Audubon’s Voices Stand Up for Bristol Bay’s Birds

Comments from across the country show that Pebble Mine is an international concern for Audubon members.

Alaskans rally against Pebble Mine and ask Senator Murkowski to protect Bristol Bay at a rally just before the end of the public comment period. Photo: Rachel James

Anchorage, AK (July 2, 2019)—The comment period for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) on the Pebble Partnership permit for mining development has closed, but our work to protect the birds, waters, and wild landscapes of Bristol Bay will continue. Here is a snapshot of Audubon’s impact on the public process:

Over 7400 comments from Audubon members across all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico illustrate that the world’s largest proposed mine is not just an Alaska issue, it is a national and international issue.

Just days before the close of the comment period, Bristol Bay supporters gathered in front of Senator Lisa Murkowski’s (R-Alaska) office in downtown Anchorage to tell her to stop Pebble Mine. The senator has yet to state her opinion even though an overwhelming number of Alaskans do not support the Pebble Mine.

Audubon Alaska submitted comments on the proposed mine project to highlight the deficiencies in the Army Corps’ DEIS because the agency did not consider the impacts to birds in the region. Here are excerpts from these comments:

“The DEIS is deficient. It lacks analysis of the mine’s full extent. It lacks analysis of a catastrophic toxic tailings dam failure, and analysis of the toxic effects of tailings ponds and the permanent pit lake. The DEIS fails to address cumulative impacts of the proposed mine.”

“Not only do the inter-tidal flats and waters of Bristol Bay support nationally and internationally significant numbers of birds, but the birds that use the Bristol Bay area provide important subsistence value to residents of Alaska.”

“Bird-related tourism is an important component that the agency has failed to look into. Bird watching in the United States contributes nearly $80 billion to the US economy. Bird watching generates over 600,000 jobs throughout the U.S. In Alaska, residents are ranked 5th in the nation in bird watching participation, illustrating that Alaskans are avid birders that contribute to this recreational economy.”

Important Bird Areas at the mouth of Bristol Bay, downstream from the Pebble mine site.


Natalie Dawson | Audubon Alaska | (907) 276-7034 | 

Rebecca Sentner | Audubon Alaska | (907) 276-7034 |

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