March 27, 2008
Mine Fight Builds in Alaska
By Tim Romano & Kirk Deeter
For those of you who missed it, I wrote a conservation column in the March '08 issue of Field & Stream on the Pebble Mine project in the Bristol Bay region of Alaska. The Pebble project could reap billions in gold and copper ... but at a potentially greater price, namely the largest wild salmon fishery in the world. For more context, click to see the Red Gold Trailer by our friends at Felt Soul Media ... or the efforts of Trout Unlimited to save Bristol Bay.
Yesterday, I got a note from Scott Hed of the Sportsman's Alliance for Alaska explaining how the issue is quickly expanding beyond the Pebble site, as other mining interests ramp up development efforts in the area.
In a nutshell, this year will be critical in determining the future of mining v. fishing in Alaska, and possibly beyond. Hed explained: "If the Clean Water Initiative passes in Alaska (assuming it survives an Alaska Supreme Court review) this fall, these (mines) will all be very difficult to move forward. However, it’s now become much more than stopping Pebble Mine. We really need to rally the world of hunting and angling – individuals, conservation groups, businesses, etc."
That's where you can help. You should look into the matter, encourage your friends to do so, and weigh in, now, on what I believe to be the most pressing issue concerning fishery conservation in the world. One way to do so, is to E-mail Alaska's governor, Sarah Palin, expressing your desire that some of the last great wild fisheries on the planet be protected, at all costs. E-mail Governor Palin