The story the Alaska Dispatch News reprinted, “Internal memos spur accusations of bias as EPA moves to block Pebble Mine,” (Feb. 16) from the Washington Post’s recent story on the proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska’s Bristol Bay region doesn’t just omit some key facts — it fails to report the most relevant facts in telling the whole story.
For over a decade, Bristol Bay’s residents have battled Northern Dynasty to prevent hard rock metallic sulfide mines like Pebble from being developed — not in their backyards, but in their front yards. The reason is simple: we must protect the most important renewable natural resource upon which we and almost everything else here depends — wild salmon.
Annual returns of wild salmon support an economic powerhouse which provides 14,000 sustainable jobs and an industry valued at $1.5 billion. Our salmon feeds the world, with 51 percent of global sockeye salmon coming from Bristol Bay. In addition to the commercial fishery, our Alaska Native cultures have sustained themselves for generations on the salmon that return each summer to spawn. Sport anglers from across the globe travel to Bristol Bay for a small piece of its bounty.
These facts add up to an indisputable truth: Bristol Bay is a unique and valuable treasure that cannot be put at risk.