Welcome to the latest installment of the Wednesday Wake-Up Call, a weekly roundup of the most pressing conservation issues important to anglers. Working with our friends at Trout Unlimited, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, The Everglades Foundation, Captains for Clean Water, Bullsugar.org, and Conservation Hawks (among others), we’ll make sure you’ve got the information you need to understand the issues and form solid opinions.
If you know of an important issue–whether it’s national or local–that anglers should be paying attention to, comment below, and we’ll check it out!
Responses to the EPA’s Decision to Scrap Proposed Determination
Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency announced that it was withdrawing the 2014 Proposed Determination, which ” would have safeguarded Bristol Bay from the proposed Pebble mine and other large-scale industrial development by limiting the amount of mine waste that could be disposed of in Bristol Bay’s rivers and wetlands.” Learn all about this decision and what it means by reading “EPA Leaves Bristol Bay an Open Target” on the Save Bristol Bay blog.
● Senator Murkowski weighs in on the EPA’s decision
Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski offered a surprisingly spirited response to the decision: “I’m concerned, as I read through their analysis and critique, that the Corps’ DEIS has failed to meet my standard of a robust and rigorous process.” This would suggest that she is ready to start asking more of the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers, regarding Pebble. However, she immediately began downplaying her power to have substantial effect on the decision-making process.
Click here to listen to a news report from KTOO Public Media about Senator Murkowski’s remarks.
● Union of Concerned Scientists Blasts the EPA for Abdicating Its Responsibility
I know science isn’t all the rage these days, what with folks getting so much information from social media. But when an actual union of scientists speaks up, I think we should listen. In the snarkily titled “So Long and Thanks for All the Fish, Says the EPA to Southwest Alaska,” research analyst Anita Desikan really lays into the agency for the way it has bowed to industry pressure: ” The EPA’s decision to run away from its responsibilities goes against the scientific evidence and the will of the people. Unlike other decisions made by this EPA, there is no way to reset the damage that could be done to this region. “
Click here to read the full article on the Union for Concerned Scientists blog.
● Pebble Partnership CEO Admits That the Mine Will Be Bigger than Permit Describes
On the Salmon State Facebook page, an excerpt from an upcoming film features Pebble Partnership CEO Tom Collier describing a probable “second stage” of development of the Pebble site.
Feel free to bring this up the next time someone argues that the footprint of the project isn’t that big.
● 2019 Bristol Bay Sockeye harvest Blows Away Predictions
If you have any questions about whether the sockeye-salmon stocks of Bristol Bay are healthy enough for us to worry about the effects of Pebble Mine, this year’s harvest should leave no doubt:
As of July 21, fishermen in Bristol Bay’s five districts had harvested just more than 42 million salmon. More than 41.5 million of those were sockeye, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game; that’s already more than the 41.3 million sockeye harvested in 2018, the second-largest harvest on record.
Click here to read the full article in the Anchorage Daily News.