A coalition of Canadian and U.S. environmental groups submitted a letter to U.S. Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt yesterday, asking him to help protect the Taku River watershed from mining. The groups want Babbitt to declare a proposed mining project a hazard to grizzly bears, caribou, and salmon that live in the watershed, which covers a huge swath of land in British Columbia and Alaska. They contend that the U.S. could impose trade sanctions on Canada because the project would violate international wildlife treaties. The U.S. State Department and Alaska Gov. Tony Knowles (D) have called for the mining plan to be reviewed by the International Joint Commission, which has the ability to reject environmentally harmful projects.

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