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Taryn Kiekow Heimer’s Blog

Near Unanimous Opposition to Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay

Taryn Kiekow Heimer

Posted September 19, 2013 in Moving Beyond Oil, Saving Wildlife and Wild Places

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Pebble Mine, a giant gold and copper mine proposed at the headwaters of the world’s greatest wild salmon fishery, would threaten Bristol Bay’s world-class salmon runs that are the economic, cultural and ecological linchpin of the region.  So it’s no surprise that the people who know Bristol Bay the best – and care about it the most – oppose Pebble Mine.  An overwhelming majority – a stunning 98 percent – of comments from the Bristol Bay region on EPA’s Watershed Assessment said NO to Pebble Mine.    

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That is a powerful show of unanimity against a terrible project that threatens the lifeblood of the region: salmon.

As the Anchorage Daily News reported yesterday, “Salmon has been a way of life on the Kvichak River and Lake Iliamna since the first human stared in wonder at the returning horde. Village life revolved around the coming of the fish. Sure enough, in the past, men have been greedy and damaged the run. But the salmon overcame these mistakes and came back in numbers. The run is healthy now…However, once the mining jobs and the associated supply businesses take over the area, [the] people and their way of life would be gone. Already the Internet and the X-box have made inroads on the young people. In spite of that, they always come to fish during the short summer season. There would be no summer season for the kids if they have day jobs. [Residents] can see that. The 20-year cycle of the mine would remove them from their way of life and their culture. There could be no return to the past.”

For Bristol Bay residents, commitment to a sustainble and livable future serves a powerful impetus to protect this natural gem from the catastrophic effects of proposed large scale mining.  Please stand united with those who have the most to lose and tell EPA to Stop the Pebble Mine.

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Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit NRDC.org.

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