Alaskans are pretty connected to our environment, and unlike some of the posters, we realize Pebble will not destroy the whole salmon harvest.... Pebble concerns a couple creeks out of thousands flowing into Bristol Bay, not to mention the other fisheries in Southeast and Kenai and Valdez and the Copper River. Look at a map and check the other fisheries and you will realize that like most Alaskans this will be a great addition to our economic base. A few less fish in Bristol Bay will mean higher prices for the others anyway. The real threat to the fisherman is farmed salmon. This is about some rich white guys in Anchorage trying to enlist the uninformed environmentalists to fight their battle for them, that is it in a nutshell. And like all business savy newsmedia the papers and Tv stations know they can profit from a battle like this. Now that the elections are over the media just throws gas on the fire to generate ad revenue. Pebble and Liberty Star will mine.
There is some good discussion here, so I am refreshing this for the benefit of new investors.
I must note that J. P. Morgan's Copper River mines that operated in the early 20th Century in Alaska has had no noticeable impact on the salmon in Alaska's Copper River today.
These were the famous Kennecott Copper Alaska mines.
The Copper River is still a major salmon spawning ground (over 2 million salmon spawn there per year) and Alaska Airlines brings salmon to the lower 48 states I believe under the marketing name "Copper River Salmon".
I've only known one lodge owner but I can tell you he was not rich. Both he and his son had wintertime jobs in Anchorage (the son was a mechanic). Though the prices for their guests are pretty high it doesn't ammount to a vast ammount of riches when you consider the cost of maintaining a 2 or 3 bush planes, keeping gas in the planes and boats, paying the guides and the staff, paying for food and drink and supplies, paying a caretaker to keep the place in the winter and having only 3 mos to make your yearly profit. No doubt some of these guys are fat cats but to lable them all as "rich white" is careless and it is really a pretty tired cliche. The guys working the commercial salmon fishery certainly are Blue collar and from all backgrounds. You don't seem to understand that if you skrew up the spawning grounds of the salmon in the drainage that hosts the largest runs in the bay (and in the world) that lack of reproduction will have a potentialy large impact on the ocean fishery in years to come. If you need examples of this look at the Atlantic Salmon fishery on our U.S. East Coast. It is has all but disappeared since the turn of the century due to pollution and loss of habitat.
As has been stated before, this does not just concern a couple of creeks. Those creeks are major spawning habitat for the largest run of sockeye salmon in the world. Period. No where else in Alaska or anywhere else on this big ball of dust do that many sockeye return and reproduce. These Salmon bring nutrients from the ocean up through the Kvichak river into lake Iliamna and all it's tributary's. Those nutrients are the major reason that brown bears, eagles and humans inhabit this area. The natives have been living off the salmon for centuries. I seriously doubt they will support a project that holds the potential to dammage that resource. None of the jobs, money and infrastructure you guys keep talking about are likely to stay in that area after the mine is used up (about 50 years at the best estimate). The fact is, mined or not, profitable or not this project poses a real threat to that entire area. Building that mine is a roll of the dice for that ecosystem no matter how many saftey measures are in place. I just don't think it's worth it when you look at the renewable, natural resource that is already there in the salmon, producing hundreds of millions of dollars in profits each and every year FOREVER if it is left alone.
It's not about the tiny percentage of fish that could be damaged with one mine, it about whether or not Bristol Bay should be a mining district. If you've researched the potential, this is only the beginning.
I'm not sure you understand what Bristol Bay is all about, it's laughable to compare it to Kenai or Valdez. Much of the salmon is shipped directly to Japan (and sold at a high premium) because of its quality. The salmon roe alone has a higher value than all of the fish caught in Prince William Sound put together.
The forces against Pebble may very well make an example out of this project. Don't underestimate the amount of money the seafood industry is willing to spend.
The biggest problem is the "great addition to the economic base" sentence. As it stands now, it's not even remotely worth the risk of tainting the image of Bristol Bay. The revenue generated by the mine isn't taxed adequately. The jobs and surrounding procurement activities from the mine isn't significant enough.
Here's the question you need to ask yourself. With this much risk, should NAK have a market cap of $770M? The answer is obvious.
Sorry, you may have missed it, but Pebble is located in an area already open to mining. I really do not think fisherman in Southeast and Cordova's Copper River want their funds spent protecting the Lodges of Gilliam and his buddies around Iliamna. Pebble will have no measurable effect on Bristol Bay's harvest. Why are you fighting the lodge owner's battle?