Date: 10/1/17 10:01 am
From: Maggie Strickland (via carolinabirds Mailing List) <carolinabirds...>
Subject: Re: Update #2 on conservation issues (posted August 23)
Thanks, Russ. I will definitely comment and am looking at the best way to
post this on Facebook. I have also composed a letter to send to our
Congressional contingent regarding preserving the pristine beauty of Alaska
and mentioning specific concerns.

Thanks for all the valuable information.

Maggie Strickland
Harmony, Maine

On Tue, Sep 26, 2017 at 3:38 PM, Betsy Kane <carolinabirds...> wrote:

> Thank you Russ -- This is such valuable and timely information, along with
> Update #1 from several days ago. I will take action.
> Betsy Kane
> Raleigh
> On Tue, Sep 26, 2017 at 3:12 PM, Russ Oates <carolinabirds...>
> wrote:
>> Carolina Birders,
>> This is the second update to my August 23 post regarding important
>> conservation issues. *The purpose of this post is to notify you that
>> one of the issues identified in the August 23 post is in play right now.
>> Now is the time to express your opinion on this issue.*
>> *Issue:* Withdrawal of the EPA proposal to protect the Bristol Bay
>> Watershed from the proposed Pebble Mine.
>> *Desired outcome:* Maintain the 2014 Environmental Protection Agency
>> position protecting the area from mining and provide permanent protection
>> to the watershed.
>> *Status:* At the request of 9 Alaska Native tribes who live in the
>> vicinity of the Bristol Bay watershed and are dependent upon the salmon
>> resource, the Environmental Protection Agency completed a Bristol Bay
>> Watershed Resource Assessment in 2014 that concluded that the mine would
>> pose an unacceptable risk to the salmon fishery and other important natural
>> resources. This decision was based on a little-used provision of the Clean
>> Water Act. According to CNN, newly-appointed EPA Administrator Scott
>> Pruitt met with the CEO of the Pebble Project in early May (2017) and,
>> within hours, Pruitt directed the agency to withdraw the proposal to
>> protect the area from mine development. This enables the Pebble
>> Partnership to begin the permitting process that could ultimately lead to
>> full blown development of the mine. *The EPA is accepting public
>> comments until October 17 on it's decision to set aside the 2014 proposal
>> to protect the Bristol Bay Watershed. Please send your comments as soon as
>> possible by mail to:* Water Docket, U.S. Environmental Protection
>> Agency, Mail Code 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC
>> 20460
>> <>
>> Attention: Docket ID No. EPA-R10-OW-2017-0369 *You may also
>> submit your comments online through the federal eRulemaking Portal: *Docket
>> ID No. EPA-R10-OW-2017-0369 Go to *
>> <>*
>> and follow the online instructions for submitting comments. *Or, you
>> may email your comments:* Send email to: *<ow-docket...>
>> <ow-docket...> * Include the docket number
>> EPA-R10-OW-2017-0369 in the subject line of the message.
>> *Background:* Pebble is a massive mining project proposed for Alaska
>> state lands in the middle of the watershed containing the spawning area of
>> the largest sockeye salmon stock in the world (and large numbers of the
>> other 4 species of salmon as well). In addition, sockeye hatchlings live
>> 1-2 years in stream-connected lakes within the watershed until they are
>> large enough to go out to sea. Roughly half of the world’s wild-caught
>> salmon comes from Bristol Bay. If developed, the mine will be among the
>> largest mines in North America and the highly toxic tailings will be stored
>> behind the largest earthen dam in the world (over 700 feet tall and several
>> miles long.) This is a seismically active area, and independent scientists
>> doubt whether the dam would survive a major earthquake on the order of the
>> one that severely damaged Anchorage and several other southcentral Alaska
>> coastal communities in 1964. Needless to say, the failure of this dam would
>> be catastrophic for the salmon and potentially for the many species of
>> marine birds (including Emperor Geese and ESA listed Steller’s Eiders) that
>> use Bristol Bay as a foraging area during migration. In 2010, nine Alaska
>> Native tribes in the Bristol Bay Region, concerned about the Pebble Mine
>> proposal, requested the EPA to conduct a resource assessment of the Bristol
>> Bay Watershed. After extensive investigations, this area was declared by
>> the EPA in 2014 to be too valuable and vulnerable to mine, but the Trump
>> administration resurrected the project. If you like to eat wild salmon or
>> support sustainable management of wild salmon, you have a dog in this
>> fight. Please, take a moment to check out this web site: *
>> <>*
>> On the economic side of the story, the salmon fishery is sustainably
>> managed and supports 14,000 seasonal and full-time jobs that would be
>> jeopardized by the mine.
>> *Bottom line: Pebble mine has a high probability of having disastrous
>> impacts on the most important sockeye salmon fishery in the world. The
>> environmental and economic damage of a tailings dam failure would be
>> incalculable.*
>> Future generations will thank you for any help you can provide!
>> Russ Oates
>> Burnsville, NC
>> *Conserve wild things, protect wild places.*

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