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.
As an Alaskan and one of the 14,000 people who make my living in Bristol Bay, I’m troubled by the actions of many of our state’s leaders, including the words printed here by former Governor Frank Murkowski last week. His attacks on the EPA’s watershed assessment of the region are inaccurate and gratuitous. It’s a clear cut issue: our state government simply will not protect Bristol Bay, so the tribes and fishermen in the region asked EPA to step in. But more on that later on.
Over the last several years, state leaders have allowed the two foreign mining companies that make up the Pebble Partnership to string the people of Alaska along, teasing us with promises of a mine plan that will be “released next year.” Well, next year has yet to come and this scenario has forced communities and small businesses like mine to operate in the shadow of what might become America’s largest open pit mine for almost a decade. I am out of patience with having to make day-to-day business decisions without having answers about Pebble. Businesses thrive under market certainty.
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