Another mine casts a shadow over Bristol Bay

Fight to protect watershed continues

Jul 26, 2017

 

Photo by Luke Strickland.

Nunamta Aulukestai and United Tribes of Bristol Bay appealed a land use permit today after the State of Alaska handed another mining company a free pass to do exploration work. Yet another mine casts a shadow over Bristol Bay.

The appeal asserts that the permit for the proposed Groundhog mine lacks adequate protections, despite the mess left by the Pebble project during over a decade of exploration drilling. The Alaska Department of Natural Resources issued the permit to Chuchuna Minerals Co. earlier this month.

Today’s appeal seeks protections for the Bristol Bay watershed and fisheries. It requests amendments to the permit, such as prohibiting discharges onto the tundra.  Read the press release to learn more.

Record salmon runs show Bristol Bay’s true value

Photo by Dr. Carol Ann Woody.

“We had a record sockeye run this year and fish prices are at an all-time high,” said Alannah Hurley, executive director of UTBB. Hurley recently returned from her set net camp in Bristol Bay. “Yet, once again, the people of Bristol Bay have to turn our attention away from our salmon and focus on the prospect of mining in our backyards.”

UTBB and Nunamta vowed to fight any activity that threatens Bristol Bay fish. Their effort includes opposing the proposed Pebble mine. Currently, that fight includes a call for public comments to the EPA to demand that it protect Bristol Bay.

Multiple threats to a vital Alaska region

An Environmental Protection Agency watershed assessment determined that mining would be destructive to the area’s fisheries. The Groundhog project is another mining threat to the region, which already faces a big fight against the Pebble mine.

“Outsiders looking for profits make promises when they come to Bristol Bay,” said Myrtice Evalt, interim executive director for Nunamta Aulukestai. “They flash around money and say they can make our communities better. We already know what makes Bristol Bay better, and that’s salmon. Right now we want the state to do the right thing and protect Bristol Bay.”

 

Nunamta Aulukestai is a coalition of Alaska Native Village Corporations and tribes in the Bristol Bay region dedicated to protecting the Bristol Bay watershed from unsustainable development.

The United Tribes of Bristol Bay (UTBB) is a tribal consortium representing 14 Bristol Bay tribes working to protect the Yup’ik, Denai’na, and Alutiq way of life in Bristol Bay.

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