New Poll: Alaskans continue to strongly reject Pebble mine – viewing it as too risky for Bristol Bay


Nelli Williams, Trout Unlimited’s Alaska Program
(907) 230-7121 or

Alannah Hurley, United Tribes of Bristol Bay
(907) 843-1633 or

New Poll: Alaskans continue to strongly reject Pebble mine – viewing it as too risky for Bristol Bay

ANCHORAGE (August 27, 2015) – A strong majority of Alaskans would like to see Bristol Bay protected from large-scale mining, according to a new public opinion survey released today by the Benson Strategy Group. Nearly three in four Alaskans surveyed viewed the Pebble mine as risky for Alaska’s fishing industry, while 57 percent are outright opposed to Pebble with only 34 percent in support. The poll serves as yet another confirmation of the widespread opposition to the proposed massive pit mine in the salmon-rich waters of southwest Alaska. The poll interviewed 600 likely voters across Alaska from August 22-24. “We are thankful to see our fellow Alaskans stand with us once again to protect Bristol Bay,” said Alannah Hurley, Executive Director of United Tribes of Bristol Bay. “The numbers reflect that the state is united on the critical issue of protecting salmon into the future. This poll sends a loud and clear message that Alaskans know Bristol Bay is salmon country, and Pebble is not worth the risk.” “These numbers reaffirm that Alaskans highly value wild salmon, put fish first, and see Bristol Bay as an economic engine for our state,” said Nelli Williams, Trout Unlimited’s Alaska Program Director. “Despite the Pebble Limited Partnership’s desperate attempts to undermine the protections Alaskans have asked for, statewide opposition to the mine remains high in a state otherwise friendly to resource development.

Simply put, Alaskans can see the risks outweigh the benefits and aren’t buying Pebble’s attempts to sell the state on a mine it just doesn’t want.” As reflected in the poll, a diverse cross-section of Alaskans continue to join the overwhelming majority of Bristol Bay residents, Alaska Natives, sportsmen and commercial fishermen in opposing the Pebble mine. Other poll results include:

•61 percent of independents, 70 percent of registered Democrats, and 39 percent of registered Republicans oppose the mine.

•Only 14 percent of respondents said that not building the Pebble Mine poses a “great deal” of risk to Alaska’s economy.

•52 percent of those who believe mining is important to Alaska’s economy are still opposed to Pebble Mine.

•87 percent said fishing is very important to Alaska’s economy, while only 42 percent believed the same of mining.

This poll is the latest in a long line of major public opinion indicators on the Pebble mine. Notably, Alaskans made their opposition to the Pebble mine abundantly clear in 2014 when 66 percent of the state voted in favor of a ballot measure aimed at increased mining restrictions in Bristol Bay. Incredibly, the measure carried majorities in every single Alaska precinct. In addition, roughly 20,000 Alaskans submitted comments to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in support of its proposal to limit mining activities that would harm salmon within the Bristol Bay watershed. Most recently, 99 percent of the 670,000-plus comments received by EPA supported strong protections for the salmon-rich region of Alaska.The full poll can be viewed at the links below.

Methodology: The Benenson Strategy Group conducted 600 telephone interviews with likely 2016 voters in Alaska from August 22 through August 24, 2015. The margin of error for the entire sample is ±4.0% at the 95% confidence level, and is larger for subgroups.


United Tribes of Bristol Bay is a tribal consortium working to protect the subsistence way of life and the Bristol Bay watershed from large-scale metallic sulfide mining. Learn more about our work at www.utbb.orgTrout Unlimited is the nation’s oldest and largest coldwater fisheries conservation organization. In Alaska, we work with sportsmen and women to ensure the state’s trout and salmon resources remain healthy far into the future through our local chapters and offices in Anchorage and Juneau. Follow TU on Facebook and Twitter, and visit us online at Learn more about our work to protect Bristol Bay at