Yesterday, Alaskans elected Republican Mike Dunleavy to be the next governor.
In response, Nelli Williams, Alaska director of Trout Unlimited issued the following statement:
A majority of Alaskans from across the political spectrum have recognized for more than a decade that constructing a massive, permanently damaging mine at the headwaters of the Bristol Bay fishery is a culturally senseless and economically irresponsible idea. Nothing about the election results change that. An outside company pushing a mine that Alaskans don’t want is not in the best interest of our state.
Alaskan sportsmen, businesses, commercial fishermen and Tribes opposed to Pebble mine aren’t going anywhere. Just as we worked with past Republican leaders, we look forward to working with Governor Dunleavy to protect the fish, jobs, and communities of the Bristol Bay region.
Alannah Hurley, executive director of United Tribes of Bristol Bay stated:
While UTBB is disappointed that salmon champion Mark Begich won't be Alaska's next Governor, the election results do not change the facts: science proves that Pebble cannot coexist with salmon, and our region and Alaskans in general oppose the project because it is the wrong mine in the wrong place. We are fortunate to have re-elected a representative to state house (Bryce Edgmon) who will continue to fight alongside us to protect Bristol Bay's fisheries and all they sustain.
The results from yesterday's election show that Bristol Bay residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of protections for salmon streams, and for leaders who oppose Pebble. Although those ideals did not prevail at a statewide level, it is a clear indication of our priorities in this region. The permitting process so far has been a sham, and any rigorous review of the Pebble project will show that the mine cannot be safely built; our leaders must address this biased, inadequate review process. We will continue our fight to save the last great wild salmon fishery on the planet and will not rest until it is protected."