AFFTA joins TU & Orvis in stand to halt Pebble Mine permit
Wednesday, May 20, 2020
Posted by: Matt Smythe
This morning, AFFTA, Trout Unlimited & Orvis delivered a letter signed by over 250 businesses urging President Trump to halt the permitting process for Pebble Mine once and for all. The Letter was sent by each organization's CEO: Chris Wood (TU), Simon Perkins (Orvis) and Ben Bulis (AFFTA).
Here is the official press release, which includes a link to the actual letter:
Hundreds of outdoor sporting businesses, groups call on President Trump to deny important permit for proposed Pebble mine
WASHINGTON, D.C. - More than 250 national outdoor sporting businesses and organizations, representing millions of hunters, anglers and outdoor enthusiasts who value and depend on the highly productive Bristol Bay region of Alaska, have urged President Donald J. Trump to safeguard American jobs and industry by denying a key permit for the proposed Pebble mine in a letter delivered today.
The letter comes as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is poised to release its final Environmental Impact Statement in the coming months, a key document in the permitting process for the large gold and copper mining proposal.
The letter was delivered by CEOs of The Orvis Company, American Fly Fishing Trade Association, and Trout Unlimited. “If built, the mine would immediately jeopardize thousands of American jobs, hundreds of businesses, a sportfishing and hunting paradise, and thriving outdoor industries,” the letter reads.
“Bristol Bay represents a big part of what makes America great -- one of the best hunting and fishing regions left in our country that supports thousands of jobs. Trading these plentiful natural resources for a massive foreign-owned gold mine would be a colossal mistake,” said Simon Perkins, Chief Operations Officer of The Orvis Company.
“The President has the opportunity to make clear that he stands with rural America, a beloved swath of the Alaskan great outdoors, and American jobs, by denying the permit for the Pebble Mine. All we have to do to protect the best salmon and trout fisheries in the world is to have the good sense to simply leave it alone,” said Chris Wood, Chief Executive Officer of Trout Unlimited.
The rivers downstream of the proposed Pebble mine and its infrastructure are some of the most sought-after fishing and hunting destinations in the world. The Bristol Bay fishing and tourism industries together account for more than 14,000 full and part-time jobs and generate $1.5 billion annually for the local economy.
The letter highlights both the value of the Bristol Bay region, as well as problems with the massive mining proposal. The decision for the important federal permit for the proposed mine is expected by mid-2020.
“Alaskans have made clear for more than a decade that this mine is not wanted. Numerous state and federal agencies have pointed out flaws in the proposal and review. It's time to stand up for American jobs and our outdoor heritage, not a mining company based in Canada,” said Brian Kraft, president of the Katmai Service Providers and owner of two fishing lodges in the Bristol Bay area.
A similar letter signed by more than 30,000 individual anglers and hunters was also sent.
“It’s not just Alaskans who have this on their radars. Sportsmen and -women across the country care deeply about this issue because Bristol Bay is incredible by just about every standard you can measure it by. When tens of thousands of people stepped up in just a three-day span of time to voice their concerns to the President, I wasn’t surprised. Opposition to this mine, in this place runs deep,” said Ben Bulis, President and CEO of the American Fly Fishing Trade Association representing thousands of fishing businesses throughout the country.
“We’re not against mining, but this proposal and this review process threaten an American treasure,” said Perkins. “It’s clear at this point that the issues with the mine plan aren’t going to be resolved adequately and the only responsible decision is to not issue a permit.”
You can read the letter here >>