save bristol bay

Sportsmen Descend on DC to Save Bristol Bay ~ Pass it Along

I’m not even changing the headline because in this case redundancy is a good thing. In fact, all I am doing is copying and pasting what was posted over on The Outdooress blog today, which was first posted on the Outdoor Blogger Network.

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The following is a guest post available to all outdoor bloggers who have an interest in the Pebble Mine/Bristol Bay issue.
Please feel free to re-post it on your blog. 

(Passed along from the conservation section over on the OBN ~
Go check it out, copy it from here, copy it from there, but let’s spread the word)

Sportsmen fly to DC to tell president and congress to say no to Pebble Mine

Fly FishingPhoto by B.O’Keefe

Starting Monday, April 16, more than 30 sportsmen from around the country are traveling to the nation’s capitol to let their elected officials and the president know that protecting Bristol Bay is a top priority for hunters and anglers.

This is an important week to show the folks who have the power to protect Bristol Bay that sportsmen are in this fight. We’ve got folks from Alaska, Montana, Michigan, Colorado, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Texas, Wisconsin, Washington, North Carolina, California, Missouri, New York, and Virginia representing this great country and the millions of people who want Bristol Bay to be protected and left just like it is today–pristine and productive.

recent report by the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation shows that there are 34 million hunters and anglers in the U.S., and we’re a powerful constituency. Every year, we pump $76 billion into the economy in pursuit of our passion, through our spending on gear, licenses, gas, lodging, meals and more. All of that spending and activity directly supports 1.6 million jobs in this country.

We are also an influential group because 80 percent of sportsmen are likely voters – much higher than the national average. And, we also contribute the most money of any group toward government wildlife conservation programs. So, hopefully if we care about an issue and show our support, the decision makers will listen to what we have to say.

In just a few weeks, the EPA will be releasing a draft of its Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment. This huge scientific assessment will likely guide future decisions about large-scale mining and other industrial development in the Bristol Bay region. If they find that disposal of waste from the mine would adversely harm the surrounding clean waters or natural resources, the EPA can deny or place restrictions on a required dredge and fill permit. If warranted, we hope the Obama Administration would take that step to protect Bristol Bay.

You can support the fight for one of planet Earth’s finest and most productive fishing and hunting destinations by taking action today. Fill out this simple form that will send a letter to the President and your members of Congress asking them to protect Bristol Bay.  Let’s carry our sportsmen into D.C. with a lot of momentum.

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Go ahead: Copy and paste. Fill out the form on the Trout Unlimited website and submit it. Keep the ball rolling. Stop the Pebble Mine.

 

I like Canada

In response to a bit of an uproar (from at least two readers, that is) regarding last week’s post about the Pebble Mine, I wanted to go on record as stating that I have issues with neither Canada nor it’s fine citizens. In fact, Canada has always been very good to me.

When I was a kid traveled to BC to play in a youth soccer game, and I remember the host family to have been the kindest of folks. When I was about 9 years old I endured a family trip to Victoria to visit Butchart Gardens. It wasn’t what I would exactly call an enjoyable time, but it was a forced family vacation to see decorative foliage so how what do you expect? Certainly it was no fault of Canada that I didn’t enjoy myself. That unfortunate trip was offset by another youthful trip on which I visited Bowron Lake Provincial Park to partake of a 10 day canoe trip with the Boy Scouts. That trip left me with fond and permanent fly fishing memories and was largely responsible for my current obsession. On at least two other occasions since then I’ve enjoyed the hospitality of Canada’s good people, most recently a year ago when I fished Nootka Sound. And I hope to be allowed back across the border for a trip or two to fish again in the future.

Canada is a great country with good people, and one needn’t look very far before it becomes readily apparent that Canada has greatly contributed to the world. In addition to this list of well known Canadians, I’d also like to add April Vokey.

I like Canada. I like Canadians. And I’d like to go fishing with April Vokey.

But for the record I do not like the Pebble Mine.

We are at war.

If you’ve been following this blog for any length of time you know that the Unaccomplished Angler doesn’t very often (if ever) take things too seriously. Whether that’s a shortcoming or not, serious just ain’t my style; not what the Unaccomplished Angler is about. But this is some serious business that deserves some serious attention.

This entry was spawned by a writing prompt at the Outdoor Blogger Network. Trout Unlimited and the Bristol Bay Road Show, are encouraging bloggers to address the following questions:  How do you feel about a foreign company potentially threatening one of our country’s greatest natural resources? Although you may never visit Bristol Bay, do you believe getting involved can make a positive impact? Other thoughts?

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When a country is invaded by an enemy, that country must be able to defend itself against the marauding forces. If it cannot adequately repel the enemy, the consequences will be devastating. No war in history ever resulted favorably for those on the receiving end of the assault (just ask most of Europe after WWII). Even though the enemy was ultimately defeated, collateral damage and casualties were severe. Much was lost that could never be replaced.

Bristol Bay is under similar attack from foreign invaders. A Canadian oil mining company, if it gets its way, will create what would be the largest open pit gold mine in North America: smack dab in the headwaters of Bristol Bay. If built, the mine would produce up to 10 billion tons of toxic mine waste that would have to be treated for hundreds of years.

Bristol Bay is a long ways away.

If you’re like me, you’ve never been to Bristol Bay, or even Alaska. Tucked away in a remote part of the Last Frontier, Bristol Bay is out of sight, out of mind, right? One has to assume that’s exactly how the enemy wants/expects us to feel. Look at the map – Bristol Bay is a long way from anywhere. How can environmental destruction and devastation to the last great salmon runs in North America possibly affect us? And what about the loss of 12,000 jobs and $500 million in economic benefits that are under threat from the proposed Pebble Mine? That can’t possibly effect my quality of life, right?  Out of sight, out of mind. That’s what they want.

Although armed with impressive spawning canines, the salmon of Bristol Bay cannot defend themselves against this threat. Nor can the voters of Alaska – the people whose cultures and livelihoods depend on the salmon. We must come to their collective aid, as a band of brothers, and take a stand.

Salmon – Bristol Bay – Alaska – the United States of America – is under attack. We are at war.  How we respond will determine our future for generations to come. I’d like visit the region one day. I’d like my descendents to be able to do the same. Will we sit idly and allow the enemy to run roughshod over what is ours, or will we resist?  It’s in our nature as Americans to oppose tyranny.

Please join Trout Unlimited and Save Bristol Bay in this battle against an enemy that would invade our soil. Let us bring the fight to our enemy. Visit www.savebristolbay.org and see how you can help.

Disclaimer: Neither the UA, the USA, AK, or Bristol Bay are at war with Canada. Please be sure to read the comments from our Canadian brothers in the comments section of this blog entry. Some valid points are raised.