July 17, 2012 Newsletter
Here’s to hoping that your summer is in full-swing! There’s a lot to cover this month. The EPA’s public comment period is set to close in two weeks. Some terrific television coverage about Bristol Bay is coming this month. Want to enjoy a delicious salmon dinner and help Bristol Bay? A looming monstrosity of a hydropower dam is being proposed in one of Alaska’s most popular recreational regions. Salmon restoration project and the controversial Sealaska lands bill advances in the Tongass. Project Healing Waters veterans fish Bristol Bay. All this, plus an incredible promotion from our friends at Abel Automatics, in the July SAA News!
Have You Weighed In with EPA?
Bristol Bay: EPA Draft Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment Comment Period Ends July 23rd
The EPA announced last week that the 60-day public comment period will conclude on July 23rd, so if you’ve not already done so…what are you waiting for? This is the chance we’ve been waiting for. For a few more weeks, people all over the country can help protect Bristol Bay by providing an official comment to the EPA. Take action – and send the link to everyone you feel would care about Bristol Bay’s incredible fish, game, economic, and cultural resources.
EPA WEBINAR about the Draft Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment coming up:
You are welcome to attend a webinar for an overview of the draft Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment. This overview was presented at the public meetings held in Anchorage, Dillingham, Seattle and other Bristol Bay communities in June. This is a good opportunity if you were not able to attend a meeting, or if you are still drafting comments on the assessment.
Tuesday, July 17 (2:30 - 3:30 p.m. PDT)
Register to attend at: https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/256406382
Thursday, July 19 (2:30 - 3:30 p.m. PDT)
Register to attend at: https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/438201910
The draft watershed assessment and executive summary may be viewed on the EPA's official Bristol Bay web page.
TAKE ACTION and SUBMIT YOUR COMMENTS
Trust me – there is a ton of coverage of the watershed assessment on the Latest News page. Here’s a brief sampling of highlights:
- Video clips from public hearings in Anchorage as well as in Bristol Bay villages are viewable on the SAA home page. Very compelling testimony!
- Alaska Dispatch has very comprehensive coverage of the public hearings in Seattle and Anchorage.
- A Seattle fly shop gave an account of the Seattle hearing.
- New York Times editorial suggests that the “risks are too high.”
- The Bristol Bay Native Corporation issued a press release on the eight public hearings on the EPA’s draft Bristol Bay watershed assessment. The meetings drew nearly 2,300 attendees and roughly 450 oral comments, more than 80% of which were in favor of EPA’s work on the Bristol Bay assessment. See the breakdown by hearing location in summary form.
Bristol Bay: National TV News Programs Covering the Battle of Mining vs. Salmon
This month, two nationally-televised news programs will give viewers across America a chance to see what’s at stake in Bristol Bay, as the region faces the threats posed by massive mining proposals. Find the channels for your area, and watch these programs.
- Dan Rather Reports on the AXS channel (306 on DirecTV, 131 on Dish Network, click the link to find your cable station) was just in Alaska, where fishermen believe wild salmon, known here as “Red Gold”, will be threatened by runoff from a planned copper and gold mine that would be one of the largest in the world. Yahoo News also ran a story by Dan Rather about his trip and the proposed Pebble Mine.
- Airs last time at 9am ET on Saturday, July 21
- Also available on iTunes
- Frontline on your local PBS station travels to Alaska to probe the fault lines of a growing battle between those who depend on this extraordinary fishery for a living, the mining companies who are pushing for Pebble and the political framework that will ultimately decide the outcome.
- Debuts on Tuesday evening, July 24 – it will run a number of times no doubt. Just search your local listings to find the air times in your area.
Tell your friends, and set your DVR – the more people see these stories, the more supporters we will enlist!
Tongass National Forest: Sitkoh River Restoration Project
The Sitkoh River project is a partnership of the Forest Service, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Trout Unlimited and Sitka Conservation Society. The $318,000 project aims to restore a salmon-producing watershed that was adversely affected by past logging and road-building. Here’s some of the coverage the project received:
The Sitka Conservation Society has a good synopsis of the project and its goals.
Visit the American Salmon Forest web site today. Learn about the Tongass 77 campaign, and sign on to support this proposed legislation to protect the best fish-producing watersheds on America’s largest national forest.
Tongass National Forest: House Advances Controversial Sealaska Lands Bill
While the bill is far less certain to advance in the Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a version of the Sealaska lands bill which would transfer ownership of nearly 65,000 acres of Tongass National Forest lands to the Sealaska Corporation. Learn more from:
Random Shots: News from Around Alaska (and Beyond)
- Follow award-winning food writer Paul Greenberg on a float fishing trip in Bristol Bay. Paul is logging journal entries on the New York Times web site. The link is to the first of four posts, covering grayling, rainbow trout, bears, and of course, sockeye salmon.
- Speaking of sockeye, are you hungry for one? Want to help the fight for Bristol Bay at the same time? Check out the special salmon dinners at restaurants across the country with the proceeds dedicated to the Bristol Bay campaign. All the details can be found at Savor Bristol Bay.
- Bristol Bay Native Corporation and Trout Unlimited’s Alaska program, through the Bristol Bay River Academy, teamed with Project Healing Waters to send eight veterans and soldiers on a five-day fishing trip to Mission Lodge in Bristol Bay.
- Not like we need anything more to worry about, but you should definitely look into the proposed Susitna Dam. This project makes no sense on so many levels…
- Follow the Save Bristol Bay YouTube channel which is adding some really great new video clips every week, showcasing people from Bristol Bay and around the country and why we need to protect this fishery.
- SAA supporter and backcountry hunting enthusiast Mark Seacat is starring in an “elegant and authentic hunting story” – the new short film, Searching for West. The teaser for Searching for West is available to view at searchingforwest.com. The full film premieres Aug. 16 in Bozeman at the Emerson’s Crawford Theater, and will be free to view at searchingforwest.com, sitkafilms.com and leica.com starting Aug. 22.
- Allen Fly Fishing has teamed up with the artistic talents of Eric Hornung to bring you a unique, hand drawn design in support of Bristol Bay! They are releasing this t-shirt to raise money for the effort to protect Bristol Bay from the massive Pebble Mine project.
Special Promotion from Abel Automatics to Benefit Sportsman’s Alliance for Alaska
SAA friends, and supporters of the Bristol Bay campaign, Abel Automatics has produced a limited edition “No Pebble Mine” fly reel. In a new development you can get this special reel in four different sizes. Abel will produce limited edition reels in the newly re-designed Super 4N, Super 5N, Super 6N and Super 7/8N Large Arbor reels. The reels come in a specially anodized red color, symbolic of both the area’s sockeye or red salmon and the “No Pebble Mine” campaign. The collectors’ edition Bristol Bay Abel reel to benefit the Sportsman’s Alliance for Alaska is priced from $500 - 700. It is available directly from the factory or through authorized Abel Dealers today.
Special Promotion from BobWhite Studio to Benefit Sportsman’s Alliance for Alaska
SAA friend, talented artist, Bristol Bay guide, and all-around great guy Bob White has partnered with the Sportsman’s Alliance for Alaska to help stop the Pebble Mine.
Help stop the Pebble Mine, get an inspiring piece of artwork, and support SAA all at once!
BobWhite Studio will donate 25% of print sales to the Sportsman’s Alliance for Alaska to help stop the Pebble Mine. Check out Bob’s artistic talents, and take advantage of his generosity.
Other Ways to Support SAA and the Fight for Fishing and Hunting in Alaska
SAA is grateful for the generous support of individuals, businesses, and foundations. Your donations allow SAA to continue to work on efforts to protect prime fishing and hunting habitats in the Last Frontier for the benefit of current and future sportsmen and women. Make your donations online at the secure SAA donation page; all amounts are accepted and appreciated – SAA is a lean, mean, one-man operation but it takes funding to do this work. For donations of the following amounts, please indicate what item you’d like to receive in the “comment” box on the donation page.
Two Easy Online Shopping Portals to Support SAA
Shop for hunting, fishing, and outdoor gear at Pro Guide Direct, where 15% of your purchases support SAA’s work.
Turn your online shopping at over 1,000 stores into much-needed donations to support SAA’s work. A few percent on each sale adds up!
Thanks for caring about Alaska conservation. Your support and actions will ensure a future for Alaska’s fish and game and for coming generations of sportsmen and women to enjoy them.
Director – Sportsman’s Alliance for Alaska