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.
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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.