NAKNEK, AK – United Tribes of Bristol Bay released new polling results today highlighting local concerns about the proposed Pebble mine, showing more than 80 percent of the region believes that the mine poses a threat to the region’s subsistence, sport and commercial fisheries.
A majority of Bristol Bay residents also demonstrated skepticism toward the Pebble Partnership’s recent claims about a smaller, more environmentally friendly mine. The majority (56 percent) believe that the company will expand from its initial footprint, and more than two-thirds (69 percent) of the region think that Pebble has offered revenue-sharing as a way to buy local support, with about half the region presuming that the money will not actually be paid out.
The results also show that the majority (55 percent) of Bristol Bay residents do not trust the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to protect the watershed, the fish, and the economy in Bristol Bay.
Wide-spread local opposition to the project was confirmed by a poll conducted by Hays Research Group this summer, just before the start of the Bristol Bay salmon season. This summer, more than 50 million sockeye returned to Bristol Bay, including a record of more than 30 million to the Nushagak District. These salmon are nurtured by pristine habitat and careful management, and the people of Bristol Bay are adamant that we will not trade them for a gold mine.
“No matter what lies Pebble tries to sell, the people of Bristol Bay know the truth: this is the wrong mine, in the wrong place, and we will oppose it to the end,” said UTBB Board President Robert Heyano. “This poll highlights the reality that we live every day — the proposed Pebble mine poses too great a risk to the fisheries that have sustained Bristol Bay since time immemorial.”