Jan. 29, 2014
To: President Barak Obama
From: The American Fly Fishing Trade Association
CC: Administrator Gina McCarthy, Environmental Protection Agency
Re: Pebble Mine, Bristol Bay, Alaska
Dear Mr. President:
As the industry association representing hundreds of fly fishing manufacturers, retailers, guides, outfitters and dealers from coast to coast, the American Fly Fishing Trade Association respectfully asks you to use existing provisions within the Clean Water Act to proactively prohibit the development of Pebble Mine in Alaska.
Our members have a keen understanding of the relationship between intact fish and game habitat and sporting opportunity—and the economic impact that relationship generates, both in Bristol Bay, Alaska, and across the nation. Simply put, Pebble would destroy more than 90 miles of high-quality salmon spawning and rearing streams and put hundreds more miles of fishable salmon waters in peril for years and years to come. It’s too risky, and our members vehemently oppose the development of this mine in this location.
Section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act allows the Environmental Protection Agency to prohibit development in sensitive watersheds, like the Bristol Bay watershed in southwest Alaska. This watershed is home to the world’s largest and most economically important sockeye salmon runs, as well as some of the best fishing on earth for all five species of Pacific salmon, trophy rainbow trout, Dolly Varden, grayling and Arctic char. Our members, who provide everything from gear, lodging and travel to anglers all over America, believe this mine meets the requirements within this section of the Clean Water Act, and we urge you to direct the EPA to use this section and stop this mine in its tracks.
Alaska’s fishing industry is worth $1.5 billion each and every year, and the Bristol Bay fishery provides 14,000 jobs annually to the region and beyond. Risking this sustainable commercial and recreational fishing economy for a finite and ecologically toxic endeavor like Pebble Mine is simply not acceptable.
Please do everything in your power to stop this mine and protect our nation’s most vibrant fishery, the culture of the region, the booming commercial fishing industry in southwest Alaska and our country’s sporting heritage.
Tucker Ladd, Chairman of the Board, American Fly Fishing Trade Association
Benjamin Bulis, President and Executive Director, American Fly Fishing Trade Association.