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The Fortymile Miner's Association

We're proudly moving towards the future while helping to preserve our past, our public lands, our historic communities, and our livelihood as miners.

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Fortymile Mining District
P.O. Box 4
Chicken, Alaska 99732

No phone service available

District Email:
fma@fortymilemining.com
Website Email:
 manager@fortymilemining.com

Website:
 www.fortymileminingdistrict.com

 

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A Voice for the Miner, and the Region

04epa meeting

Located along the wild eastern flank of the Interior where Alaska meets the Yukon Territory, the Fortymile Mining District serves as an enduring voice representing the mining industry in this region. Historic mining communities such as Chicken, Eagle, and Boundary are still alive and well here. With mining being one of the biggest economic assets in the area our Association not only speaks for the individual miner, but is also an important influence that helps to provide both continued employment opportunities and local economic benefits for the region and our communities.

2013 Meeting about the "EPA Raids" - Photo by Loren Holmes

The District

On September 7, 1886 Howard Franklin and his partner Henry Madison must have been very excited to have discovered gold so late in the season at what is now known as Franklin Gulch. This event represents the first known coarse gold discovery in the Fortymile Region. Since then the Fortymile region has been continuously mined and prospected making it the oldest Mining District in Alaska.

The organization we call the "District" was not actually formed until 12 years later. Our first official meeting was held on March 25, 1898 on the main-stream of the Fortymile River at a place called Bonanza Bar. We still proudly hold a copy of the original minutes from that historic meeting.

 

 
Drift Mine near Franklin
- Bob Robert's Collection

A Great Land and Great People

Many miners and explorers have ventured here in search of wealth, testing their luck and fortitude against an unforgiving and harsh environment. These amazingly rugged pioneers of the north are the rough fabric that has provided our District with it's rich and eventful history...but the story has not yet come to an end.

 "History never looks like history when you are living through it." ~ John W. Gardner

Years from now people will read about us with equal respect and envy, this will be the story of today's miners. These, like all who have come before us, are the enduring, adventurous, men and women who have chosen to call themselves "Fortymile Miners." Through extreme conditions, and with great fondness for the vastness and beauty of this place, we persistently pursue our dreams of life in the bush and that ever elusive untouched deposit of gold to call our own. As miners, we are proudly the hardest working people on earth, and may be rewarded with the least pay for our efforts. After all, it may be realized that we are not only here for the possibility of great wealth, but for the chance to challenge ourselves, to find a sense of freedom that somehow seems long forgotten, and to simply prove our own self-sufficiency.

 

Modern Challenges

Simply put, mining is a job, a lifestyle like any other. It's a choice that we make, the way we survive, a means to pay our bills, achieve goals, and contribute to society. It's a livelihood, a talent, and beyond all else - a challenge that most people will never encounter in any other job. A miner will energetically take on the task at hand regardless of nature's obstacles and conditions, a sometimes overwhelming endeavour that throughout history proves to reward only those with the strongest of will. As if this were not enough, today's miners face a new unrelenting challenge - this is the more modern struggle against those who simply oppose us for what we do. Government bureaucracies and pressure from special interest groups now continuously bombard our industry with ever increasing rules, regulations, and proposals that seem to aim directly at nothing more than ending our way of life. The mining industry is now managed and regulated more than it's ever been in the past. "Necessary" rules and regulations have no doubt made mining activities safer, cleaner, and less of an environmental impact than at any other time in history. As the mining industry, we welcome "intelligent" management practices and have shown that we can effectively meet new "necessary" standards, yet to opposition groups this will never be enough. Members of these groups are themselves surely surrounded by and enjoying all of the daily conveniences made possible by the production of natural resources. They will go home each night peacefully knowing that their own jobs, their talents, and their livelihood, are not at all risked, while prideful that they've stripped away people's rights to their public lands. As miners we carry this struggle with us every day, we can't simply escape it when the day is through. It's not just a matter of "the way we do business" that is challenged...it's our whole way of life, it's the ever-present threat to bring it all to an end. Beyond all recognition that we can adapt our mining methods and can operate with no lasting harm to the environment, this is the ultimate challenge that we face today; Can intelligent and progressive development withstand the effects of environmental extremism or will our livelihood as miners truly just become a part of history?

 

Join Us

Now is the time to make a real difference in people's lives and their communities. We encourage you to use your own common sense, to research the facts about current issues, and to recognize misleading rhetoric and misinformation spread by opposition groups. Know the facts, stand up for what's right and help us hold onto our way of life. Please make a donation or join us as a member of the Fortymile Miner's Association.

Your participation and support are very much appreciated!

 

fortymile country

                                                                                                                              The Fortymile Country - Photo by Dick Hammond

 

 

About the Fortymile Miner's Association

The Fortymile Miner's Association (FMA) is a 501(c) (4) non-profit corporation representing the mining industry within the Fortymile River Region of Alaska. Our mission is to encourage and aid in the intelligent and progressive development of the District's mineral resources. We have a very proud history, rich in events, mineral discovery, and production. Together we strive to preserve this history and to protect the opportunities for current and future miners within our region.

We function financially with the support of membership dues, donations, fund raising events such as our 4th of July picnic, raffles, and sales of District related items.