The Washington State Council of FFI is very interested in the Pebble Mine in Alaska. For many years our members and council directors have been concerned with the mine proposal and our concern is growing. It appears that a decision could happen either this year 2020 or in early 2021. Trout Unlimited is leading opposition to the mine and is providing a wealth of information on the risks it poses to the Bristol Bay fishery and the environment of Southwest Alaska. Highlights of the mine plan and key reasons for concern include:
- This will be the largest mine in the USA.
- Mine developers propose building a road over 100 miles long to haul minerals and mine waste. The road to a new deep-water port on Cook Inlet would cross Lake Illamna and cross more than 200 salmon streams including the famed Upper Talark Creek and Gibralter River. This is a proposed heavy haul road for large industrial vehicles, not ordinary ½-ton pickup trucks. Building the road alone will have a wide-ranging environmental impact on hundreds of salmon streams.
- The proposed mine also would require construction of a 188-mile pipeline from new natural gas facility on the Kenai Peninsula.
- The mine would be located at the headwaters of the Kvichak and Nushagak Rivers which empty into Bristol Bay.
- The risk of building this mine is not worth the possible loss of an important fishery habitat and broad damage to the environment?
I could go on and on with information about the impact of this proposed mine. I suggest everyone go to www.savebristolbay.org to learn more. Click the link to “Get the Facts” and you will be busy for hours learning more about the mine and the threat it poses to Bristol Bay.