Make Your Voice Heard on Bristol Bay

The Environmental Protection Agency has released its historic scientific assessment of Bristol Bay, Alaska and its watershed. Sportsmen’s conservation groups from across the spectrum have united in support of this assessment and vowed to protect the region from the proposed Pebble Mine. This mine would be the largest open pit mine in North America and could potentially damage the largest sockeye salmon run in the world.

The EPA’s assessment concludes:
 The commercial fishery and other natural resource-related industries around Bristol Bay provide at least 14,000 full and part-time jobs, while contributing $480 million to the economy every year.
Even at its smallest possible size, Pebble Mine would eradicate dozens of miles of salmon streams and thousands of acres of wetlands.
 Evidence from other large mines suggest that “at least one or more accidents or failures could occur, potentially resulting in immediate, severe impacts on salmon and detrimental, long-term impacts on salmon habitat.”

The Bull Moose Sportsmen’s Alliance is one of the more than five hundred hunting and angling groups from across the country fighting to protect Bristol Bay. You can add your voice to the movement to save Bristol Bay by commenting on the EPA’s watershed assessment and voicing your support for the Bay!

ENTER TO WIN A FISHING TRIP TO BRISTOL BAY HERE

Here are several ways you can send in comments:

  • Submit online at: www.regulations.gov.  Specify Docket #EPA-HQ-ORD-2013-0189. This is the preferred method.  The link above takes you directly to the docket. Just click on the blue “Comment Now” button.  It is okay to leave the organization field blank. Documents can be attached to your comment.
  • Send an email to ORD.Docket@epa.gov. Include EPA-HQ-ORD-2013-0189 in the subject line.
  • Fax them to (202) 566-9744. Include EPA-HQ-ORD-2013-0189 in the subject line.
  • Send a letter to EPA Bristol Bay docket at:

Office of Environmental Information
(Mail Code: 28221T)
Docket #EPA-HQ-ORD-2013-0189
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Washington, DC  20460

TEMPLATE LETTER TO EPA

(You may also send a personalized letter)

Conserve Bristol Bay: Docket #EPA-HQ-ORD-2013-0189.

Dear XXXX,

I am writing on behalf of myself and the Bull Moose Sportsmen’s Alliance to commend the EPA for the diligent work, transparent process and extensive scientific review in evaluating the potentially destructive impacts of large-scale mining in the Bristol Bay, Alaska region through its Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment.

Your report makes clear that we cannot wait any longer to protect Bristol Bay’s natural resources, Native peoples, commercial fishing jobs and industry, and tremendous recreational opportunities from the unavoidable consequences of mega-scale mining.  Bristol Bay and its healthy sockeye fishery supports 14,000 jobs across multiple industries and generates more than $1 billion in revenue and value every year. It also supplies nearly half of the global supply of sockeye salmon. Beyond numbers, one cannot fully quantify the experience of sport fishing and hunting in Bristol Bay – and EPA rightly acknowledges that reality, especially in Appendix E, where you explore passive use values and the aesthetic, even spiritual qualities of recreating in Bristol Bay.

It is time for the Pebble Partnership to stop playing games and politics with what are clearly unacceptable impacts. The EPA’s Assessment finds that even in an impossibly optimistic best-case scenario – without a catastrophe or series of harmful spills – up to 90 miles of salmon streams and up to 4,300 acres of vital salmon habitat will be destroyed by mining the deposit.

With so many jobs, livelihoods, tradition, and more at stake, it is clear that we cannot risk Bristol Bay’s commercial fishery and recreation industry (which can provide for generations) in favor of a short-sighted mining scenario that will provide short-term jobs and long-term waste.

We respectfully but firmly ask that you immediately initiate use of the Clean Water Act to restrict inappropriate development activities such as the proposed Pebble Mine, while allowing reasonable development to proceed in the Bristol Bay region.

Thank you for your work and for your attention to our concerns.

Sincerely,

[YOUR NAME]
[YOUR ADDRESS]
[CITY, STATE, ZIP]

Read the Federal Register notice to see detailed instructions on commenting.

You can view the view the document, find links for sending comments and read additional information on the web at www.epa.gov/bristolbay

Please contact smith.judy@epa.gov or 503-326-6994 if you have questions.

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