Bristol Bay in the News February 21, 2012

Trout Unlimited President&CEO Chris Wood published a hard-hitting opinion piece last week calling on President Obama and the EPA to protect Bristol Bay in 2012. Chris writes, "This is the wrong mine in the wrong place, and President Obama should stop it before more time and resources are wasted. Bristol Bay demonstrates that some places should be left free of industrial development because their natural resource values, and the benefits they provide to people, outstrip short-term development values."

The Pebble Limited Partnership says it will apply for permits later this year or in 2013. But, PLP's recent release of baseline environmental documents does little to quell concerns about the project. Several Alaska leaders wrote in response to the release, "PLP controls what studies are done, what questions get asked, and which elements of studies they want to publicize. The material presented should be viewed as being understandably tilted in favor of development."

Hunter and TV host Steven Rinella gives an impassioned call to action for hunters to protect Bristol Bay’s abundant natural resources and wildlife. Featured as part of an effort by the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, Rinella has a 2-minute video segment on protecting Bristol Bay. He says: "Hunters too, have a lot at stake. Salmon transport millions of tons of nutrients from the rich marine ecosystems into the nutrient-poor habitats of the Pacific Rim … Anyone who cares about salmon or salmon fishing, or bears or bear hunting, needs to get in this fight."

Tim Osmar and Monica Zappa, Mushers for Bristol Bay, were featured in three Midwest newspapers last week and ran the UP200 sled dog race in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. They also appeared at three "Red Gold" screenings in Michigan to raise awareness about the Pebble Mine proposal.
Lindsey Bloom, a commercial fisherwoman and United Fishermen of Alaska board member, lays out the economic and cultural value of Alaska's fisheries in the Juneau Empire. She writes: "The employment statistics are equally remarkable. State economists estimate the fishing and seafood industry provides nearly 80,000 jobs. That means thousands upon thousands of Alaskans are providing for their families and putting food on the table—literally and figuratively—with a paycheck earned because of fish."

Here's a weekly roundup of media:

Mr. President: Keep Wild Salmon on our Plates!
Chris Wood, TU
Huffington Post
It is not often that a fish can define your life's work. Rarer still can the most powerful man on earth, the President of the United States, determine the future of that fish. President Obama must decide before his re-election campaign is over whether nearly one-third of the wild salmon…Click here to read more

Pebble project could move to permitting this year
Anchorage Daily News
An executive says the goal is to move toward permitting for a massive copper and gold prospect near the headwaters of Bristol Bay as early as this year…Click here to read more

Environmental Baseline Documents
Tim Bristol, Bob Waldrop, and Kimberly Williams
Sit News
As leaders of Alaska-based organizations representing the interests of Bristol Bay residents, commercial fishermen, and sportsmen throughout the state, we are writing to provide some perspective on this week’s unveiling of an “Environmental Baseline Document” by the Pebble Limited Partnership…Click here to read more 

Saving Alaska’s Bristol Bay
Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership
Sportsmen must do their part and let the EPA know that the Bristol Bay salmon fishery and inland hunting resources need to be sustained for future generations…Click here to watch the video 

Sled dog weekend launches in city
Johanna Boyle
The Mining Journal
Mushers from many different backgrounds and racing experiences gathered at the Holiday Inn in Marquette Thursday for the mushers banquet and bib draw, kicking off the Upper Peninsula Sled Dog Association U.P. 200 weekend…Click here to read more 

Alaska mushers make a stop in Petoskey
Morgan Sherburne
This weekend, Alaskan mushers Tim Osmar and Monica Zappa will be competing in the Upper Peninsula 200 race. But last night, they were at the Crooked Tree Arts Center to raise awareness about a mining complex, called the Pebble Mine, proposed in southwest Alaska…Click here to read more 

Reader’s view: Mushers seek support for Alaska’s Bristol Bay
Monica Zappa and Tim Osmar
Duluth News Tribune
As competitors in the Gunflint Mail Run, we were excited to try our luck at mushing in the Midwest, experiencing this great tradition outside Alaska. Anyone who saw us gliding or driving by may have noticed our “No Pebble Mine” patches…Click here to read more

My Turn: The value of Alaska’s Fisheries
Lindsey Bloom
Juneau Empire
Juneau residents are no stranger to the spectacle of Xtra Tuff boots parading on our sidewalks this time of year, but if you’ve noticed an uptick this week it’s likely because—at least unofficially—Commercial Fishing Week is upon us…Click here to read more 

Report says that Pebble Mine would devastate Bristol Bay fisheries
Margaret Bauman
Alaska Dispatch
A new scientific report released by the Wild Salmon Center and Trout Unlimited says the proposed Pebble Mine would siphon as much as 35 billion gallons of fresh water out of the headwaters of Bristol Bay every year, damaging critical salmon habitat…Click here to read more 

For Valentine’s Day, 80 Jewelry Retailers Commit to Sustainable Supply Chain
Sustainable Business News
Many aren't aware that mining for metals, such as gold, causing the most toxic pollution of any industry in the US. Today, over 80 jewelry retailers from around the world, including 8 of the top 10 US retailers, committed to cleaning up dirty metals by signing the No Dirty Gold campaign's "Golden Rules" for more responsible metals sourcing…Click here to read more