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« Roanoke Named One of Most Endangered Rivers Because of Uranium Mining | Main | »

Pebble Mine Still Threatens America's Last Great Wild Fishery

Although public opposition to the Pebble Mine in the Bristol Bay area of Alaska is tremendous, it still poses a threat to one of the world’s best salmon and rainbow trout fisheries.

Scott Hed of the Sportsman’s Alliance for Alaska says this:

“This is not just Alaska’s issue.  It is not just a commercial fishing or sportfishing issue.  This is about America’s last great wild fishery.   If we falter here, we will have laid down our rods at the feet of a multi-national corporation.  We will have turned an industry with a long history of destroying fisheries loose in a place that provides 40 percent of the wild salmon the world eats. 

“As fishermen we will have abandoned one of the last places that is hatchery-free, with runs averaging 40 million salmon a year. 

“If you fish and have not heard of Pebble, you may have been under a rock.  It is a proposal for the largest hard rock gold and copper mine in North America, bringing with it all the pollution risk and water consumption that comes with mining at this scale.

“It would sit at the headwaters of the largest salmon fishery in the world, a place where you can catch five types of salmon, rainbows, Dollies, char, northern pike, lake trout and grayling.  Its sport fishing industry brings in $100 million a year; its commercial fisheries are worth $400 million each year. Together they provide jobs for more than 12,000 people.”

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Reader Comments (1)

Sorry but I'd rather have the gold and the copper. As far as the fish go there are plenty of other fish, they don't have to be wild, and even if run unsoundly the mine is unlikely to kill ALL the wild run. Financially perhaps some government needs to tax the mine to provide compensation in case those who fish in fact lose part of their livelihood.

As to the emotional issue (others might call it moral or spiritual, I'm not trying to be pejorative here, just to make a distinction) I appreciate that wild salmon are symbolically important to many. When all of God’s children have three squares, health, an education, and a future, then I’ll go for walling off a resource to satisfy people’s consciences. Not before.

May 22, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjohn werneken

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