Mary Ann K. Johnson is a lifelong subsistence user in Bristol Bay, and a board member for the United Tribes of Bristol Bay. Brian Kraft is a pilot and owner of two Bristol Bay sport-fishing lodges. Norm Van Vactor is a Dillingham resident and the CEO of Bristol Bay Economic Development Corporation.
Alaskans have much in common with our neighbors in British Columbia. Our histories are tied closely to the use and development of renewable natural resources, which form the backbone of our economies, cultures and lifestyles. We understand the importance of wise stewardship of this natural wealth.
Our home in Bristol Bay is the source of nearly half the world’s wild sockeye salmon: a wild, sustainable food supply for families all over the world. It is the economic driver of our region, and a cultural linchpin. Our lives and businesses center around the monumental pulse of the 30 million-60 million wild salmon that return here, year after year. It’s like no place else on earth.
Northern Dynasty Minerals, a Vancouver-based mining company, is hosting its annual shareholder meeting this week to discuss the Pebble mine: a massive open-pit copper and gold mine the company wants to develop at the headwaters of Bristol Bay. The plan calls for digging up and dewatering many miles of streams where our salmon spawn.
Those same streams are responsible for the chinook and coho salmon that indigenous people throughout the watershed rely on for their subsistence harvests.
Those same streams provide the wilderness fishing experience that many visitors come from around the world to experience. These streams are the basis of our livelihoods, communities and culture. And they are no place for a mine.
For the rest of this column: https://www.adn.com/opinions/2018/06/27/the-pebble-mine-is-going-nowhere-time-for-northern-dynasty-to-admit-it/