Nearly 50 lodge and business owners in Bristol Bay are expressing their continued support of EPA’s scientific assessment of Bristol Bay in a letter addressed to the President, Alaska’s delegation and others. In part, the letter (attached) states:
“We commend the EPA for being the neutral third party evaluating the impacts that large-scale mining could have on the region in a fair and balanced way. By using Pebble’s own publically available plans on file with both the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, you demonstrate that you are taking a balanced approach by basing the study on the mining industries own proposals and not ‘fantasy’ plans pulled out of thin air.”
The group’s businesses, employees and service providers would be directly affected if Pebble mine is developed. They are part of 134 Alaska-based hunting and angling businesses that have already asked the Obama Administration to use the Clean Water Act to protect Bristol Bay along with over 800 other hunting and fishing businesses from across the country, thousands of commercial fishermen, and a majority of Bristol Bay residents who oppose Pebble Mine.
“It’s not too often you see folks from the recreation, commercial and subsistence communities come together like this. But in the case of Pebble, and the demonstrated impacts it would have on the fishery, it’s a no brainer. For anyone who depends on the fish in Bristol Bay, the Clean Water Act action is necessary to protect our livelihoods and it doesn’t matter if you fish with a rod and reel or a net,” said Nanci Morris Lyon, a long time resident of King Salmon who owns and operates Bear Trail Lodge. “Those of us who live out here and depend upon the fishery resources do not want to squash development opportunity, we just want any new development to proceed responsibly and within parameters that will give our resource protection.”
EPA is currently wrapping up its 2nd public comment period and is expected to release its final report on the impacts of large-scale mining in Bristol Bay later in 2013.