Alaskan Tribes, Sportsmen, and Commercial Fishermen to Pebble: Stop attacking the protections for Bristol Bay Alaskans want

March 7, 2016Contact:Alannah Hurley, United Tribes of Bristol Bay, (907) 843-1633 or girlasue@gmail.comEverett Thompson, Bristol Bay Fisherman and Commercial Fishermen for Bristol Bay member (907) 469-0707Nanci Morris Lyon, Alaska Sportsman’s Bear Trail Lodge, (907) 469-0622FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Alaskan Tribes, Sportsmen, and Commercial Fishermen to Pebble: Stop attacking the protections for Bristol Bay Alaskans want

Joint Senate and House Committee host Pebble consulting firm despite EPA having recently been cleared of wrongdoing.DILLINGHAM, AK – Local tribes, commercial fishermen and sportsmen once again warn fellow Alaskans and lawmakers not to fall victim to Pebble’s expensive propaganda attempting to undermine the protections asked for by Bristol Bay tribes and widely supported by Alaskans.Over 80 percent of Bristol Bay residents, 60 percent of Alaskans, and over 1.5 million Americans spanning the political spectrum oppose the Pebble proposal. The project threatens the cultures and way of life of Bristol Bay tribes and tens of thousands of fish-based jobs. Yet, the Canadian-owned Pebble Limited Partnership continues to pursue the dangerous project. Today, they are misleading lawmakers in Juneau, with little opportunity for Alaskans to weigh in, during a joint meeting of the Alaska House and Senate Resources Committees.“There is absolutely nothing wrong with our tribes, along with other Alaskans, requesting that a government agency use their legal authority to protect our way of life and our sustainable fishing economy from a foreign company that has been holding Bristol Bay hostage with their lies for over a decade,” said Alannah Hurley, director of United tribes of Bristol Bay. “It is unfortunate that State leaders, including Governor Walker, who are concerned with ‘federal overreach’ aren’t doing more to come up with an Alaska-based solution to ensure that our nation’s greatest wild salmon fishery remains intact for generations to come.”In January, the EPA Inspector General released a report that Pebble requested, finding the EPA had acted fairly and legally in its conduct during the Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment. Prior to the release of this report, Pebble had paid a consulting firm to promote their allegations of “unfairness” in a document known as the “Cohen Report,” which garnered the attention of a few congressmen and some D.C. media.“The Pebble Partnership doesn’t have much to go on these days and it is a disservice to Alaskans that their allies in the state legislature are giving them an audience at a time when lawmakers should be focused on finding a solution to our state’s fiscal crisis,” said Everett Thompson, a Bristol Bay commercial fisherman. “Pebble’s expensive lawyers and lobbyists may succeed in temporary distractions, but they cannot dispute the clear science that large-scale mining simply cannot safely coexist with salmon in Bristol Bay.”The widely supported protections for Bristol Bay’s clean water and salmon proposed by EPA are stalled because of lawsuits brought forth by the Pebble Partnership. Meanwhile, the only remaining partner, Northern Dynasty Minerals, continues to falter.“Today’s hearing is yet another one of Pebble’s expensive distractions from the heart of the issue: Pebble is using desperate stall tactics to push a mine Alaskans don’t want,” said Nanci Morris Lyon, guide and co-owner of Alaska Sportsman’s Bear Trail Lodge in Naknek. “Those opposed to Pebble in Bristol Bay are a diverse group who, despite our differences, have two major things in common: we love and want to protect this region, and we all rely on salmon.”

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United Tribes of Bristol Bay is a tribal consortium working to protect the Yup’ik, Denai’na, and Alutiq way of life and the Bristol Bay watershed from large-scale mining. Learn more about our work at www.utbb.org

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