April 29, 2013
Comment On Alaska's Pebble Mine to Enter Bristol Bay Fishing Trip Contest
By Kirk Deeter
We've been covering the proposed Pebble Mine and its potential impact on Alaska's most prolific salmon fishery in Bristol Bay for many years now. The situation has reached another critical juncture, and by voicing your concerns—and encouraging others to do the same—you can now be entered for a chance to win a trip for two (four days/nights) at Dan Michael's Crystal Creek Lodge.
You can do so by visiting this page and hitting the "tell a friend prompt"
Here's where it stands:
After being asked to deny the Pebble Partnership a Clean Water Act 404 permit, by Federally recognized tribes, Commercial fishing interest, and the Bristol Bay sportfishing interest, the EPA undertook writing a the Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment. In May of 2012, EPA release the Draft Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment. This Assessment was then peer reviewed by a select group of scientists. The EPA has taken the recommendations of these scientists and is now rewriting the Draft Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment for a 30 day public comment period.
In short, your comments will influence whether the mine happens or not.
Highlights from the Draft Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment
- 46% of the global abundance of wild sockeye (37.5 million fish annually) are found in Bristol Bay.
- Nushagak River Chinook salmon run can reach over 200,000 fish.
- 35 fish species (all 5 species of Pacific Salmon Rainbow Trout, Dolly Varden, Grayling, Arctic Char, lake trout, and Northern pike), 190 bird species, 40 terrestrial species are potentially impacted.
- Direct loss of 55 to 85 miles of streams and 4 to 6.7 square miles of wetlands could result from Pebble.
- If all major claims were developed, a direct loss of 114 miles of stream and a 30 square miles of tailings storage facilities would result.
- Tailings spill would eliminate 28% of the Nushagak Chinook run.
- Populations of Rainbow Trout and Dolly Varden could be lost for decades.
I consider this the most significant conservation of our time. If you value fishing and wild fish, it's worth learning more.