More than 18,000 Earthjustice supporters spoke out to save Bristol Bay — one of the last places in the world with bountiful, sustainable harvests of wild salmon — during a recent public comment period. Here's what they said:
“I do not want to sacrifice this last bit of unspoiled earth and our planet for corporate profits.”
“Say no to greed and say yes to a sustainable fishery in Bristol Bay. Large earthen dams have no place in the heart of earthquake country where contamination will destroy fish and fowl. We need to start choosing more wisely before we destroy that which cannot be repaired or mended.”
“As a retired Deputy Director of the Alaska Department of Fish & Game's Fish and Wildlife Habitat Division, I know first-hand the renewable natural resource values of the Bristol Bay region. The mining industry likes to claim that they can take mitigation measures which will prevent such damage, but history demonstrates time and time again that sooner or later, mitigation fails to achieve the renewable resource protection promised. If ever there was a project that your agency should flat out deny, this mine is it.”
“As a life-long Alaskan, who has lived and worked in Bristol Bay communities, I oppose the Pebble Mine. It is too big, with too many uncertainties, and too many threats to the sustainable fisheries that are the lifeblood of Bristol Bay.”
“I urge you to take into account the pricelessness of a pristine Bristol Bay watershed and the renewable resources it has provided for thousands of years, and will provide into the distant future if protected. A recent study by the University of Washington shows how important complete and intact watersheds are to rearing juvenile salmon.”
What was this Action Alert about? These comments were submitted to the Army Corps of Engineers in early 2019 during the comment period on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Pebble Mine. They joined 18,463 other comments from members of the public.
The Draft EIS is the central document that analyzes impacts from Pebble Mine and will be used by state and federal agencies as they consider granting Pebble’s Clean Water Act Section 404 permit.
What happens next? The Army Corps reviewed and considered the public comments. On Nov. 25, 2020, the agency denied a key permit for Pebble Mine, highlighting many of the concerns that opponents to the project, including Earthjustice, pointed out all along. The decision should be a death knell for Pebble Mine.
The threat of Pebble Mine has loomed over Bristol Bay for more than a decade, and Earthjustice continues to keep close watch on threats to the region. Earthjustice supporters have spoken up during public comment periods for years, at each step of the fight to save Bristol Bay.
Join us to be alerted of the next opportunity to add your voice. Learn more about Bristol Bay and Pebble Mine.
Alongside our partners and clients, Earthjustice's Alaska-based attorneys are committed to representing those who oppose unlawful and ill-advised mining in the vast expanse of Alaska and British Columbia.
Sockeye salmon in the Bristol Bay watershed. (Ben Knight / Trout Unlimited)