As a longtime former guide in Bristol Bay, I am shocked that the creation of the Pebble Mine is even a consideration.
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Frankly, the fact that the entire region of Bristol Bay is not under National Park protection is beyond disgrace; it is plainly immoral. I understand that the need for jobs and development is real. I understand that natural resources need to be utilized in the most economical manner. What I do not understand is why we risk beauty for the many for the profit of a few.
There is nowhere on the planet like Lake Iliamna and its tributaries. The only place in our country that resembled the abundance of spawning sockeye salmon was Redfish Lake in Idaho. It only takes a second to Google and come to an understanding of what will happen to the salmon of Iliamna once they are relegated to the back seat in the name of progress. Long after the Pebble Mine is gone, and long after we are living with the eyesore of an open pit, we will wonder where the salmon, the trout, the bears, the eagles, the mink, the moose - the wilderness - have gone.
We have so little true wilderness left in this country. Why would we even consider allowing Bristol Bay's destruction? Would you let your neighbor dig a hole in your backyard just because he could make some cash? Of course not.
Perhaps this is why the rest of the world has turned a cold shoulder to our country; we make obviously bad decisions. Our government does not listen to the very people it says it represent. Big business destroys under a veil of darkness created by captured public officials and pseudo-scientists on the payroll. When I travel abroad, I am proud to call myself an American, but I am ashamed in my heart for the errors in judgment we make. The Pebble Mine will rank right up there with the war in Iraq. Where has the "Monkey Wrench Gang" gone?
William E. Blair
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