Bristol Bay commercial fishermen have launched two new campaigns against the proposed Pebble mine, which would extract copper, gold and molybdenum from land abutting the Bristol Bay watershed.
Mine proponents have repeatedly said they can extract the minerals with no harm to the waters, which are home to the world’s largest run of wild sockeye sockman. Mine opponents strongly disagree.
The Bristol Bay Action Now campaign is a new 501(c4) initiative calling for finalization of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Water Act “veto” authority to stop the mine and to establish enduring protections and investments in a sustainable future for the region through legislation. Longtime Bristol Bay leaders Robin Samuelsen, AlexAnna Salmon, Katherine Carscellen and Brian Kraft would serve as lead advisors for the initiative.
Carscallen said she was surprised when a delay was announced in the timeline requested to provide permanent protections for Bristol Bay. She said she could think of no legal reasons why the Biden Administration could not proceed on the timeline requested by mine opponents and that she was hopeful at this point that they would do so by this summer.
In a joint effort with the Bristol Bay Defense Fund coalition, Bristol Bay Action Now released a new television ad as the first part of a six-figure ad buy highlighting broad support for the dual track approach to protect Bristol Bay. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-50zJOl5Se4)
Also launched on Tuesday, Feb. 22, was Alaskans for Bristol Bay Action, which is committed to holding accountable politicians who refuse to stand with lasting protections for Bristol Bay that they claim the majority of Alaskans want.
“This organization is about supporting those champions who are fighting to end the threat of Pebble Mine and holding those people accountable who are ignoring Alaskans and refusing to do the right thing for the region, Indigenous Peoples, fishermen and our economy,” said former Alaska State Senate President Rick Halford, who has a home in Bristol Bay.