Outdoors

Washington fishermen oppose Alaska mine proposal

The Pile River flows into Lake Iliamna,  in the Bristol Bay region of Alaska. The Pebble Mine would sit just above the lake.
The Pile River flows into Lake Iliamna, in the Bristol Bay region of Alaska. The Pebble Mine would sit just above the lake.

FISHING — SEATTLE — Washington fishermen who oppose a proposed mine in Alaska are having their say at an Environmental Protection Agency hearing today in Seattle.

According to the Associated Press, Sen. Maria Cantwell requested the hearing because she says fishermen would be affected if the Pebble Mine damages the Bristol Bay salmon fishery.

Cantwell said nearly 1,000 people in Washington hold commercial permits for Bristol Bay fishing that was worth more than $113 million in 2008.

Sportfishing groups also have formally opposed the mine because of its threats to the country's richest  salmon producing waters.

Recreational salmon fishing was worth another $75 million for Washington businesses.

The copper and gold mine is proposed near the headwaters of Bristol Bay rivers. Opponents worry about pollution and loss of habitat. Supporters say the mine would create jobs.

The EPA plans seven more hearings in Alaska and could veto the project under clean water laws.
  




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Rich Landers

Rich Landers’ Outdoors blog


Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.

By Rich Landers richl@spokesman.com (509) 459-5508


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