Statement on the President's visit to Dillingham

Trout Unlimited’s Alaska Program releases statement regarding President Obama’s visit to Dillingham, Alaska

August 31, 2015

Nelli Williams, Director of Trout Unlimited’s Alaska Program (907) 230-7121 or


Trout Unlimited’s Alaska Program releases statement regarding President Obama’s visit to Dillingham, Alaska

ANCHORAGE, AK — The President has announced he will travel to Dillingham during his trip to Alaska this week to speak with fishermen who would be impacted by the proposed Pebble mine.

Nelli Williams of Trout Unlimited’s Alaska Program released the following statement:

“Alaskans, fishermen and business owners who have worked for over a decade to protect Bristol Bay from the Pebble mine proposal are honored that the President is coming to the region to hear our concerns. We know during his visit the President will hear a lot about Pebble mine, including how it is a major concern not only to Bristol Bay residents, but a majority of Alaskans. Simply put, Bristol Bay is a unique, world-class resource worthy of protection. Not only is it the source of over 14,000 sustainable jobs, it is one of the few remaining wild salmon ecosystems on the planet and a region every American can be proud of.

We thank President Obama for his efforts to protect Bristol Bay thus far, and encourage him to continue his commitment to protect this world-class resource by ensuring large-scale mines like Pebble cannot destroy the jobs and culture of the region, which depend on clean waters and thriving wild salmon.”

Despite vehement opposition from a broad coalition led by Alaskan native communities and fishermen, the foreign mining company Northern Dynasty Minerals continues to pursue the development of one of North America’s largest gold and copper mines at Pebble, which would also produce molybdenum. The Pebble mine would create a two-mile wide open pit mine, thousands of feet deep, at the ecologically sensitive headwaters of the Bristol Bay watershed. More than 10 billion tons of mining waste would be produced and stored in man-made ponds, held behind earthen dams in a seismically active area. 

Both the Kvichak and Nushagak rivers, which are two of the major rivers feeding Bristol Bay, and the salmon industry they support could be affected by the proposed Pebble mine operations. These two Bay tributaries are home to some of the world’s largest sockeye and king salmon runs. Salmon have sustained generations of Alaska Native cultures and is one of southwestern Alaska’s most valuable renewable resources, generating 14,000 jobs and supporting a $1.5 billion annual economy. The salmon also support a vast ecosystem and feed grizzly bears, eagles, wolves, seals and whales.    


Trout Unlimited is the nation’s oldest and largest coldwater fisheries conservation organization. In Alaska, we work with sportsmen and women to ensure the state’s trout and salmon resources remain healthy far into the future through our local chapters and offices in Anchorage and Juneau. Follow TU on Facebook and Twitter, and visit us online at  Learn more about our work to protect Bristol Bay at