Protect Our Public Lands

Bristol Bay Hearing Testimony

The EPA held a virtual hearing on June 16th to hear public testimony on the Proposed Determination to protect Bristol Bay from the Pebble Mine. 

Dyani Chapman, Alaska Environment State Director, provided the following testimony. 

Hello, thank you for giving me the opportunity to comment on this issue. My name is Dyani Chapman and I’m the state director of Alaska Environment. I, along with the members I represent, encourage the EPA to finalize the proposed determination, and strengthen it. Bristol Bay is an incredible place as many have said and will say. It’s home to over 190 species of birds. A population of seals have made the freshwater of Lake Iliamna home. It would take a very long time to list all of the vibrant life in the Bristol Bay region. One of the most incredible things is the robust salmon run. World over, most salmon runs are struggling. We see this in Alaska, the west coast, the east coast, and globally. One of the reasons that the Bristol Bay salmon run is still so abundant and healthy is that the numerous headwaters are all intact. The region is graced by the absence of mines, dams, and roads. The sockeye salmon can successfully swim to their spawning grounds each year, and when climate change or other factors inevitably make any particular spawning ground less suitable one year, the large intact ecosystem provides enough options to maintain healthy populations. Any industrial mining will compromise the salmon run, and that in turn will hurt the ecosystem as a whole because salmon are a keystone species. Bottomline- it’s a bad place to mine, and Bristol Bay should be fully and permanently protected. The people of the region, Alaska, and the country have clearly advocated many times that the Pebble Mine should be vetoed in its entirety. It’s time to lay this issue to rest with permanent and full protections. Thank you again. 

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