Last week, the Trump administration rejected a permit request to develop a copper and gold mine in Alaska’s Bristol Bay region, ensuring the future of the world’s largest remaining wild salmon spawning grounds, which delivered a remarkable victory to sportsmen and women and conservation.
Previously, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) requested the Pebble Limited Partnership -the company behind the effort – to develop a plan to mitigate the adverse impacts associated with mine discharge to the sensitive Bristol Bay region. This impact mitigation plan request ultimately became a roadblock that put an end to the federal permitting process required to proceed with development of the mine as the company could not meet the standards required to mitigate the mining related damages.
The ACOE request -which was submitted in the form of a letter dated August 20 – came one 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. Prior to the ACOE request in August, 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 one of the most productive commercial, subsistence, and recreational fisheries in the world. More than 40 million salmon return to this fishery every year to spawn, making it particularly unique. Currently, the Bristol Bay fishery is a $1.5 billion industry supporting over 14,000 jobs. Once thought to be near certain, the permit denial by the Army Corps of Engineers marks a significant victory for the entire outdoor sporting community and conservation.
The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation and partners applaud this monumental victory that ensures 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?