Category: Call to Action

Stand up for Bristol Bay

Screen Shot 2020-08-14 at 4.00.49 PM
(Courtesy Backcountry Hunters and Anglers)

Pebble Mine is dangerously close to becoming a reality.
Take action now

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers just released its final environmental impact statement for the Pebble Mine — the last step in securing a permit for a dangerous mine in our most important salmon fishery. Take a stand for Bristol Bay and tell Congress, President Trump and the EPA to veto this project using the resources below!

Why Save Bristol Bay

Sportsmen and women from across the world dream of fishing Bristol Bay’s wild rivers, which support the world’s largest remaining wild salmon fishery, 35 fish species (including all five species of Pacific salmon) and nearly half of wild sockeye populations. Located in southwest Alaska, Bristol Bay also provides undisturbed wildlife habitat for moose, caribou, black bear and large populations of migratory waterfowl.

For generations, this unparalleled watershed has been one of North America’s renewable resources, providing dependable employment for more than 14,000 people who are currently rely on Bristol Bay’s renowned sportfishing, hunting and outdoor recreation economy. Bristol Bay’s rich natural resources are Alaska’s economic lifeblood. Moreover, this watershed is foundational to the cultural heritage of Native Alaskans.

However, a proposed copper and gold mine threatens this unique and treasured landscape. The Pebble Mine would be one of the largest gold, copper and molybdenum mines in the world. The mineral deposit being targeted sits in the heart of salmon country in the headwaters of the famed Kvichak and Nushagak Rivers. One natural disaster could cause catastrophic damage to the watershed and wipe out the livelihoods of tens of thousands.

History

Minerals in Bristol Bay were first discovered 30 years ago by Canadian mining company Conoco, though it was not until 2007 when the Pebble Partnership was formed that a formal mining proposal in Bristol Bay was put forth. Soon thereafter, the environmental review process for development of the mine commenced. In 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency began reviewing the Clean Water Act 404 permit.

Through the EPA’s extensive review process, scientists found that development of the Pebble mining project would result in the following:

— direct loss of 55 to 85 miles of streams, 4 to 6.7 square miles of wetlands and, if fully developed, a potential loss of up to 114 miles of stream and 30 square miles of wild country for tailings storage facilities;

— 10.7 billion tons of mine waste, 20 times the size of all mines in Alaska (3,000 pounds of waste rock for every person on the planet);
— toxic mine waste stored behind a 740 foot high, 4-mile-long tailing dam – the largest earthen dam in the world, located upstream of the world’s largest salmon run;

— construction of a 100-mile road, 100-mile slurry pipeline and a power plant big enough to power Anchorage – all to open a 54 square mile mining district.

In 2017, the EPA waffled on whether to act on this science by proceeding with the Clean Water Act determination but instead vowed to carry on with the review process.

Unfortunately, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers decided to move ahead by releasing its draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) and most recently, its final EIS for the proposed Pebble Mine. The FEIS release starts a 30-day wait period before the decision to issue or deny a permit for the Pebble mining project is made. Public comments are no longer being accepted during this process, and we could expect a decision as early as August.

This environmental analysis evaluated risks, impacts and benefits. According to the FEIS, phase one of the proposed copper and gold mine project would undermine Alaska’s thriving salmon fishery and damage 4,614 of acres of wetlands and 191 miles of streams. Many more miles of streams and thousands of additional acres of wetlands would be permanently ruined, resulting in irreversible and damaging impacts to fisheries, the ecosystem and the local outdoor recreation economy.

How You Can Help

Join Backcountry Hunters and Anglers in encouraging your lawmakers, President Trump and EPA Administrator Wheeler to conserve Bristol Bay, deny the Pebble Mine permit and stand with their constituents in protecting our economies and ensuring the future of our hunting and fishing traditions. Click here to send your message of support (at bottom left of page.)

Help BLM select an Alabama Hills plan

Screen Shot 2020-08-02 at 11.58.21 AM
Movie Magic: The Alabama Hills outside of Lone Pine, California, encompass more than 29,000 acres of public land that is well known for its mix of scenic, cultural, geological, educational, biological, historical, recreational, cinematographic and scientific values. (Courtesy Friends of the Inyo)

BISHOP, California. – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Bishop Field Office is seeking public input for the future management of the Alabama Hills near Lone Pine in Inyo County. Today’s release of an environmental assessment lays out three proposed alternatives and begins a 30-day public review period that ends on August 7, 2020.

Set between the jagged peaks of the Sierra Nevada and the Owens Valley, the Alabama Hills are a unique formation of rounded rocks and eroded hills that encompass more than 29,000 acres of public land that is well known for its mix of scenic, cultural, geological, educational, biological, historical, recreational, cinematographic, and scientific values. In March 2019, President Trump signed Public Law 116-9 (P.L. 116-9), also known as the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act, which designated 18,745 acres within the Alabama Hills as a National Scenic Area. The BLM is currently preparing a management plan for the Scenic Area and adjacent public lands in the Alabama Hills Special Recreation Management Area.

Implementing P.L. 116-9 is a top priority for the Department of the Interior as we work to strike a proper balance for land and resource management, increase access for hunting, fishing, and recreation, and create economic prosperity, while protecting and preserving America’s treasures.

“We welcome continued public engagement in our effort to develop a comprehensive plan for management of the area,” says Bishop Field Manager Steve Nelson. “We also look forward to completing the plan and working with the Alabama Hills Stewardship Group, the local tribe, and the Lone Pine community to implement management strategies that will ensure the long-term protection, conservation, public access, and responsible use of this magnificent landscape.”

Written comments on the proposed alternatives in the environmental assessment can be submitted via email to: blm_ca_alabama_hills_planning@blm.gov; by fax: 760-872-5055; or by mail to: BLM Bishop Field Office, Attn: Alabama Hills Management Plan, 351 Pacu Lane, Suite 100, Bishop, CA 93514.

Before including addresses, phone numbers, email addresses or other personal identifying information in a comment, commenters should be aware that the entire comment, including personal identifying information, could be made publicly available at any time. While the public may ask the BLM to withhold personal identifying information from public review, the BLM cannot guarantee that it will be able to do so.

For specific questions, please call Project Manager Monica Buhler at (760) 872-5000.

Check out the management alternatives here.

Salmon Dave’s fundraiser for Bristol Bay Heritage Land Trust

Bristol
Artwork by Ray Troll

By David Del Rio

Guest Contributor

The salmon is in tears … and so am I. We all are greatly negatively impacted by the loss of the wild salmon and its habitat.

A man made perfect storm of destruction is aimed directly for the salmons’ home and natural habitat, Bristol Bay and its tributaries.

This Category FIVE Storm of devastating environmental destruction of the Salmon is being done by the President in the name of exploitation of mineral resources at Pebble Mine. In a word… GREED!

This from CNN: The EPA told staff scientists that it was no longer opposing a controversial Alaska mining project that could devastate one of the world’s most valuable wild salmon fisheries, just one day after President Trump met with Alaska’s governor, CNN has learned. https://cnn.it/20MAxg5

If you wish to join the fight against the shameful actions of this administration, then please visit this website to become informed:
http://www.savebristolbay.org/

If you wish to support the fight directly, please help me in raising money for Bristol Bay Heritage Land Trust where your contribution will make a direct impact.

Every little bit helps. The salmon and I both Thank you for your support. I’ve included information about Bristol Bay Heritage Land Trust below.

PLEASE share this post! It is set to ‘public’ so that anyone can view or share it.

The Bristol Bay Heritage Land Trust is dedicated to the preservation and protection of salmon and wildlife habitat of the greater Bristol Bay region of southwest Alaska, including the Wood/Tikchik State Park and the Togiak National Wildlife Refuge. To learn more visit our website, http://www.bristolbaylandtrust.org/

Today the fly fishing community is coming together in support of Bristol Bay

I just ordered from Bob Marriott’s to support this important work. Here are the three retailers in California that you can use today to have a portion of your sale go toward it.

California
Lost Coast Outfitters, San Francisco, CA
Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters, South Lake Tahoe, CA
Bob Marriott’s Fly Fishing Store, Fullerton, CA

See you on the river, Jim Burns

Call to Action: Make your voice heard about proposed new CDFW regs

Fishing organizations with a conservation focus, including the apolitical Pasadena Casting Club, Trout Unlimited and Cal Trout are all asking fishers to make their voices heard about the proposed California Department of Fish & Wildlife regs, which would simplify their complex system with major consequences for many of the waters we love.

For example, the Golden Trout Wilderness, home to our endangered state fish, would be open to a five-fish take and no gear requirements!

Or Hot Creek? Under the proposed regulations, it would lose its “barbless artificial flies only” designation in favor of “barbless artificial lures only.” We all know the difference between a No. 16 green scud and a Rapala DT armed with two barbless treble hooks.

Can you imagine what either gemlike area would fish like after a couple of years of that kind of pressure?

Know this is one issue both fly and spin fishers are united in opposing. As Jack Lunch wrote in Mammoth’s The Sheet:

 And why do fishermen of all stripes, from fly fishermen to bait fishermen, all seem to be on the same page? 

     “I’ve never been in a room where bait and fly people are in complete agreement on something,” remarked Slee Thursday morning. 

     Slee says year-round fishing will decimate fish populations by putting them under constant stress. 

I’ve compiled information from two of the organizations below, as well as provided a link for your comments. Trout Unlimited Jessica Strickland’s side-by-side comparison of California waters with current and proposed regs is available by email only. If you’d like a copy, let her know at jessica.strickland@tu.org.

If you are free tomorrow, from noon- 2 p.m.there’s an information session at Bass Pro Shop in Rancho Cucamonga.

See you on the river, Jim Burns

 

Screen Shot 2019-04-03 at 6.49.19 PM

Screen Shot 2019-04-03 at 7.00.23 PM

 

Screen Shot 2019-04-03 at 7.00.43 PM

 

Call to action: Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay, Alaska

Screen Shot 2019-03-29 at 6.40.56 PM
Courtesy Earthjustice.org

From Trout Unlimited:

Despite over a decade of opposition, the agency reviewing the permit application for the massive proposed Pebble mine in Bristol Bay, Alaska recently moved the mega-project one step closer to reality.

The rivers and streams of Bristol Bay are known by anglers around the globe as some of the greatest, and among the last exceptionally productive wild salmon streams remaining on earth. The massive mine proposal slated for the heart of the spawning grounds of the Nushagak and Kvichak Rivers has been widely opposed for the past 15 years by local Alaska Native Tribes, Alaskans, commercial and sport fishermen, and concerned citizens worldwide. For anglers, the mine is a clear and direct threat to the thriving and irreplaceable salmon-based economy of the region.

The Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) released by the Army Corps of Engineers is the most important document of the permitting process. Unfortunately, the highly anticipated DEIS just released is extremely short and fails to account for all the mine’s potential impacts, leaving Bristol Bay in immediate jeopardy.  Please comment on this today.

The process and flawed assessment leaves Alaskans filled with skepticism in the wake of recent environmental disasters associated with largescale tailings pond failures and as the DEIS findings include permanent destruction of more than 80 miles of streams and 3,500 acres of wetlands. What’s more, the current permit application considers only Pebble’s phase one plan. Risks posed by the entire project have yet to be fully evaluated, though the mine is closer than ever to reality.

Now is the time for anglers to weigh in: The public comment period runs from March 1st – May 30

Decision makers in D.C. are watching. They need to see that opposition to the Pebble mine is strong and growing. Please join us in the fight to preserve world-class fishing opportunity, cultural tradition, American jobs, food, and save Bristol Bay.

Learn more about the contents of the DEIS, the latest news, and how you can support the fight to stop the proposed Pebble mine at SaveBristolBay.org/StopPebble2019.

We strongly urge you, and your fishing buddies, to review the impacts of the Pebble mine and submit a comment of your own. Opposition to the Pebble mine is strong and growing – please join us in the fight to preserve cultural tradition, existing American jobs, food, and save Bristol Bay.

It’s no time for complacency when it comes to Pebble Mine. Please tell the agency reviewing Pebble’s most important permit to follow the science and stop the mine. Please take action today.