Hunters and anglers working together to preserve fish and game habitats and hunting and fishing opportunities on our public lands in Alaska.

Sportsman’s Alliance for Alaska

August 15, 2014 Newsletter

Welcome to the latest edition of the SAA News. It’s been a busy month since the last newsletter. As you probably know, the U.S. EPA moved ahead in its process under the Clean Water Act by issuing some commonsense restrictions on mining the Pebble deposit in the Bristol Bay region. A public comment period is underway until September 19, so be sure to take action below. Just last week, a horrific mining accident occurred in British Columbia with impacts to upper reaches of the famed Fraser River system. Here are those and a few other updates on issues of interest to anglers and hunters and the Last Frontier.

Plus, if you’re in the market for a Sage ONE fly rod,  skip right to the end for a very limited (only 2 available, and first-come first-served) special offer to benefit SAA.

We’ll start with an important reminder that our final opportunity to officially comment on the EPA’s work in Bristol Bay is in full swing.

Bristol Bay: Action Alert – THIS IS IT - Stand Up for Bristol Bay One Last Time!

Save Bristol Bay
EPA public hearing in Anchorage; credit Lucas Veldhuis

On July 18, the EPA released its proposed determination to restrict disposal of mine waste in the waters around the Pebble deposit in Bristol Bay.

EPA is using its authority under the Clean Water Act, and you have until September 19 to submit an official comment to help protect Bristol Bay.

This is the FINAL public comment period, so after you take action make sure you tell all your family and friends to do the same!

More Bristol Bay Notes

Forests: Action Alert – Protect Transboundary Rivers along Alaska – B.C. Border

Salmon Beyond Borders

On July 21 the Canadian federal government released its final environmental assessment of the proposed Kerr-Sulphurets-Mitchell (KSM) mine—one of the world’s largest open-pit mines located in the headwaters of the Unuk and Nass Rivers just 19 miles from the AK/B.C. border.

The Unuk River, Southeast Alaska's fourth-largest king salmon producer and an important eulachon river, flows into Misty Fiords National Monument near Ketchikan, AK. The Nass River is British Columbia's third-largest salmon producer. You can comment here but only until August 21, so act now!

British Columbia Mining Disaster – Mount Polley Mine in Fraser River System

This aerial image shows Monday's Mount Polley Mine tailings dam break and some of the damage downstream. (Cariboo Regional District Emergency Operations Centre photo)
This aerial image shows Monday's Mount Polley Mine tailings dam break and some of the damage downstream.
(Cariboo Regional District Emergency Operations Centre photo)

In the early morning hours of August 4, a massive tailings dam failure at the Mt. Polley 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.

The impacts will be severe, no doubt. This ought to serve as the ultimate cautionary example of what can go wrong – despite assurances and the latest technology and design. This event will be scrutinized, but the fact remains that mining in productive salmon watersheds is a risky proposition.

  • Mining Weekly provides detailed coverage including discussion of how this may impact the proposed Pebble Mine.
  • The Trout Unlimited blog discusses how it relates to proposed mines in western B.C. that could impact salmon watersheds that flow into southeast Alaska, like the KSM mine noted above.
  • In 2010, the Pebble Limited Partnership actually used the Mt. Polley mine and the Fraser River as an example of how mining and fisheries can co-exist. Check out two new video clips that have been created to call attention to this in the wake of the Mt. Polley disaster: Preview of Pebble Mine in Mt. Polley Disaster and Mining and Fisheries "Coexist" on Fraser River.
  • A 36-minute video of the aftermath from the disaster is on YouTube.

Miscellany: Other Interesting & Fun Stuff around Alaska (and beyond)

Who Needs a New Sage ONE Fly Rod – Act Fast – Two Available to Benefit SAA!!

Longtime supporter Far Bank Enterprises (Sage, RIO, and Redington brands) has generously donated two of their primo ONE series fly rods. There is one 5-weight and one 8-weight available to the first to reply by e-mailing Both rods are 9-feet long. Retail price on the rods is $775 (5-wt) and $785 (8-wt), and either could be yours for $750 including shipping – act fast!!!

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 online 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 include “SAA” and indicate what item you’d like to receive in the “comment” box on the donation page.

BONUS: All donations of $50 or more will receive a copy of Equilibrium on DVD by Castaway Films!

Waypoints DVD
No Pebble Mine trucker hat
Abel Nippers
$20 – DVD
$20 – Trucker Hat
$150 – Abel Nippers


Alaska by Derek DeYoung
$125 - “4-in-1 Alaska” by Derek DeYoung

Fab Four by Derek DeYoung
$125 - “Fab Four – Alaskan September” by Derek DeYoung

(If you have any questions on how to donate, e-mail

Do You Shop on Help Alaska Conservation – Easy and Free!!!

SAA’s parent organization – the Alaska Conservation Foundation – is now an official recipient organization of Amazon Donations.

It’s super easy to make a donation and doesn’t cost you a thing!

Amazon will automatically donate 0.5% of your total purchases to ACF.


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.


Scott Hed
Director – Sportsman’s Alliance for Alaska

Scott Hed

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