earth, the magnificent Copper River Delta with its world-renowned wild salmon runs. Though the region remains under threat, the coal patent is now for sale again – but this time with the promise of retirement into a permanent conservation covenant.