Alaska’s great Bristol Bay, home to the nation’s greatest salmon fishery. will be off-limits to oil and gas leasing under a decision announced late Tuesday by President Obama.
The resource of Bristol Bay is “too precious to be put out to the highest bidder,” said the President. The Obama order applies to the bay, and not to the multi-billion-dollar proposed Pebble Mine, which would be located between two of Bristol Bay’s most productive salmon spawning streams.
“This action safeguards one of the nation’s most productive fisheries and preserves an ecologically rich area of the Bering Sea off the coast of Alaska that is vital to the fishing and tourism economy and to native communities,” said the President.
The news was applauded by Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., a longtime opponent of both oil and gas leasing in Bristol Bay, and a critic who helped persuade the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to study impacts of the Pebble Mine.
“This decision affirms that we will not put fishing jobs at risk in the home of the nation’s most productive commercial fishery,” said Cantwell.
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