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.
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.
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.