Pebble Mine has been a threat to Bristol Bay’s water, fish and wildlife, and more for many years.
After a multi-year permit review process for the proposed Pebble Mine slated for the headwaters of Bristol Bay, the key federal permit for the mine was denied by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in November 2020. Leading up to the decision, hunters, anglers, commercial fishermen, Tribes, scientists, legal experts and fish advocates nationwide weighed in for well over 2 decades, loudly and clearly saying “no” to the proposed mine that threatened a $1.5 billion fishing economy, 15,000 fish-based jobs, and thriving and vibrant Alaska Native cultures. In its Record of Decision, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers denied Pebble the permit on the grounds that it violated Clean Water Act standards and “was contrary to public opinion.”
Despite the permit denial, Pebble is still a threat, and Bristol Bay is not safe yet. As of January 2021, the Pebble Limited Partnership (as well as the State of Alaska) filed an administrative appeal with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in attempts to overturn the permit decision. Until there are permanent protections in place for the fish, people, and fish-based economies of Bristol Bay, the region is a target for Pebble and the hard rock mining industry looking to develop the copper and gold deposit.
Trout Unlimited Alaska, with partners and supporters, is entering a new chapter to ensure that Bristol Bay has the safeguards it needs and deserves. In 2021, the Save Bristol Bay campaign will work to ensure that the region has permanent, durable and community-supported protections so that Pebble Mine – or any other mining company – can’t come back in the future. Just as it took the entire hunting and fishing community in Alaska and beyond to stop the permit from being granted, advocates for clean water and healthy habitat in Bristol Bay will be needed once again to speak up for these protections. Take action today by telling your elected officials to support permanent protections for the region at www.savebristolbay.org/take-action