|From Backcountry Hunters & Anglers:|
MISSOULA, Mont. – A massive industrial mine proposed in Southeast Alaska’s Bristol Bay was rejected by the Trump administration today, representing a decisive interdiction for the highly controversial Pebble Mine. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers cited the project’s noncompliance with the Clean Water Act in announcing its decision following recent concerns about Pebble’s plans to mitigate pollution.
Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, which along with more than 1 million hunters and anglers, businesses and Alaskans opposes development of Pebble Mine, welcomed the Army Corps’ action.
“Bristol Bay is the single most important and productive salmon fishery in the world,” said BHA Conservation Director John Gale. “Our hunting and fishing traditions are anchored in places like Southeast Alaska, and these lands and waters are critical resources for which we have a shared obligation of stewardship. From cultural values vital to Alaska Natives to the fish and wildlife that fill the bucket lists of sportsmen and women across North America, Bristol Bay is a special watershed like no other.
“Hunters, anglers, commercial fishermen and communities across Alaska agree that the consequences of developing Pebble Mine would be ruinous,” Gale continued. “The Army Corps of Engineers’ rejection of Pebble Mine’s permit application puts science over politics and is a critical acknowledgement by the administration that this is simply an irresponsible mine in the worst possible place. We now call on the Environmental Protection Agency to permanently protect Bristol Bay by using section 404c of the Clean Water Act to veto mining there once and for all.”
Sportsmen and women in Alaska and beyond dream of fishing Bristol Bay’s wild rivers, which support the world’s largest remaining wild salmon fishery (and more than 14,000 jobs), 35 fish species (including all five species of Pacific salmon) and nearly half of all wild sockeye populations. The Bristol Bay region fuels a robust hunting industry and provides undisturbed habitat for moose, caribou, black bear and large populations of migratory waterfowl. The rich cultural resources Alaska Native communities have fought to protect in addition to fish and wildlife values also mark Bristol Bay as a critical landscape that shouldn’t be developed for any price.
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