Pebble's permit application accepted by Army Corps

Photo by Tim Romano

Step 1: Take a deep breath. Really. Have you done it? Ok good. Now keep reading.

On Friday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers accepted Pebble’s application for permits to mine in Bristol Bay.

Step 2: repeat step one.

The fact that the Pebble mine proposal even got this far is shocking. In 2014, the EPA determined, after a scientific review and lengthy public comment period in which more than one million people opposed the mine, that the Pebble proposal – even at a small scale – would cause irreversible damage to the Bristol Bay watershed, its amazing salmon and trout fisheries, and the robust fishing economy built upon them. But like a zombie, the Pebble mine proposal just won’t stay dead.

Now that you know the latest news, let us make one thing clear: We have an enormous fight ahead of us.

Please click here to tell your elected decision makers in Congress to oppose Pebble mine.

As we have known from more than a decade of fighting Pebble, this will be a long, drawn-out battle to protect Bristol Bay’s world-class fisheries. Fortunately, many obstacles remain in Pebble’s way, and with your help we can make sure the proposed Pebble mine never becomes a reality. Rest assured, Trout Unlimited will pursue every avenue available. As we continue to review the technical details of their mining application, more of such opportunities will present themselves.

In order to be successful, however, we are going to need your help!

Have you already commented on Pebble mine in the past? Thank you!

Have you commented multiple times? That is awesome.

We’re going to need you to do it again. Click here to do so today. 

Bristol Bay sockeye. Photo by Ben Knight

More than one million individuals spoke out against Pebble during the last public comment period, and in order to keep the pressure on throughout the permitting process, we need you to stand up and say: “Bristol Bay, Alaska, is too special to risk by building the proposed Pebble mine.”

Alright. Now that we've covered the basics, let’s talk about their actual application.

In short, the plan confirms our long-held concerns that the proposed Pebble mine would be catastrophic for Bristol Bay and its world-famous salmon and trout fisheries.

Frighteningly, the plan they released isn’t even the full picture. The current plan includes only a fraction of the ore within the Pebble deposit, and based on recent statements by Pebble itself, we know they plan to expand once they get their foot in the door. This means the impacts to the region’s important fish, wildlife and water resources will be even greater than what would result if Pebble’s applications are granted.

Pebble is continuing to deceive and mislead Alaskans and Americans, and their “new” plan is nothing more than the same old mine we’ve known was a terrible idea all along with some pretty wrapping paper.

TU's Nelli Williams leads a rally in Anchorage, Fall 2017. Photo by Brandon Hill

Here are the takeaways:

  1. Don’t be fooled by Pebble’s latest proposal. There is no such thing as small Pebble mine. We are conducting a thorough and rigorous analysis of the permit application, but even a cursory review of the materials confirms that the proposed Pebble mine is an existential threat to one of the world’s greatest wild salmon ecosystems and the lucrative salmon economy it supports.
  2. Follow along: please stay tuned on our website and facebook page
  3. Speak up: there are still chances to stop this if we all speak up again, and again, and again. Today's opportunity to act is at this link
  4. Tell your friends: The more people fighting to protect Bristol Bay, the merrier. We’re all in this together.

Stay tuned for more details and action opportunities. Thanks for sticking with us to protect Bristol Bay.


said on Friday, January 12th, 2018

Why in the world are we having to address this AGAIN! I thought this was resolved and written in stone? Having to defend against these recurring situations is a massive drain on this organizations funds, manpower, and resolve ...... these things need to have the coffin lid shut down tightly, or we don't leave the table.

said on Friday, January 12th, 2018

Let me start by saying that I am opposed to the Pebble mine because what I have to say may ruffle a few feathers.  The Pebble mine can be operated without any significant damage to the watershed.  Technically and theoretically that is not an issue.  The real question is, "Will it be run without any significant damage?"  A good example of this is the BP oil spill.  The well was being operated safely until someone in management ordered something that shouldn't have been done. Three Mile Island happened because an operator didn't believe what his gauges were telling him and turned the wrong valve.   Another great example is the EPA spill into the Gunnison.  Of all groups, wouldn't you think the EPA would be able to operate safely.  The biggest issue is how the government can assure that all safety measures are being met.  You can put a full time government inspector there, but will he truly be qualified and in the loop and can you prevent him from being bought.  You can put indepent inspectors from whatever environmental clubs you want there and the same things can happen with them as with the government inspectors.

In order to defeat this, it is futile to say that what the company proposes in it's permits isn't safe.  The way to defeat this is to challenge how inspections and controls can assure that the company is doing what it said in the permits.  If the company does everything perfectly, it is unlikely there will a major issue, but it is almost impossible for that to happen and sooner or later there will be a major issue.  This should be posed as a challenge to the government to oversee the project for safe operation.

said on Saturday, January 13th, 2018

Well said chick woodward, I would like also to add that in all the conversations and attempts to stop this I have never seen or heard on word of starting a dialog with the Bureau of Land Management or the Federal Government to change the designation of this area from mining to a Federal reserve or other designation to stop the possibility of putting a mine there. Everything I have seen or read has been directed at the mining company.

said on Thursday, January 18th, 2018


I just verified this for my own information, but the BLM is not involved because the Pebble mine will be located entirely on lands owned and administered by the State of Alaska.  

said on Friday, January 19th, 2018
Hi all, BetsyJenny -- you are right, it's on state land. We are and have been pursuing ways to switch the land designation through state avenues (which was switched in favor of Pebble in 2005). Chickwoodward -- excellent point and also something we are keeping our eyes on. That said, even if nothing goes wrong at Pebble there still will be significant and widesread effects on the fisheries and fundamentally change the landscape from the truly wild, backcountry fishing experience it is to a mining district. Fishdog54 -- I wish, wish, wish this was dead. We were really, really close to substantial protections for this area...but didn't quite have the coffin nailed. We have come a very long way (just take a look at the stock prices for Northern Dynasty Minerals which were $20ish during the heyday and are now somewhere around $2)....this gives me hope that eventually we will prevail. But this mine has been resurrected due to a sneaky lawsuit and new political winds....and it won't go down without a fight. Happy to talk more at any time!

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