Peninsula Fly Fishers

Letter to EPA to protect Bristol Bay

November 05, 2013 4:58 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
I'm forwarding this letter from Scott Hed to all members of the IFFF in the Northern California Council for your consideration. A lot of us fly fish Alaska or will in the future so this issue potentially impacts all of us. There is a lot of money focusing on mining the Bristol Bay area and possibly ruining all fishing in this area.  Please read the following letter.  Our Northern California Council has gone on record opposing the mining of the Bristol Bay area. It’s up to you to decide if you are going to add your voice and take any action on this important issue but I ask that you join me and seriously consider forwarding a letter to the politicians indicated or e-mailing Scott Hed supporting his effort to protect Bristol Bay and the surrounding areas for all of us..

By the way, it would also be good if you forwarded this to your club’s Conservation Chair and ask that it be distributed to the club membership.

Thank You,

Ken Brunskill, President & Acting VP Conservation
Northern California Council of the International Federation of Fly Fishers   
I am writing to ask your support in a very simple fashion for one of the fishing and hunting world’s most pressing conservation battles. This is an issue which has brought together over 1,000 hunting and angling groups and businesses, ranging from catch and release anglers and fly rod makers to bear hunting guides, big game hunters and manufacturers of firearms and ammunition. I recently briefed the FFF’s Conservation Committee on the latest with this campaign. 
If you have an interest in doing a small thing to help, here is the letter that we’re sending to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Bristol Bay, Alaska and the proposed Pebble Mine. It would be great to add your club or business to the signers. 
If you have any questions, please let me know. 
Otherwise, to lend your support and be included on the letter, simply respond to me by email with these 4 pieces of information:
Organization or Company Name 
Your Name 
Your Title 
City, State 
Right now, there are 1,006 total signers across the USA and 24 foreign countries (including those from CA and NV below) on this letter. Please feel free to share this invitation with others you feel may be inclined to consider showing their support, keeping in mind that this particular letter is limited to businesses with an interest in sport fishing and/or hunting. 
Abel Automatics, Inc.
Against the Flow Adventures
Bob Marriott's Flyfishing Store
Buff, Inc.
California Council (TU)
California Division (IWLA)
California Fly Fisher magazine
California Fly Shop
California School of Flyfishing
Central Coast Fly Fishing
Don Coffey Company
El Dorado Chapter (TU)
Fisherman Eyewear
Fishermen's Spot
Fly Fishers of Davis
The Fly Fishing Guide Directory
The Fly Shop, Inc.
Flycasters of San Jose, Inc.
Galvan Fly Reels, Inc.
Golden West Women Flyfishers
Hatch Outdoors, Inc.
Hobie Cat Company
JD Richey Sportfishing
Jeff Bright Steelhead Flyfishing Expeditions
KUIU, Inc.
Marmot Mountain, LLC
Matt Heron Fly Fishing
Mount Tamalpais Fly Fishers
Nevada City Anglers
Northern California Council (FFF)
Okuma Fishing Tackle
Outdoor Pro Shop, Inc.
Patagonia, Inc.
Peninsula Fly Fishers
Pit River Company
Poly Fly Fishers Chapter (TU)
Randy Williams Fishing Guide Service
Redwood Empire Chapter (TU)
Reel Anglers Fly Shop
Riverbend Adventures Guide Service
Sac-Sierra Chapter (TU)
Santa Barbara Flyfishers
Santa Cruz Fly Fishermen
Santa Lucia Fly Fishers
Shasta Trout
Sierra Pacific Fly Fishers (FFF)
South Coast Chapter (TU)
Southwest Council (Federation of Fly Fishers)
Steve Huber Guide Service
T.N.G. Motorsports Guide Service
Tenkara USA
The Trout Spot
The Trout Underground
Truckee River Chapter (TU)
Tundra River Adventures
Whitney Gould Spey
Wilderness Fly Fishers
CalVada Flyfishing
Glacier Outdoors, Inc.
Hendrix Outdoors
Nevada Backcountry Hunters & Anglers
Sagebrush Chapter (TU)
Southern Nevada Chapter (TU)
Webley & Scott, USA
Thanks for your consideration of this request. If you have any questions at all, don’t hesitate to contact me.
Scott Hed
Sportsman's Alliance for Alaska
HOOK & BULLET LETTER TO EPA REGARDING BRISTOL BAY, AK (currently has 1,006 signers from across the country and over 20 foreign nations)
Gina McCarthy, Administrator
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Ariel Rios Building
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W
Washington, DC 20460
Cc: President Barack Obama
Sally Jewell, Secretary, Department of Interior
Dr. Rebecca Blank, Acting Secretary, Department of Commerce
Nancy Sutley, Chair, Council on Environmental Quality
Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, Acting Administrator, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Neil Kornze, Principal Deputy Director, Bureau of Land Management
John Jarvis, Director, National Park Service
Daniel Ashe, Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Jo-Ellen Darcy, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works
Lisa Murkowski, US. Senator from Alaska
Mark Begich, U.S. Senator from Alaska
Dear Administrator McCarthy,
We, the undersigned hunting and angling organizations and businesses representing millions of sportsmen, outdoor recreation groups and related businesses, thank you and the EPA for taking the first step in protecting Bristol Bay from the dangers of the proposed Pebble Mine, by conducting a scientific assessment of the region’s watershed. We look forward to working with the EPA and other decision makers during this public process to determine the fate of Bristol Bay, Alaska
Our 955 sporting conservation groups, businesses and trade associations are grateful to your predecessor for personally visiting the Bristol Bay region in 2010 and for your agency’s many subsequent visits leading up to and during the watershed assessment. EPA’s effort to meet with the region’s local residents is greatly appreciated; as the world’s greatest wild sockeye salmon fishery is facing unprecedented threats from proposed development of a massive mining district. We write today to ask you to use all the tools at your disposal to protect a sport fishing and hunting destination that is unrivaled in America and perhaps the world, for this and future generations of sportsmen and women.
The proposed Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay poses numerous significant and potentially long-lasting threats to one of the world’s foremost sport fishing and hunting regions. Specifically, fish habitat (including spawning and breeding grounds), wildlife habitat and recreational areas are all threatened by several hard rock mining proposals - most notably, the Pebble Mine. The potential impact from this type of activity could be severe. It is estimated that the Pebble Mine would produce between 2.5 and 10 billion tons of waste containing elements, such as copper and other heavy metals, that would threaten several fishery areas including spawning and breeding grounds for world-renowned populations of salmon. 
If this project moves forward, these toxins would have to be contained and potentially treated in perpetuity - in an area of high seismic activity, which increases the risks tremendously. Because the Pebble property straddles the Kvichak and Nushagak river drainages – two of the most productive salmon systems on the planet - any release of this waste into the surface or groundwater has the potential to severely harm Bristol Bay’s salmon and the livelihoods of the sport fishing and hunting business owners, all of whom depend on them for their economic support.
Sport fishing in Bristol Bay generates $60 million annually; anglers looking for “once in a lifetime” experiences on rivers such as the Nushagak, Mulchatna, Koktuli and Kvichak support more than 800 full- and part-time jobs. Mining activity and increased development associated with mining will detrimentally impact these areas by direct impacts to fish and habitat. Development will also negatively impact opportunities for sport fishing and hunting operations in the area by diminishing the quality of the experience. Despite the remote nature of the region and the costs associated with traveling to it, on a yearly basis up to 65,000 visitors come to Bristol Bay for recreational opportunities to fish, hunt, and view wildlife. 
Secretary Salazar and the Obama administration recognized that oil and gas development in this area is simply not worth the risk, the same is true for mining operations in the headwaters of Bristol Bay. The fish and wildlife values in the region, its size and setting, and the national significance of its resources are, in the words of Secretary Salazar and President Obama, “a national treasure that we must protect." The risk to this national treasure is too great and the resource too unique and irreplaceable to allow the Pebble Project to continue forward. 
While we thank you for planning an assessment of the Bristol Bay watershed to better understand how future large-scale development projects may affect Bristol Bay, it’s not enough. The EPA has the authority under the Clean Water Act to invoke Section 404(c), which would give Bristol Bay the protection it needs from mining and other large-scale developments.
The undersigned organizations and businesses urge EPA to proactively fulfill its mission to protect the environment and human health in Bristol Bay, AK by using its authority under Clean Water Act Section 404(c) to withdraw waters and wetlands in the headwaters of the Bristol Bay watershed from future specification as disposal sites for dredge and fill activity associated with mining operations. The EPA has an opportunity now to guarantee a future for Bristol Bay that will generate economic opportunities while also conserving sporting traditions for generations to come.
We look forward to working with the EPA and all federal agencies with an interest and role in the future of Bristol Bay’s tremendously productive lands and waters.
Peninsula Fly Fishers 1976-2016
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