Alaska’s bears and salmon are inextricably linked. During the summer months, while Alaskans are filling our freezers with salmon, the brown bears on the Alaska Peninsula are storing up their salmon for the winter. Bears of the Alaska Peninsula are incredible — eating dozens of salmon and gaining up to 4 pounds a day. The National Park Service observed a bear eating 40 salmon in a single sitting.
While the inner child and nerd in me geeks out on the bear facts (or watching fat bear week online!), I also know that our Alaska Peninsula bears are important for our local economy. My parents flew up to see the Katmai bears a few years ago and dad still calls me to tell me how many bears we saw (and yes, in true dad fashion the number keeps growing – in a few years, it will be hundreds of bears instead of dozens). My parents were just two of the thousands of people who go on bear viewing trips every year. And that comes with real economic benefits — almost $35 million annually in sales!
And we know that today (like in 2014) the bears would be at risk with the development of Pebble Mine. We’ve started referring to this incredible bear area as the “Bear Coast.” Alaskans know a road and the industrialization required to support Pebble Mine on our Bear Coast will inevitably hurt the bears that live there AND the sustainable local tourism industry they support. Why would we threaten that for the profits of a foreign mining company?
Alaskans know what the science shows: that Pebble Mine would have “unacceptable adverse effects on municipal water supplies, shellfish beds and fishery areas, wildlife, or recreational areas.” This information and data has never changed. This mine project would forever change the landscape of Bristol Bay. It would change this incredible fishery. It would change wildlife viewing tourism. It would impact local communities.
And we are not speaking out of turn, Inletkeeper is following the lead of the United Tribes of Bristol Bay and supporting these communities in standing up and saying no.
No to short-term gains that cannot justify the long-term damage.
No to the loss of culture, lands, and waters of Bristol Bay.
No to Pebble Mine.
So like in 2014 (and at other times over the years) please join us in saying No to Pebble Mine. Join us in asking for strong permanent protections for Bristol Bay and the natural resources that our communities rely on.
Thank you for reading. We are able to do this work because of member support from concerned citizens like you. Please donate today to protect Cook Inlet for our future generations.