“Trout Unlimited announced they are suing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over its decision to withdraw protections for Bristol Bay, paving the way for the destructive Pebble mine. We stand behind Trout Unlimited and fishing business owners who are suing the EPA for their wrongful withdrawal of upfront protections for the rich natural resources of the Bristol Bay region from the Pebble mine.
The Proposed Determination was released in July 2014 after the EPA extensively analyzed the Bristol Bay Watershed and the effects of large-scale mining in the Pebble deposit area. Tribes, communities, fishermen and businesses of Bristol Bay requested the EPA undergo the process, and the Agency conducted a three-year, twice-peer reviewed scientific assessment to reach their findings. Over 1.5 million comments were submitted across the country on the proposal, 85.9% of which were in support of strong protections for Bristol Bay.
The protections in the Proposed Determination are the reason most people thought the Pebble mine was dead. Now, those protections are gone.”
Why is the sport fishing community so dedicated to protecting Bristol Bay?
- Bristol Bay is a world-class fishery unlike anywhere else on the planet. Not only does the region host all 5 species of Pacific salmon, but streams are full of massive rainbow trout, dolly varden, arctic char, arctic grayling, and more. Bristol Bay is a bucket list fishing destination for anglers from across the globe.
- The Pacific Northwest shows us what happens when upstream development occurs in salmon regions. Once these salmon fisheries are damaged, they never fully come back. With Bristol Bay, all we have to do is have the common sense to leave this place alone.
- The sportfishing and recreational fishing industry in Bristol Bay is a powerhouse and growing. The recreational fishery adds nearly $60 million to the local economy and over 1,000 annual jobs. This can continue to grow when the fishery is reserved.
- Trout Unlimited has been a leader in this fight from the beginning. Nearly two decades ago, TU stood behind Native Tribes and commercial fishermen for a united front against Pebble. To this day, TU is a leader in the national campaign to save Bristol Bay, and actively works to ensure elected officials hear from sportsmen and women nationwide that this is an issue is important and transcends political boundaries.
What can the community do to support the lawsuit?
- Donate to the campaign to protect Bristol Bay: Lawsuits are expensive, but Trout Unlimited and sportsmen and women around the country will not allow greed to compromise the most important salmon fishery on the planet. Someone needs to stand up to poor decision-making and call out the EPA for this action. Your gift can support this important work.
- Contact your senators. Ask them to do everything they can to stop Pebble. Congressional action will come in to play later this fall and winter- they need to be primed and educated by anglers from their home districts that people across the country care about Bristol Bay.
You can follow along with updates and developments here.