The Edge of History

Bristol Bay vs. Pebble Mine — are we headed toward the conservation victory of our lifetime?

When the EPA’s proposed restrictions on disposal of mine waste related to the Pebble deposit in Bristol Bay, Alaska were announced in July, I was attending the annual International Fly Tackle Dealer and ICAST shows in Orlando. It was a great chance to share some good news with Simms and others in the fishing industry in the long-running campaign to protect one of the planet’s premier fishing destinations.

The 60-day official comment period is set to close on Friday, September 19th at 8pm AK time, so please be sure your comment is counted by visiting Save Bristol Bay and sharing the link with all your friends.

This campaign has enjoyed the support of so many anglers, businesses, and fishing groups from across the nation (actually the world) for many years. We wouldn’t be in this position if it were not for the tremendous efforts of everyone taking actions every time you were asked to do so. We know it’s been a long road, and while we are not at the finish line, it may be in sight.

After this final (yeah!) comment period closes, the EPA will consider the comments and consult one last time with the proponents of the Pebble project to hear how they think building the largest open-pit copper & gold mine in North America could possibly be done without screwing up one of the planet’s most productive and important fisheries. EPA can then elect to issue what’s called a “final determination” and if it does so, that’s when Bristol Bay will have a measure of protection that can finally lift the cloud of uncertainty that has hung over the region since Pebble arose as a threat.

Thanks again for all of your support. We may be headed toward the freshwater fisheries conservation victory of our lifetimes — but we must remain vigilant until the end.

Article by Sportsman’s Alliance for Alaska Director, Scott Hed