Bering Coal Fields History

2018-2020 The remaining 11,000-acre tract of Bering River coal is going to be retired by EPC. Retiring this historic Bering River Coal title will essentially preserve the entire Copper and Bering River watershed from the threat of mountaintop removal coal mining and the resulting toxic mineral pollution for millennia. That's 3 million acres. EPC is aggressively fundraising for the purchase of this title and has set a non-negotiable goal to get this land retired by the end of 2021. This would keep the extensive range forever wild. This ecosystem is recognized as one of the largest pristine delta-watershed on the planet. It hosts the perennial return of the wild Copper and Bering River salmon. This critical region supports Indigenous culture, subsistence harvests, recreation, sportsman activities, and the multi-billion dollar worldwide financial gains from the commercial fishing industry. 

If EPC doesn’t retire this coal title, Bering coal would be extracted by devastating mountaintop removal, despite the fact that this is one of the most biologically rich ecosystems on earth and supports the magnificent Copper River 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.

2016 - Largest carbon-offset conservation transaction in Alaska’s history occurs: EPC assists CAC with transferring 115,000 acres of rainforest and 62,000 acres of the Bering River coal title to the Native Conservancy land trust.

2013 – 2015 - 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.

2008 – 2013 - The price of coal shoots up; prices fluctuate between $80 to $130 per ton

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.

1998 – Chugach Road Rider is pulled from the Governments Omnibus Budget Bill

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.

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.

1991 - CAC files for bankruptcy

1990 - Copper River Delta Shorebird Unit formed

1986 - Copper River Delta designated a Fish and Wildlife Management Area

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.

1978 - Alaska National Interest Land Claims Act (ANILCA) Passed

1971 - Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA)

1962 - Copper River Delta Cooperative Agreement

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