A new report casts doubt on the “safe” operation of the proposed Pebble Mine.
photo via msnbc.com
Opponents of the proposed Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay, Alaska, now have more ammunition in the battle: a new draft study by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)has found that such a massive project would endanger the spawning grounds of. . .
The pro-Pebble Mine forces would have you believe that all “real” Alaskans are in favor of the project, and that the agitators are transplants, hippies, or from “outside.” This video shoots a big, fat hole in that argument. Rick Halford is about as Alaskan as they come: bush pilot, avid outdoorsman, and longtime Republican political leader. He retired from public life in 2003 as. . .
According to a poll in June 2011 by the research group Craciun, Bristol Bay fishers are united against the project, with 86.2 percent opposing the mine. An earlier survey by Craciun found that 71 percent of the households in the Bristol Bay area opposed the mine, with only 9 percent even somewhat supportive of it; other polls have found the majority of Alaskans say the mine is not worth the risk.
The video above gives a clear description of how the project would threaten the livelihoods and traditions of the people who live in the Bristol Bay region.
A host of conservation organizations–including Trout Unlimited, Sportsman’s Alliance for Alaska, and Orvis–has been working for years to stop construction of the Pebble Mine project, which would see the construction of the world’s largest copper and gold mine at the headwaters of the last great wild salmon run in the Bristol Bay region of Alaska. Throughout the debate, the Pebble Limited Partnership has claimed that our fears are unfounded because technological advances will allow them to build this monstrous extraction operation without affecting nearby streams and lakes, which are the spawning grounds for millions of sockeye salmon. This recently released video shows what happens when you fact-check some of these claims. The results are disturbing at best and cast doubt on the viability of the whole operation. To help stop Pebble Mine, visit the Orvis Take Action page.
Lake Clark National Park, Bristol Bay, Alaska photo by Matt Skoglund
The other day I got a letter from Robert Redford. No, he wasn’t solicting a film script from me. Instead, he was urging me, via his position at the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), to take action against the threat of Pebble Mine to Bristol Bay, Alaska. Even though I have written a great deal on the Pebble Mine issue and contributed in every way possible to help prevent the mine and to bring exposure to the threat, I was greatly encouraged to see the materials from the NRDC arrive by mail. It means that the level of exposure is growing, and more important players are becoming involved.
Shortly after that package arrived, a colleague here sent me a link to an NRDC blog about the issue. It was written by Matt Skolgund and has the personal angle to which many of us can relate. As Matt wrote:
If this nightmare known as the Pebble Mine is allowed to go forward, it will be – take a deep breath – a 2,000-foot-deep, two-mile-long gold and copper mine with gigantic earthen dams built to hold back some 10 billion tons of mining waste. Roads will be built, and the mine will be smack dab in the middle of a known earthquake zone.
Pebble Mine will inflict irreversible damage on Bristol Bay, including the permanent destruction of dozens of miles of wild salmon habitat. That’s why NRDC has joined Alaskan Natives, anglers, hunters and other conservation organizations to fight this wretched proposal.
The largest run of wild sockeye salmon in the world is just one of the natural wonders threatened by the proposed Pebble Mine.
Ever since the Environmental Protection Agency announced that it would assess the Bristol Bay watershed to understand how future large-scale development may affect water quality and the bay’s salmon fishery, opponents of the proposed Pebble mine project have cranked up the pressure on elected officials to get behind the EPA’s effort. If you haven’t already, please take the time to send an email to your state’s members in Congress, asking them to support the effort.
For those who haven’t been following the Pebble Mine debate since it first entered the angling-public consciousness in 2007, here are some links to get you up to speed and to help. . .
For a few years now, fly fishermen have been committed to stopping construction of the Pebble Mine, which threatens the salmon runs—and the entire ecosystem—of Alaska’s Bristol Bay. Felt Soul Media’s film Red Gold has helped to spread the word about the potential damage that could result from an accident at such a huge mine. But even much smaller extractive practices can do irreparable harm to fish and wildlife. In recent years, oil companies have been devoting more and more resources to getting at the huge amount of natural gas stored in the Marcellus Shale formation, which lies beneath some of the more fragile brook-trout habitat in the East. A unique geological formation more that 400 million years old—stretching from Columbus, Ohio, to Albany, New York, and south into northeastern Tennessee—the Marcellus Shale doesn’t give up its natural gas easily,…
Welcome to the latest installment of the Wednesday Wake-Up Call, a roundup of the most pressing conservation issues important to anglers. Working with our friends at Trout Unlimited, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, . . .