Pebble, drugs, fish top news for 2014

As the wide-ranging region covered by the Bristol Bay Times-Dutch Harbor Fisherman starts the New Year, many long-term issues continued to dominate the region’s news in 2014. The proposed Pebble Mine has lost funders, but is no less in the limelight following action by the federal Environmental Protection Agency that drew state and national attention. Crime and drug use continue to dog the rural communities throughout the region, with some communities pledging to fight back. And fish, the vital economic engine for the entire region, continue to find the spotlight as, in some fisheries, numbers climb and prices drop. Here is a look back at some of the top stories from 2014.
EPA takes action against Pebble prospect development
By far one of the largest stories of the year, not only for the Bristol Bay region but for Alaska, too, was the debate over the Environmental Protection Agency action concerning the proposed Pebble Mine.
In January, the federal agency released a report years in the making saying a mine the size of the proposed gold, copper and molybdenum mine in the headwaters of the Bristol Bay fishery could have “devastating environmental consequences” to the fishery.
The report found that the proposed mine could cause the direct loss of up to 94 miles of salmon-supporting streams, and the destruction of 5,350 acres of wetlands, ponds and lakes in the region. 
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