Ever since the Alaska Department of Natural Resources (DNR) updated its Bristol Bay Area Plan for land use management in 2005, there has been debate about what should and should not be considered the best use of the land. And as the proposed Pebble Mine became clearer in scope, some Bristol Bay residents became more and more concerned about what the plan's revisions were designed to accomplish.
JUNEAU — Build-out of a large-scale mine near the headwaters of a world-class salmon fishery in Alaska could wipe out as many as 90 miles of streams and alter stream flows, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said in a revised assessment released Friday.
The firm hired by the Pebble Partnership to review the company's substantial environmental baseline studies will hold a second set of independent science panels starting May 6. The panels will be held in Anchorage, and will be filmed and broadcast via web-stream live. Remote participants can submit questions and comments by email during the event.
Pebble Mine is the common name of a mineral exploration project investigating a very large porphyry copper, gold, and molybdenum mineral deposit in the Bristol Bay region of Southwest Alaska. This area is also the watershed to the world's largest run of sockeye salmon. Visit the Commercial Fishermen for Bristol Bay site to learn more about how this potential mine will affect fishing habitat in perpetuity.
The Environmental Protection Agency released its second draft assessment of the Bristol Bay watershed and is accepting comments until June 30. Submit your comments at the Commercial Fishermen for Bristol Bay site (includes suggested comments) or directly to the EPA.
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If there's one thing salesmen know, it's the abiding faith that if they say something over and over again, that it will become true (at least in terms of public perception). So it's no wonder that the Pebble Partnership has spent millions of dollars on advertising and lobbying to convince us that there is no plan to mine in Bristol Bay. Sadly, Alaska's own Governor Sean Parnell has bought in, repeating this same tired rhetoric just this week at the world-famous Boston Seafood Show which he attends to represent the state of Alaska and our seafood industry.
Not long before U.S. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson resigned from President Obama's cabinet, it was revealed she spent years using a secret e-mail account to conduct official business. Under pressure, the agency has started releasing those e-mails, which provide a glimpse into how top officials at the agency worked to outmaneuver lawmakers and the press. But I found one of Jackson's e-mails particularly astounding and hypocritical, given the agency's apparent obsession with politics and PR spin.
While Alaska may host a wide variety of people, thoughts and ideas, I think we can all agree that salmon are an important part of calling this great state home. Whether in our belly, on the end of our line or in our net, salmon feed us, provide jobs and support a multi-billion dollar a year economy. Our salmon are iconic.
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National Fisherman Live: 11/06/14
In this episode:
NOAA report touts 2013 landings, value increases
Panama fines GM salmon company Aquabounty
Gulf council passes Reef Fish Amendment 40
Maine elver quota cut by 2,000 pounds
Offshore mussel farm would be East Coast’s first
NOAA and its fellow Natural Resource Damage Assessment trustees in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill have announced the signing of a formal Record of Decision to implement a gulf restoration plan. The 44 projects, totaling an estimated $627 million, will restore barrier islands, shorelines, dunes, underwater grasses and oyster beds.