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We at Sage have always been strongly opposed to the proposed pebble mine in Bristol Bay and now the campaign to save one of our most important salmon fisheries has hit it’s most critical juncture yet.

Here’s where the situation stands:

After being asked to deny the Pebble Partnership a Clean Water Act 404 permit, by Federally recognized tribes, Commercial fishing interest, and the Bristol Bay sportfishing interest, the EPA undertook writing a the Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment. In May of 2012, EPA release the Draft Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment. This Assessment was then peer reviewed by a select group of scientists. The EPA has taken the recommendations of these scientists and is now rewriting the Draft Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment for a 30 day public comment period.

In short, your comments will influence whether the mine happens or not.

Highlights from the Draft Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment

• 46% of the global abundance of wild sockeye (37.5 million fish annually) are found in Bristol Bay.

• Nushagak River Chinook salmon run can reach over 200,000 fish

• 35 fish species (all 5 species of Pacific Salmon Rainbow Trout, Dolly Varden, Grayling, Arctic Char, lake trout, and Northern pike), 190 bird species, 40 terrestrial species are potentially impacted.

• Direct loss of 55 to 85 miles of streams and 4 to 6.7 square miles of wetlands could result from Pebble.

• If all major claims were developed, a direct loss of 114 miles of stream and a 30 square miles of tailings storage facilities would result.

• Tailings spill would eliminate 28% of the Nushagak Chinook run.

• Populations of Rainbow Trout and Dolly Varden could be lost for decades.