Today, Trout Unlimited announced their lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over the decision to withdraw protections for Bristol Bay that were established in the 2014 Bristol Bay Proposed Determination.
Alaska grown kayaker, white-water adventurer and angler, Brendan Wells, caught our attention earlier this year when his company released an outstanding film documenting the Koktuli River and exploring the issue of the proposed Pebble mine.
After issuing a harsh warning to the Army Corps of Engineers at a Bristol Bay salmon event last week, Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski followed up by introducing report language into the Senate Appropriations committee Thursday morning that called on the Corps to make meaningful changes to Pebble’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement.
The impacts of North America’s largest open-pit copper and gold mine would go beyond the state land the project is slated for. Pebble would impact areas that was first and currently owned by Alaska Natives, and land that is now owned by the American public.
Our generous partners have shared their products, art and time in ways that gets you unique items, and that gives back to the effort to stop Pebble and protect Bristol Bay. Check out what our friends are doing to help stop Pebble, and consider supporting them today!
56.3 million salmon ran through Bristol Bay and commercial fishermen harvested 43 million fish. This was the fifth consecutive year that Bristol Bay saw runs with more than 50 million fish, which also fed trout populations sought by anglers worldwide.
The EPA publicly announced the reversal of protections for Bristol Bay on July 30, but EPA staff sources reported that they were informed of the decision a month earlier, the day after a meeting between the President and Governor Dunleavy in Alaska.
In the past two weeks in Bristol Bay, Alaska, I’ve watched massive brown bears stroll along the banks of the rivers I was fishing as they searched for their own meals, passively taking notice of us humans. Breathtaking.
Despite recent news that the EPA may rollback proposed protections for the region, their official comments slammed the Army Corps’ review of the proposal for failing to include critical information about how the project could affect Bristol Bay. And Senator Lisa Murkowski agreed.
Hundreds of thousands of comments were submitted to the Army Corps of Engineers by sport anglers, commercial fishermen, native Alaskans, chefs, bear tourism operators, and members of the public during the 120 day comment period for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Pebble mine.
Last week, Representative Jared Huffman (CA) introduced an amendment to the House Energy and Water Appropriations bill that would stop the permitting process for Pebble. If passed, the amendment would prevent the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from using further funding to review the critical Clean Water Act 404 permit application for the mine.
No one comes to Bristol Bay to fish below a bridge, or listen to an early morning explosion, or hear heavy equipment in the distance, creating what appears to be a dust storm. The infrastructure that Pebble would bring would change the face of Bristol Bay sport fishing industry permanently- and not for the better.
We know, we know: at the outset, this seems like splitting hairs. But the reality is, dust is a huge impact that is not currently even being acknowledged by the agency considering issuing Pebble a permit to construct a massive mine in Bristol Bay.
Yesterday, the sole company backing the proposed Pebble mine, Northern Dynasty Minerals, filed its 2018 annual report with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The SEC is responsible for protecting investors, maintaining fair and orderly functioning of the securities markets.
Steve and Jenn Kurian now have three businesses working to get sustainable, delicious Bristol Bay into restaurants, backyard BBQs and plates across the U.S. Better yet, they use a portion of their proceeds to help in the fight against Pebble mine. Today, as their Wildly Devoted Dinner Boxes launch making Bristol Bay sockeye and other delicious Alaskan seafood available to action-oriented seafood lovers nationwide, we wanted to tell you a little bit about the duo as part of our Bristol Bay Ambassadors program.
Last Friday, as the public comment period on Pebble’s first federal permits opened, Dr. Cameron Wobus presented eye-opening findings from a Pebble Mine tailings dam failure analysis that have commercial fishermen, and many others, concerned about potential impacts of Pebble’s plan.
While this has an obvious impact to fisheries (salmon can’t spawn if their headwaters streams are wiped out), there are less obvious - but extremely severe - risks as well, including metals that will be introduced through mining operations to the waters. Copper is one such metal.
The DEIS says copper will be present at levels above water quality standards for 80 miles (Koktuli to the Mulchatna). That is a major concern. Here’s why:
What’s considered to be the most important document of the permitting project, the Draft Environmental Impact Statement, for the proposed Pebble mine was released last week. In it, the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) fails to consider many pertinent issues and potential impacts from the project, largely ignores the established science regarding the mine, and overlooks many pertinent concerns with Pebble’s proposal.
There are many aspects to be concerned about when it comes to the proposed Pebble mine. Because Bristol Bay’s world-class salmon fisheries are so important to the region, the State of Alaska, and for the global supply of salmon, many of the concerns are related to water and the potential water quality contamination that the mine will generate.
For us Alaskans who do not want to see the proposed Pebble mine move forward in Bristol Bay, there will be many times we’ll need to step up this year to stop the project from advancing. The first of these opportunities is tomorrow. After following this issue for many years, I’ve never before felt a greater sense of urgency for standing up against Pebble.
As Pebble seeks to calm Alaskans’ concerns over its proposed mine by claiming it has a “new” project that is smaller and more environmentally friendly, we know their current, “new” proposal - currently in federal permitting - is merely phase one.
If you’ve followed along with us, you know that science says a mine of the size, scale, and location of Pebble’s proposal, even in the smallest iteration considered, would threaten the fisheries of Bristol Bay.