ANCHORAGE, AK – By internal count, the Environmental Protection Agency received more than 750,000 comments supporting the federal agency’s proposed protections for Bristol Bay, Alaska from threats posed by the Pebble Mine.
ILIAMNA, AK -- Pebble Mine is still too risky for Bristol Bay.
This week Alaskans reiterated their opposition to the mine during the course of two hearings hosted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Dillingham and Iliamna. According to an initial count by Trout Unlimited and United Tribes of Bristol Bay, more than 280 Alaskans attended the hearings. About 120 people testified, 103 of whom spoke in opposition to the EPA’s plan to withdraw the 2014 proposed protections.
When I travel outside of Alaska, friends are surprised when I ask a server if the salmon on the menu is wild or farmed, and whether it is from Alaska. For many non-Alaskans, salmon is salmon. They never stop to consider where it comes from or how it was raised.
By now, Alaskans have come to the unfortunate realization that the proposed Pebble Mine — a potentially massive gold and copper mine owned by a Vancouver company — is not dead. A new administration in Washington, D.C. that is taking a vastly different approach to resource management is giving fresh life to a proposal to build a mine in an ecologically sensitive and economically important area of the state.