For years now, anglers and hunters from around the nation have been keeping an eye on the proposed copper mine in Bristol Bay, Alaska, and now they are heading to Washington, D.C. to tell our nation’s decision makers how important of a resource this area is for our sports.
The Save Bristol Bay coalition is organizing a sportsmen’s summit in Washington starting today, April 16, meetings with Members of Congress and President Obama’s Administration to try to shut down the Pebble Mine development. This comes on the heels of a letter that was signed by 17 leaders in the sporting community and 500 groups urging the Environmental Protection Agency to “proactively fulfill its mission to protect the environment and human health in Bristol Bay, AK by using its authority under Clean Water Act Section 404(c) to withdraw waters and wetlands in the headwaters of the Bristol Bay watershed from future specification as disposal sites for dredge and fill activity associated with mining operations.”
In all, individuals from 17 states will take part in the summit, and they are hoping this diverse group lead to positive change for Bristol Bay.
“In just a few weeks, the EPA will be releasing a draft of its Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment,” said Scott Hed, Director of Sportsman’s Alliance for Alaska. “This scientific assessment will guide future decisions about large-scale mining and other industrial development in the Bristol Bay region. If the EPA finds that disposal of waste from the mine would adversely harm the surrounding clean waters or natural resources, the EPA can deny or place restrictions on a required dredge and fill permit. If warranted, we hope the Obama Administration would take that step to protect Bristol Bay.”
We’ll keep an eye on the Pebble Mine issues, and let you know about the developments.