I’m pleased the Biden administration has taken this important step to secure permanent protection for this unparalleled watershed and the salmon and people that it supports. Mining in the Bristol Bay watershed would have caused irreparable harm to the largest sockeye fishery in the world. — Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington State, a Democrat
I’m pleased the Biden administration has taken this important step to secure permanent protection for this unparalleled watershed and the salmon and people that it supports. Mining in the Bristol Bay watershed would have caused irreparable harm to the largest sockeye fishery in the world. — Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington State, a Democrat
Biden Administration Moves to Protect Alaska’s Bristol Bay
The Biden administration on Thursday took the first steps that would allow it to begin the process of protecting Alaska’s pristine Bristol Bay, one of the world’s most valuable sockeye salmon fisheries that also sits atop massive copper and gold deposits long coveted by mining companies.

The administration filed a motion in the United States District Court for Alaska to quash a Trump-era decision that had stripped environmental protections for Bristol Bay, about 200 miles southwest of Anchorage. If the court agrees, the administration could begin crafting permanent protections for the area.

In a statement, the Environmental Protection Agency argued that the administration of President Donald J. Trump acted unlawfully in 2019 when it rejected concerns that a proposed massive gold and copper mine would threaten the fisheries, withdrawing federal protections from Bristol Bay.


The move will have little immediate effect because the Trump administration ultimately denied an essential permit for the project, known as Pebble Mine, in 2020. That happened after President Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr. and the Fox News personality Tucker Carlson, both of whom enjoyed hunting and fishing in the region, joined environmental activists and Native tribes to oppose the mine in an unlikely coalition.

... At the moment, there is nothing in place to stop a new attempt at a mining project in the region, though the Biden administration’s request to the court is seen as a first step in changing that.

“I’m pleased the Biden administration has taken this important step to secure permanent protection for this unparalleled watershed and the salmon and people that it supports,” Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington State, a Democrat, said in a statement to The Times. “Mining in the Bristol Bay watershed would have caused irreparable harm to the largest sockeye fishery in the world.”

Both federal and state agencies found that the proposed Pebble Mine, which would be located in two watersheds that feed fish-spawning rivers, would cause permanent damage. Scientists say it would destroy more than 130 miles of streams, 2,800 acres of wetlands and 130 acres of open water.
Read the full article: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/09/climate/alaska-bristol-bay.html