If the White House and EPA do not initiate the process to protect Bristol Bay before the end of July, it is unlikely to get done in a first term of President Obama’s Administration; and that would come as a profound disappointment to the Alaskan communities, commercial fishermen, jewelers, the faith community, hundreds of outdoor-related businesses, and especially, the millions of hunters and anglers who want the administration to take action now to protect the world’s most important salmon fishery.
Few organizations would allow a big bug to don the cover of their magazine, but few organizations are comprised of people who love to fish with a combination of fur, feather and wire.
More than 40 million Americans fish and hunt. Sportsmen and women are a moderate group who tend to vote on Election day. Getting this community to agree on anything, however, can be a challenge.
One thing they do agree on is the fact that the White House should direct the EPA to limit industrial-scale mining in the Bristol Bay region. Pronto. More than 550 hunting, angling and outdoor related businesses are asking the Obama Administration to use its authority under the Clean Water Act to protect the Bristol Bay region in the president’s first term.
To put a finer political point on it, Trout Unlimited and the Bristol Bay Native Corporation—an organization with an economic development mandate for Bristol Bay which opposes industrial scale mining in the region—recently commissioned a poll of hunters and anglers in 13 key battleground states. Sixty five percent of sportsmen and women in the battleground states support EPA restricting industrial scale mining in the region.
Please join other sportsmen and women to ask the President and the EPA to take action now.
- Chris Wood, President and CEO, Trout Unlimited