Educate Yourself about Pebble Mine

Written by: Eric Rickstad


The largest run of wild sockeye salmon in the world is just one of the natural wonders threatened by the proposed Pebble Mine.

Ever since the Environmental Protection Agency announced that it would assess the Bristol Bay watershed to understand how future large-scale development may affect water quality and the bay’s salmon fishery, opponents of the proposed Pebble mine project have cranked up the pressure on elected officials to get behind the EPA’s effort. If you haven’t already, please take the time to send an email to your state’s members in Congress, asking them to support the effort.

For those who haven’t been following the Pebble Mine debate since it first entered the angling-public consciousness in 2007, here are some links to get you up to speed and to help deepen your understanding of the complex issues involved in the battle.

The Big Picture:

1. The Orvis “Stop Pebble Mine” page features an excellent overview by Eric Rickstad that covers the potential threats to the ecosystem. 

2. For a more comprehensive look at the debate, read Edwin Dobb’s excellent article, “Alaska’s Choice: Salmon or Gold,” which appeared in the December 2010 issue of National Geographic

The Mining Companies:

1. Northern Dynasty is the Vancouver, British Columbia-based mineral exploration and development company whose major holding is the rights to the Pebble land.

2. The Pebble Partnership is the website for the mining company, shared 50-50 by Northern Dynasty and Anglo American, focused on Pebble mine. 

3.Anglo American’s Track Record: Rhetoric or Reality?” (PDF) is a meticulously researched look at the safety record of London-based Anglo American, one of the main partners in the mining project. It’s a sobering look at the damage mining toxins can do, and it’s a reminder that no one can guarantee the safety of such large-scale operations.

The Opponents:

1. Save Bristol Bay is the Trout Unlimited site devoted to opposing Pebble. It contains news, information, and frequent updates.

2. The Renewable Resources Coalition site features a “Facts & Research” section with maps, plans, and descriptions of the water, proposed dams, and hydrology that make Pebble so dangerous. And check out Tim Bristol’s great profile of Brian Kraft, owner of Alaska Sportsmen’s Lodge and one of RRC’s board members, which appeared in a 2007 issue of American Angler.

3. Sportsman’s Alliance for Alaska is an organization dedicated to preserving Alaska’s public lands.

4. Bristol Bay Alliance is a group of fishermen, business owners, and local citizens working to help ensure that the people who live, work, and play in the Bristol Bay region have the most influential voice of any group regarding the future of their land and waters.

5. Stop Pebble Mine features an up-to-date news ticker and a weekly profile of someone who will be adversely affected by the proposed mine.

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