WASHINGTON – The fish- and wildlife-rich region of Bristol Bay, Alaska, could receive long-term protection from industrial mining in the wake of a decision made public today by the Biden administration.
The Environmental Protection Agency has announced that it is reinitiating the process of utilizing the Clean Water Act to protect specific areas in Bristol Bay, home to the world’s largest remaining wild salmon fishery. For over a decade, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers has been working to conserve Bristol Bay, joining the diverse roster of voices advocating for the region, which supports robust recreational, subsistence and commercial fisheries as well as undisturbed habitat for moose, caribou, grizzly bear, black bear and large populations of migratory waterfowl.
“Hunters and anglers are united,” said BHA President and CEO Land Tawney. “Regardless of age, background or political persuasion, we agree that the Bristol Bay region is an irreplaceable landscape that should remain free from industrial development – forever.”
Today’s announcement from the Biden EPA follows actions undertaken by the Trump administration, which worked to slow development of the Pebble Mine, a gold and copper mining project proposed for Bristol Bay, by requiring the Pebble Partnership to develop strategies for mitigating the project’s adverse impacts on fish and wildlife habitat. Today’s EPA action takes a critical next step, as the Trump administration decision is being appealed by Pebble Partnership.
“Today we thank the administration for heeding our calls and advancing efforts already underway to ensure Bristol Bay’s long-term protection,” Tawney continued. “Bristol Bay is a public lands jewel that fuels the economy of southwest Alaska, the traditions of Native Alaskan communities and the dreams of sportsmen and women across the continent. We look forward to working with our partners as well as leaders in the administration and Congress to secure the future of this incomparable landscape.”
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