President Trump’s administration has helped breathe new life into the Canadian-owned Pebble Limited Partnership, whose stock has been on the rise and whose sole investor has stated they will seek permits within the year.
Clearly, we don't plan to give them an inch if it means any dangers to Bristol Bay salmon, jobs and culture. But in order to secure the protections we need, we're going to need your help.
There are easy-to-use forms to contact Gov. Walker (if you live in Alaska) or President Trump (if you live in the Lower 48). Better yet, write your own letter and send it to your elected decision makers (look up contact info here) AND the president.
Here's one example from a Bristol Bay fisherman, John, who decided to take matters into his own hands:
Good afternoon Senator Ericksen:
Congratulations on your recent appointment as the Communication Director for the EPA Transition Team. I’m sure you’re thrilled and honored to have been chosen.
Today I’d like to express my concern with our new president, his administration and what I fear will be support for the Pebble Partnership’s proposed Pebble mine located at the headwaters of Bristol Bay. I’ve been very involved with fighting the development of this mine. I’ve met and expressed my concerns with staff for both Senator’s Cantwell and Murray and with Governor Inslee in Olympia. I served on the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Board where I was chairman of the Sustainability committee.
It is important for you to understand that our fight to stop development of the Pebble mine is not an environmentalist vs. industry fight. Fishermen and fish processors have rarely, if ever, been labeled environmentalists. We are, however, conservationists. We believe in sustainable exploitation of natural resources. We are pro-business and pro-progress but not at the expense of our critical habitat. The Bristol Bay watershed is an elaborate web of rivers, streams and habitat that’s ideal for producing and sustaining huge salmon runs. It’s as if this land was designed specifically for this purpose. We rely on the salmon as do the many species of this region.
I won’t deny the need for gold, copper and molybdenum in our modern society. However, the Pebble mine is simply the wrong project in the wrong location. You may recall the Mount Polly mine disaster in the Cariboo region of central British Columbia, Canada on August 4, 2014. With a breach of the Imperial Metals-owned Mount Polley copper and gold mine tailings pond, water and slurry with years’ worth of mining waste flowed into Polley Lake. The spill flooded Polley Lake, its outflow Hazeltine Creek, and continued into nearby Quesnel Lake and Cariboo River. By August 8th the four square kilometers sized tailings pond had been emptied of the majority of supernatant (process water) that sits atop the settled solids (mining waste, or 'tailings'). Water tests showed elevated levels of selenium, arsenic and other metals similar to historical tests before the disaster.
No mining company expects their tailings pond to fail but, they can and do. If the proposed Pebble mine tailings pond were to experience a breach such as Mount Polly, the result would be disastrous. Incidentally, the same company that designed the Mount Polly tailings pond is slated to design Pebble’s pond. It is also important that you understand the location of the proposed Pebble mine is in an area consistent with earthquakes and volcanic activity.
Here in the Northwest we have learned the hard way on how quickly we can lose a resource and the benefits it provides. We are currently spending billions of dollars trying to recover a fraction of what’s been lost. It’s time to draw the line in our last great American salmon factory – Bristol Bay.
pictured above: John fishing with his daughter in Bristol Bay
We are always more than happy to help you draft or submit a letter to elected decision makers, your local newspaper or your social media feeds. If you'd like your story about why you want to protect Bristol Bay from Pebble Mine featured on this blog, tell us why this issue is important to you using the form on the contact page.
Thanks for helping save Bristol Bay!