Support for Wishbone Hill Permit Renewals
September 8, 2021 • Testimony before the Department of Natural Resources 


Good afternoon, my name is Kari Nore, and I am the project manager for the Resource Development Council for Alaska commonly referred to as RDC.  

RDC is a trade association with members in tourism, oil and gas, forestry, fishing, and mining, as well as the 12 regional Native corporations, labor, individuals, and others supporting the responsible development of Alaska’s natural resources.

I’m here today to express RDC’s support for the Wishbone Hill Project permit renewals. The Wishbone Hill project is located five miles west of Sutton, on State, Mental Health Trust and private land. The permits have been renewed every five years, since the 1990s. 

DNR enforces stringent regulations overseeing mining activities statewide that effectively protect the environment, wildlife, and human health. The Wishbone Hill permit application closely follows these regulations. Further, the permit holder, Usibelli Coal Mine, has an outstanding record for operating mines in Alaska, and began instituting reclamation efforts before it was required by law to do so.

The Wishbone Hill permit application outlines an extensive reclamation plan, including the enhancement of wildlife and recreational habitat as post-mining priorities. These environmentally-sound practices combined with the economic benefits the mine would provide make for a win-win situation in the Matanuska-Susitna region. 

Further development of the Wishbone Hill mine could provide about 100 new jobs in the Mat-Su Borough, the average wage in the mining industry is $115,000 a year, which is over twice the state average for all other job sectors.

RDC urges DNR to renew these permits without further delay. Thank you for the opportunity to testify on this important permit renewal.