2011

18 April 2011

BBNC Responsible Development Video

The Bristol Bay Native Corporation Responsible Development Video will be airing on GCI Channel 1 this month in the following communities: Nome, Kotzebue, Bethel, Anchorage, Girdwood, Fairbanks, Juneau, adn other SE communities.

This 10 minute video was provided by the Bristol Bay Native Corporation and expresses their views on development in the region.

Airs at 8:00 PM on April 18, 20, 25, 27, May 2, & 4.

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14 April 2011

Southwest Alaska Salmon Science Symposium

Purpose of symposium is to look in depth at salmon habitat research in Bristol Bay and identify potential research gaps.

Symposium will run from 8am to 5pm at the Egan Center - Event is free and open to the public

To register for the day long event, please email Katrina Mueller at
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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13 April 2011

Southwest Alaska Salmon Science Symposium

Presentations by Dr.Tom Quinn and Dr.Daniel Schindler on their work with salmon sustainability and biodiversity in Bristol Bay. 

Open to the public from 7pm to 9pm at the Egan Center

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BBNC Responsible Development Video

The Bristol Bay Native Corporation Responsible Development Video will be airing on GCI Channel 1 this month in the following communities: Nome, Kotzebue, Bethel, Anchorage, Girdwood, Fairbanks, Juneau, and other SE communities.

This 10 minute video was provided by the Bristol Bay Native Corporation and expresses their views on development in the region.

Airs at 8:00 PM on April 13, 18, 20, 25, 27, May 2 & 4

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12 April 2011

Pebble Investors urge EPA to initiate 404(c) review process

In a statement to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) this week, 29 Anglo American investors expressed concern about negative impacts the proposed Pebble Mine may have on the Bristol Bay ecosystem, its people, and mining and fishing industries worldwide. Investors urged the EPA to start a review process that could lead to a 404(c) ruling to prohibit or restrict the disposal of mine waste into waters in the Bristol Bay area.

Led by Trillium Asset Management Corporation and Calvert Investments, firms that specialize in socially responsible and environmentally responsible investing, the investor group represents over $170 billion in assets and owns more than 13 million shares in Anglo American, a global mining company that is a 50-percent partner in the development of the proposed Pebble Mine.

"The EPA's authority under 404(c) can have an important role to play in addressing the financial impacts of ecosystem degradation, which are borne by society at large, investors and business," the investors write. "We urge the EPA to initiate its 404(c) review process to evaluate the potential mine waste impacts associated with the proposed Pebble Mine project. We believe that initiating the 404(c) review process now is a responsible and crucial step, given the potentially significant risks associated with the proposed Pebble Mine."

Signers to the document include a wide range of firms and organizations that subscribe to sustainable or socially and environmentally responsible investing practices—from an investment firm in Oregon, to Unitarian Universalist and Catholic religious organizations representing more than a thousand congregations or institutions each.

With their statement, Anglo American investors join a number of interests that have urged the EPA to exercise its 404(c) authority. These include conservation groups, tribal governments, and sporting and fishing groups. The EPA is currently conducting a scientific watershed assessment of the Bristol Bay area in response to these concerns. Public input will be part of that process.

Investor statement

Investor press release

More About 404(c)

Under Section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act, the EPA may prohibit or restrict discharges of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States, including wetlands, when it determines that such discharges would have an unacceptable adverse effect on municipal water supplies, shellfish beds and fishery areas (including spawning and breeding areas), wildlife, or recreational areas.

EPA overview of the Clean Water Act Section 404(c)

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11 April 2011

BBNC Responsible Development Video

The Bristol Bay Native Corporation Responsible Development Video will be airing on GCI Channel 1 this month in the following communities: Nome, Kotzebue, Bethel, Anchorage, Gridwood, Fairbanks, Juneau, and other SE communities.

This 10 minute video was provided by the Bristol Bay Native Corporation and expresses their views on development in the region.

Airs at 8:00 pm on April 11, 13, 18, 20, 25, 27, May 2 & 4.

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08 April 2011

EPA meetings set for June in Iliamna, Dillingham

Pebble Watch has just received word via the Environmental Protection Agency's Alaska Operations Office that EPA has confirmed June 2 and 3 for two mining information sessions, to be held in Iliamna and Dillingham, respectively.

The meetings relate to the EPA's scientific assessment of the Bristol Bay watershed. For more background on the assessment process, see our earlier posting "EPA to review proposed Pebble Mine project for water quality issues."

We will post more details on the coming meetings as we learn them.

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08 April 2011

2011 Southwest Alaska Salmon Science Symposium

Daniel Schindler, Ph.D. and Thomas Quinn, Ph.D., professors in the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences at the University of Washington, will be the featured speakers at the 2011 Southwest Alaska Salmon Science Symposium, Wednesday and Thursday, April 13-14, at the Egan Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage.

Readers of Pebble Watch may find the symposium of interest because Schindler and Quinn are authors of a 2010 study on the "portfolio effect" on the variability of sockeye salmon returns in Bristol Bay, site of the proposed Pebble Mine. Schindler, Quinn and others used five decades of data from sockeye salmon in Bristol Bay to illustrate the connection between diversity in an individual salmon species and the decreased variability in salmon returns. Saying the benefits of diverse genetics are similar to the benefits of a diverse financial portfolio, they've suggested their results demonstrate the importance of a diverse salmon population to the overall stability of the fishery.

The symposium focus is “Understanding the Habitat and the Science of Sustainability,” which will be discussed during an evening presentation and daytime sessions, both open to the public. Quinn, Schindler and others will present research findings from Southwest Alaska and discuss these findings in the context of biocomplexity, fisheries sustainability, ecosystem resiliency and climate change.

April 13

Evening Session (7-9 p.m.)

Public presentation

April 14

Morning Session (8am-noon)

Research findings from Southwest Alaska

Afternoon Session (1-5pm)

A panel including Schindler, Quinn, representatives from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bristol Bay Science and Research Institute, and University of Alaska Fairbanks discuss the question: “What should the direction of future salmon research projects be in SW Alaska?”

Videoconferencing available

Fairbanks - UAF, Butrovich 204

Juneau - Lena Point, Room 301

Dillingham - Bristol Bay Campus, Room 145

Symposium sponsors: The symposium is a cooperative effort of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, The Nature Conservancy and Alaska Sea Grant.

Speaker Bios: Find out more about Schindler and Quinn. Read overviews of the researchers' 2010 study, "Population diversity and the portfolio effect in an exploited species," in Science News online or Scientific American.

More information: Contact Katrina Mueller, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – (907) 786-3637 - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

 

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05 April 2011

Pebble Mine in the news

To help keep readers up-to-date on developments related to the proposed Pebble Mine, Pebble Watch has begun to offer a regular round-up of news articles. Following are stories that have recently appeared in local and national publications.

"Coalition brings fight for Bristol Bay fish to Washington" (March 31, 2011 – Fairbanks Daily News Miner) – A coalition trying to stop development of a huge copper and gold mine in Alaska brought its fight to the nation's capital this week in an effort to protect the world's largest wild sockeye salmon fishery. Read the full story in the Fairbanks Daily News Miner.

"Chefs fight for salmon in Washington D.C." (March 31, 2011 – mynorthwest.com, website of Seattle radio stations - News Talk 97.3 KIRO FM, 710 ESPN Seattle and AM 770): The Truth) – A group of more than 200 chefs, retailers and food community leaders signed and sent a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson this week, urging the government to stop a proposed mine near the headwaters of Alaska's Bristol Bay. Read the full story at mynorthwest.com.

"Alaska lawmaker not giving up on Pebble Mine study" (March 29, 2011 – Business Week) – House Majority Leader Alan Austerman says he's not giving up on a state-funded effort to study the effects of the proposed Pebble Mine on the Bristol Bay region. Read the full story in Business Week.

"Lobbying the Legislature is big-money business in Juneau"(March 27, 2011 – Anchorage Daily News) – The Pebble Partnership, developers of the huge Pebble Mine prospect in Southwest Alaska, spent more on Alaska lobbyist salaries than anyone else last year. The group laid down $378,000 to employ four of the professional lobbyists at the Capitol. Read the full story in the Anchorage Daily News.

"Bristol Bay stakeholders, legislators speak on the Pebble Mine topic" (March 20, 2011 – Juneau Empire) – Residents, business representatives, subsistence users, commercial and sport fishermen plus others from Bristol Bay spent this week meeting with various legislators to ask for backup in supporting a 404(c) assessment by the Environmental Protection Agency, which is an assessment that would allow the agency to determine if mining could be permitted in the area or not. Read the full story in the Juneau Empire.

"Battle Over Alaska Mining Project Heads to Washington" (March 18, 2011 – Greenwire environmental news service, in the New York Times) – A large mining project proposed for southwest Alaska has sparked a lobbying battle between some area residents who say it would help the region's economy and others who fear environmental degradation to nearby Bristol Bay and its major salmon run. Read the full story in the New York Times.

"Murkowski presses EPA administrator on Pebble Mine, oil and gas exploration" (March 17, 2011 – Juneau Empire) – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, has questioned Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson on a series of development projects in Alaska, including efforts concerning the proposed Pebble Mine and oil and gas exploration in the Beaufort Sea and the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska. Read the full story in the Juneau Empire.

 

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28 March 2011

Radio Show Native America Calling discusses Pebble Mine

The proposed Pebble Mine project will be discussed on the Koahnic Broadcast Corporation (KBC) radio show Native America Calling. The radio program airs live Tuesday, March 29th, from 1 PM - 2PM Eastern. Guests include Reverend Dr. Michael James Oleksa, cross-cultural communications consultant/professor at Alaska Pacific University, Lydia Olympic (Yup'ik/Sugpiaq), village of Igiugig in Bristol Bay, Lisa Reimers (Iliamna), Chief Executive Officer/Iliamna Development Corp., and Trefon Angasan, Chairman of the Board/Alaska Peninsula Corporation.

KBC is a nonprofit, Alaska Native governed and operated media center located in Anchorage, Alaska.

Native America Calling is a live call-in program linking public radio stations, the Internet and listeners together in a thought-provoking national conversation about issues specific to Native communities. Each program engages noted guests and experts with callers throughout the United States and is designed to improve the quality of life for Native Americans. Native America Calling is heard on 52 stations in the United States and in Canada by approximately 500,000 listeners each week.

More information, including a streamcast of the radio show, is available on the Native America Calling website : http://www.nativeamericacalling.com/

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