Some places deserve special protection based on their remoteness and remarkable qualities; the Koktuli River in Southwest Alaska is among these places. The salmon-rich Koktuli is a headwater river that feeds Bristol Bay. It also flows near the Pebble copper and gold deposit.
Trout Unlimited called on Alaska state regulators in February to protect the Koktuli before any large-scale mining goes forward. Unfortunately and somewhat ironically, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation recently turned down TU’s proposal, saying essentially that it cannot protect the river unless mining pollution becomes imminent. Read more in this opinion piece by TU Alaska Program Director Tim Bristol.