Last week the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee held a hearing on the proposed Pebble mine. It couldn't have been scheduled at a worse time. Everyone in Bristol Bay is busy filling their nets, smokehouses and freezers with salmon for personal use, and trying to fill bank accounts with money made from catching salmon.

Despite the terrible timing, I was honored to be invited to testify and made time to go to Washington, D.C. After all, our region depends on this fishery for our lives and livelihoods.

To many members of the committee, Bristol Bay is a far-off place they only know about because Pebble wants to build a mine there. But to me, and to others in the region, the Bay is our home, and we must be ready for the 46 million salmon headed our way, or miss out on an entire year's worth of benefits.

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