Dwayne Meadows TU’s Bristol Bay Outreach Coordinator wrote up the following:
It’s that time of year when fall fishing invades the brain and we contemplate the bays that are loading with kings and the dry country rivers slowly filling up with steel. But, we’ve got another great fall opportunity for you: the Save Bristol Bay Road Show.
The Save Bristol Bay campaign – working to protect America’s largest wild salmon fishery in Bristol Bay, Alaska – is hitting the road to six cities: Seattle, Portland, Corvallis, San Francisco, Santa Fe and Denver. We’re asking you to join us for a free evening with wild Bristol Bay Salmon bites, local drink, and a screening of the award-winning film ‘Red Gold,’ about the people who rely on the natural riches of Bristol Bay. We’ll have a panel discussion with fishermen, seafood processors and Alaska Natives on how we can move forward to stop Pebble Mine. You might even be lucky enough to win a raffle for some cool gear.
Up to 60 million wild sockeye salmon return every year to Bristol Bay, and the trophy fishing draws anglers from all over the world. Bristol Bay’s clean waters and vast fisheries are threatened by the Pebble Mine, a proposed copper and gold mine at the headwaters of the largest salmon fishery in the world. Bristol Bay is that special place where you can catch five types of salmon, plus rainbows, Dolly’s, char, northern pike, lake trout and grayling. It is home to a $100 million-a-year sportfishing industry and a $400 million-a-year commercial fishery. In Washington and Oregon alone, fishermen bought over 45,000 Alaska fishing licenses in 2010, and we own more than 900 commercial fishing permits in Bristol Bay.
Covering a footprint of approximately 150 square miles, including an open pit crater more than 1700 feet deep, Pebble Mine will be the largest hard rock mine in North America. With it will come massive ponds with 700-foot high earthen dams to store the waste, bringing all the pollution risks and water consumption that comes with mining at this massive scale.
Protecting Bristol Bay from the Pebble Mine is a Big Issue. In fact, it’s the conservation issue of our time. If we falter here, we will have laid down our rods at the feet of a multi-national corporation with a poor track record of pollution. We will have risked a place that provides 40% of the wild sockeye the world eats. As fishermen we will have accepted that one of the last places that is dam and hatchery-free, with runs averaging 40 million salmon a year, is worth risking.
Well, it’s not worth those risks and we need everyone’s help to protect this special place. So, if you’ve already signed a petition, or made a contribution or friended Save Bristol Bay on Facebook, thank you. Now, please join us at the Save Bristol Bay Road Show stop nearest to you and bring some friends. Remember, it’s free.
For more dates and locations, please visit: www.savebristolbay.org/roadshow