Dear friend of Bristol Bay:
Some of you might be wondering, how did the results of Tuesday’s election change our ability to protect Bristol Bay from the proposed Pebble Mine?
Before diving into what’s new, here’s what’s unchanged: Most Alaskans, from across the political spectrum, recognize that constructing a massive, permanently damaging mine at the headwaters of the Bristol Bay fishery is a culturally senseless and economically irresponsible idea.
Still, this election will have implications for our work. First, we will now have a Governor for whom Pebble’s CEO himself campaigned. Second, despite truly incredible volunteer-driven efforts of its backers, Ballot Measure 1, which would have protected wild salmon habitat statewide and provided a higher standard that Pebble Mine would have to meet, failed to get the votes that were needed to be put into law.
While disappointing, the fight is far from over. We’ve always know that the path to protecting Bristol Bay needed to be multi-pronged, and the ballot measure was just one of several strategies.
The silver lining? In speaking with thousands of Alaskans leading up to the election, one thing became and remains crystal clear: Alaskans agree protections for wild salmon are needed - especially in Bristol Bay. It’s in how we implement these protections where we disagree. We learned on Tuesday that the ballot measure wasn’t what Alaskans wanted. But we also learned in the process that, with respect to our salmon, we have more in common than we differ.
Regardless of who is in office, this community of Bristol Bay advocates continue to hold the power of shaping a fish-filled future for Bristol Bay and Alaska.
With new leadership however, our ability to demonstrate continuous, wide-spread public opposition to the ill-conceived proposal is more important than ever.
There’s are several key ways you can help ensure this is a success, and the root of them is simply to stay informed and to participate. The next opportunity to comment will likely be in January 2019. Please sign up for our emails and watch for updates. Your voices matter and submitting a million comments (literally) will be necessary.
Do you have the means to donate? Please do – we can use all the financial support we can get. In the coming months, we’ll need scientific studies, legal analysis, trips to talk to decision makers in Juneau and D.C. We’ll need paid ad campaigns to ensure Alaskans know what’s happening with the permitting process, and informational events to get the word out. This all comes at a cost and is made possible through your support.
Do you use social networks? Please follow us. The updates and calls to action we post to our facebook page truly make a difference for this campaign. It may seem insignificant to send an email to a decision maker, but they each make a difference. We’ll never waste your time or ask you if it isn’t truly important.
Have an idea or a question? We always welcome thoughts from our community. Call our office any time (907-770-1776) or send us an email at: info [at] savebristolbay [dot] org.
Together, we will ensure the fish-based cultures and jobs of Bristol Bay are protected. Thank you for your support, and we look forward to continuing to work along-side you in 2019 and beyond.
All photos by Pat Ford