JUNEAU, Alaska (KTUU) – Representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency are touring the Bristol Bay region to hear public comments on a plan announced last month that could prevent the proposed Pebble Mine from moving forward.
The EPA heard from dozens of residents in Dillingham Middle/High School on Thursday morning who were concerned about the impacts that the planned copper and gold mine could have on Bristol Bay’s sockeye salmon fishery. Subsistence salmon users spoke about their concerns for a resource they described as an essential source of food and culture for Alaska Natives.
Robin Samuelson, one of Bristol Bay Native Corp.’s board of directors, spoke about the plans for the mine near Iliamna Lake, and was adamant that “nobody is going to build up there. Nobody.”
“We live and die by our fish,” he added.
Bristol Bay is forecasted to see a record-breaking 75 million sockeye salmon this year. Commercial fishing is estimated to bring in $2 billion in economic activity.
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