As a longtime former guide in Bristol Bay I am shocked that the creation of Pebble Mine is even a consideration. Frankly the fact that the entire region of Bristol Bay is not a national treasure under National Park protection is beyond disgrace, it is plainly immoral.
I understand that the need for jobs and development is real. I understand that natural resources need to be utilized in the most economical manner. What I do not understand is why for the profit of the few the beauty and wholeness for the many is at risk.
There is nowhere on the planet like Lake Iliamna and its tributaries. The only place in our country that resembled the abundance of spawning sockeye salmon was Redfish Lake in Idaho. It only takes a second to Google and come to an understanding of what will happen to the salmon of Iliamna once they are relegated to the back seat in the name of progress.
This is a problem for the generations; long after Pebble Mine is gone and long after we are living with the eyesore of an open pit, we will wonder where the salmon have gone, and the trout, the bears, the eagles, the mink, the moose and the wilderness.
We have so little true wilderness left in this country, why would we even consider allowing the destruction of the last of what is great. Would you let your neighbor dig a hole your back yard just because he could make some cash? Of course not!
Perhaps this is why the rest of the world has turned a cold shoulder to our country; we make obvious bad decisions. Our government does not listen to the very people they say they represent. Big business destroys under a veil of darkness created by captured public officials and pseudo-scientists on the payroll.
When I travel abroad, I am proud to call myself an American, but I am ashamed in my heart for the errors in judgment we make. The Pebble Mine will rank right up there with the war in Iraq. Where is the Monkey Wrench Gang when we need them?
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