DILLINGHAM, AK – In response to Senator Murkowski’s remarks outlining her plans for the region, Bristol Bay Tribes called on the Senator to include regional leadership in the development of long-term protections for the area. This call comes as the Tribes’ request to meet the Senator remains unanswered.
In E&E News, Murkowski stated she has is talking to people “in the region and in the state,” but to date, she has not responded to a meeting request from the organizations that represent that vast majority of the people of the region. United Tribes of Bristol Bay joined other Bristol Bay organizations in asking the Senator to meet with them last month, but she has yet to do so, instead sharing her plans only through the media.
This indicates that Murkowski is politicizing the cause of protecting the region – and doing so at the expense of the people of Bristol Bay. In 2009, Bristol Bay Tribes asked the EPA to permanently protect Bristol Bay from the threat of a large-scale hard rock mines like Pebble through the use of Clean Water Act after carefully considering a range of options to protect our home. These scientifically-based protections have received wide-spread support in Bristol Bay and throughout America in multiple comment periods over the past decade.
“It is a shame that Senator Murkowski is more interested in politics than in truly protecting our lands and waters. Her statements today made clear that Bristol Bay is being treated as a bargaining chip. This is not acceptable. A Clean Water Act veto of the proposed Pebble Mine is the permanent, legal way to ensure that Bristol Bay’s communities, economies and ways of life continue to thrive for future generations. It is legal and it is time. The EPA must listen to the people and veto this project,” said UTBB Deputy Director Lindsay Layland.