August 24, 2020

CSF Efforts Slow Down Unprecedented Threat to World’s Largest Salmon Fishery

Earlier today, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) requested the Pebble Limited Partnership, the company behind an effort to develop a copper and gold mine in Alaska’s Bristol Bay region, to develop a plan to mitigate the damages associated from discharges and other adverse impacts to the sensitive Bristol Bay region, a roadblock that may impede and potentially put an end to the federal permitting process required to proceed with development of the mine.

The ACOE request, which was submitted in the form of a letter dated August 20, comes a day after the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) and leading outdoor retailers, conservation partners, and outdoor trade organizations led an effort in the Wall Street Journal urging the President to stop the proposed multi-resource Pebble Mine. Earlier this summer, CSF and more than 20 partners sent a letter to the President calling for the protection of Alaska’s Bristol Bay, home to one of the globe’s largest salmon runs and also home to one of the most productive commercial, subsistence, and recreational fisheries in the world. The fishery is where more than 40 million salmon return every year to spawn. Currently, the Bristol Bay fishery is a $1.5 billion industry supporting over 14,000 jobs

Pebble Limited Partnership has applied to develop an open pit mine at a site known as the “Pebble deposit” that, according to the application, would be in operation for a total of 20 years, mine a total of 1.4 billion tons of materials, and consist of pit dimensions of 6,800 feet in length, 5,600 feet in width, and 1,970 feet in depth.

Specifically, the ACOE letter states “that discharges at the mine site would cause unavoidable adverse impacts to aquatic resources and, preliminarily, that those adverse impacts would result in significant degradation to those aquatic resources. Therefore, the District has determined that in-kind compensatory mitigation within the Koktuli River Watershed will be required to compensate for all direct and indirect impacts caused by discharges into aquatic resources at the mine site.”

The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation continues to closely monitor the proposed mine to ensure this incredible fishery is protected for future generations of sportsmen and women to enjoy.

Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?

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