“The Final EIS recently issued by the Usage shows that both Donald Trump and Nick Ayers are wrong,” Pebble Partnership said in a statement. The Final EIS for Pebble makes clear that the proposed mine will severely impact thousands of acres of wetlands and hundreds of miles of streams.
These are unacceptable impacts for a region that supplies half of the world’s commercial wild sockeye salmon harvest and is a bucket list fishing destination for thousands of anglers each year. We encourage President Trump and his administration to listen to the science and the diverse voices who oppose Pebble mine and deny the project a Clean Water Act permit.
Nick Ayers, Pence's former chief of staff, wrote in a tweet on Tuesday that similar to “millions of conservationists and sportsmen” he is hoping President Donald Trump will tell the Environmental Protection Agency to block the Pebbling project, which has been a lightning rod for controversy for some two decades and has been widely assailed by numerous interest groups in Alaska and the lower states, and also faced opposition from many Alaskans. Echoed Ayers' sentiments, writing in his own tweet: “As a sportsman who has spent plenty of time in the area I agree 100%.
Is an avid fisher and “big game” hunter, often sharing social media posts with images from his hunting and fishing trips to locations across the globe. The younger Trump's stance could provide much-needed support for opponents of the proposed mine, which include local leaders of indigenous groups, a commercial fishing organization and environmental activists.
“The science is clear -- you can't put a gold and copper mine on top of the most productive salmon run in the world and not have substantial and permanent damage. In late July, the mine was given a big push forward after the US Army Corps of Engineers issued a final report concluding the project would not cause long-term harm to one of the world's largest remaining salmon runs, a sharp reversal to the Obama administration's conclusions of the project, which essentially blocked progress on the mine because of environmental concerns by citing the potential for permanent damage to the pristine Bristol Bay watershed.
Heatwave added that the Army Corps' report concluded the will not harm the bay's salmon fishery and said, “We do not believe that the President will interfere with this statutory process.” On July 24 the Trump Administration’s Army Corps of Engineers released its final environmental impact statement regarding the Pebbling, setting the massive Southwest Alaska copper and gold project on track to receive the most important permits needed to break ground, perhaps within the month.
Hunters, anglers, commercial fishermen, and area tribes have fiercely opposed the project for decades, but yesterday that chorus gained a loud and influential voice: the president’s eldest son. Responding to a tweet from Nick Ayers, former chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, Donald Trump.
The latest analysis found that under normal conditions, the mine “would not be expected to have a measurable effect on fish numbers and result in long-term changes to the health of the commercial fisheries in Bristol Bay.” The Pebble Deposit, estimated to be one of the largest gold and copper lodes on Earth, sits on a high saddle dividing Upper Malaria Creek from the South Fork Koizumi River.
Malaria drains into the massive Lake Liliana, which feeds the Avichai River, and finally Bristol Bay. The Push’ and Avichai produce the majority of the Bristol Bay sockeye run, the largest and most valuable wild salmon fishery on the planet, generating a $1.5 billion sustainable economy and 14,000 good jobs every year.
On May 20, they delivered a letter to President Trump signed by 250 outdoors businesses and groups and more than 30,000 hunters and anglers, begging him to deny the Clean Water Act permit. Senators, Murkowski and Sullivan, have said they are reviewing the environmental impact statement document to see whether it meets the high bar of scientific rigor and offers adequate protection for Bristol Bay.
“As I have repeatedly said, and included in my appropriations report language, adverse impacts to Alaska’s world-class salmon fishery and to the ecosystem of Bristol Bay are unacceptable,” Sen. Lisa Murkowski said. “The fact that folks from such a wide variety of backgrounds and political persuasions are speaking out together against the Pebbling gives me hope,” Rubella said.
Those folks believe this to be one of our Edward Abbey moments, a time to channel Henry David Thoreau and Aldo Leopold. “The headwaters of Bristol Bay and the surrounding fishery are too unique and fragile to take any chances with,” the president’s first-born son tweeted.
“The Pebble mine issue saga is so filled with surprises and twists and turns,” said Tim Bristol, director of SalmonState, who has fought the proposed mine for years, previously for Trout Unlimited. “He caught fish, he saw the brown bears, he saw how many people depend upon the renewable resource and decided to come out and say something now.
Soon after Trump Jr.’s tweet came out, Sen. Dan Sullivan expressed his own doubts and said he’s raising the issue with the Trump administration, too. In an emailed response to press inquiries, Sullivan said he’s concerned the environmental review doesn’t fully address the risks Pebble could pose to the Bristol Bay watershed and its fishery.
The Trump administration removed a block on the mine that President Obama’s EPA installed. But Tuesday, a pair of tweets from people close to the White House inspired new hope for mine opponents.
Ayers said he hopes the president will direct the Environmental Protection Agency to veto the Pebble mine. The EPA has the authority in the Clean Water Act to veto Pebble ’s permit, even if the Army Corps grants it.
Pebble opponents hope the tweets are trial balloons from the White House, or at least a sign that they have allies who have the president’s ear. He cites the environmental report concluding the won’t harm the Bristol Bay salmon fishery.
And, Heatwave said in an email, Pebble remains confident the president won’t interfere with the legal permitting process. Liz Ruskin covers Alaska issues in Washington as the network's D.C. correspondent.
“The headwaters of Bristol Bay and the surrounding fishery are too unique and fragile to take any chances with,” the President’s first-born son tweeted. Opponents of the project have long feared its discharges could contaminate local waters, causing irreparable damage to the aquatic habitat.
“The Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Pebble Project recently issued by the US Army Corps of Engineers (Usage) demonstrates that Donald Trump. Since Deck Resources’ predecessor, Coming, began exploring the prospect in the 1980s, Pebble has divided conservationists, local activists, fishermen and regulators.
Perhaps one of the most publicized issues was the US Environmental Agency’s (EPA) decision in 2014 to propose restricting the discharge of mining waste and other material in the area. Criticism prompted the Vancouver-based company to submit a new, smaller mine plan that includes lined tailing, and discard the use of cyanide in the gold extraction process.
In July last year, Northern Dynasty scored a big win as the EPA scrapped the proposed restrictions on mining operations in Bristol Bay, which prevented the project’s consideration. A draft version of the EIS released in February, however, indicated that the project could co-exist with the fisheries and water resources of the Bristol Bay Area.
With those metals trading recently close to historic highs, Pebble is one of the richest deposits in the world based on resource estimates. Said Tuesday on Twitter he opposes the Pebble mine prospect, as the Trump administration considers whether to issue a key permit for construction.
Last month, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released a final environmental review of the mine proposal that critics fear set the stage for the Trump administration to approve a key construction permit. Groups opposed to the prospect, which would be built near headwaters of the valuable Bristol Bay salmon fishery about 200 miles southwest of Anchorage, have said they’ll call on the Environmental Protection Agency to stop the project.
Trump Jr .’s tweet came in reply to a post from Nick Ayers, former chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence. “Like millions of conservationists and sportsmen, I am hoping @realDonaldTrump will direct HEPA to block the Pebble mine in Bristol Bay,” Ayers said in the tweet.
The final environmental review “concludes that Pebble mine will not harm the Bristol Bay salmon fishery,” said the statement, provided by Pebble spokesman Mike Heatwave. “Wow,” said Alan nah Hurley, head of United Tribes of Bristol Bay, a 15-tribe consortium opposed to the mine.
“People literally on polar opposites of the political divide know Bristol Bay is a national treasure and one of the last best places for salmon on the planet that has to be protected from threats like the Pebble mine.” Mike Dunleavy said the state will appeal the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' rejection of a key permit for a proposed copper and gold mine in a region that supports the world's largest sockeye salmon runs.
The corps in November determined the project was “contrary to the public interest,” a finding lauded as the right one by Alaska’s U.S. senators, who, like Dunleavy, are Republicans. The corps' decision stood out following their release of an environmental review last summer that the developer of the Pebbling saw as positive and as laying the groundwork for key federal approvals.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has said the Bristol Bay watershed supports the largest sockeye salmon fishery in the world and contains significant mineral resources. The Pebble partnership argued the proposed restrictions were based on hypothetical mine plans and that the project should have a chance to go through the permitting process, a position some political leaders, including U.S. Sens.