An Unbearable Mine

WWF September 26, 2018 0

Gold  and  copper  may  hold  lucrative  prospects for some investors,  but  mining doesn’t  pay  out  for  Alaska’s  Bristol  Bay.  The  proposed  open  pit  Pebble  Mine near  Katmai  National  Park  would  rob  salmon,  bears  and  people  of  their  natural environment and resource-based sustenance.

A mother bear and cub sit in the tidal flats at Hallo Bay on Alaska’s Katmai Peninsula, spotted on a Nat Hab’s Great Alaska Grizzly Encounter. © WWF-US/Megan Chinsky

The  Bristol  Bay  watershed  is  one of  the  planet’s  most  productive  marine  and  terrestrial  ecosystems, and the source  of  the  world’s  largest  salmon  fishery.  It’s  home  to  two  national  parks, a  national  wildlife  refuge,  an important  state  game  refuge  and  sanctuary,  and millions of acres of roadless  wilderness.  It’s  a  pristine  region  that  Alaska  and the  U.S.  government  have  long  committed  to  protecting.  The area is  home  to a  dense  concentration  of  megafauna,  including  the  largest  congregation  of brown  bears  anywhere  on  Earth.

Site of proposed Pebble Mine industrial port, Amakdedori Beach, Alaska © Nick Grossman/Natural Habitat Adventures

Opening  an  industrial  site  with  a  massive  web of  infrastructure—including  80  miles  of  roads  crossing  200  streams—will  leave indelible  marks  on  this as-yet untouched wilderness.  The  Pebble Mine  is  poised to  harm  Alaska Native  communities’  subsistence  lifestyle  by  jeopardizing  pristine habitat  that  sustains not only abundant salmon,  but caribou,  moose,  wolves,  whales and  the planet’s  largest  population of coastal  grizzlies.  If  the  mine is built, the landscape  and  its  unspoiled  ecological  systems  will  never  be  the  same.

WWF is  working  to  halt  the  fast-tracking of  the mine  permitting process, and Nat Hab is joining WWF in opposing the Pebble  Mine.

Learn more at worldwildlife.org/bristolbay

Leave A Response »