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Protecting Wild Salmon and Wild Rivers – October 17, 2014

US Forest Service should place a mineral withdrawal on critical Smith River watershed

The Smith River, which originates in the wilds of southwest Oregon and flows through northwest California, is the only major undammed river remaining in California. Its free-flowing waters still provide the rare opportunity for wild salmon to make the epic journey from the ocean to the Smith’s headwaters to spawn, as salmon once did in rivers throughout the Pacific Northwest.  The California Department of Fish and Wildlife describes the Smith River as “irreplaceable” with respect to salmon population resiliency and biodiversity.

So it came as welcome news last week that Oregon’s Water Resources Department denied an application from a mining company — Red Flat Nickel Corporation — to withdraw water… more

by: Bonnie Gestring

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Toxic Tailings Pond Breach in Canada Highlights Risks Faced by Proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska – August 7, 2014

Hundreds of people in British Columbia without water after billions of gallons of mining waste spill into rivers

This week’s devastating tailings dam failure at the Mount Polley copper mine in British Columbia sent an estimated 4.5 million cubic meters of mine waste solids and 2.6 billion gallons of mine waste liquids into streams, rivers, and lakes in the headwaters of the Fraser River watershed.  According to the CBC, the volume of the spill would fill approximately 2,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

It will be some time before we know the full consequences of this mine failure, but just the physical damage as shown by the video above, of the Canadian disaster means the ecosystem will take a long time to… more

by: Bonnie Gestring

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EPA Restricts Mine Waste Disposal in Bristol Bay Watershed – July 21, 2014

A crucial step towards protecting the world’s most prolific salmon fishery

On Friday, the US Environmental Protection Agency released its long-awaited plan for restricting mine waste disposal in Alaska's Bristol Bay watershed — a crucial step towards protecting the world's most prolific wild salmon fishery and the 14,000 hardworking fishermen who depend on it. Alaska Native Tribes and commercial fishermen petitioned the EPA to use its authority to protect the fishery in 2010.

Salmon fishing boats in Bristol BayPhoto by Courtesy Friends of Bristol BaySalmon fishing boats in Bristol Bay. Alaska Native Tribes and commercial fishermen petitioned the EPA to use its authority to protect the fishery in 2010.

"It's been a long time coming,"… more

by: Bonnie Gestring

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EPA Says Pebble Mine Could Devastate Bristol Bay Salmon Fishery – January 16, 2014

Agency report is a blow to mining interests who want to set up world’s largest open-pit copper and gold mine in the region

Yesterday, the Environmental Protection Agency released its final study of the impacts of large-scale mining, including the proposed Pebble Mine, on Alaska’s Bristol Bay. The science is clear. Mining the Pebble deposit will have severe and lasting consequences for the world’s largest wild salmon fishery.

aerial photo of a wild landscape in sunshineCourtesy of EPABristol Bay supplies nearly 50 percent of the world’s commercial sockeye, generates $480 million in annual revenue and supports 14,000 jobs a year.

"Our report concludes that large-scale mining poses risks to salmon and the tribal communities that have depended on them for thousands of years,” EPA regional administrator… more

by: Bonnie Gestring

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