trout unlimited

TU sues EPA over removal of Bristol bay protections

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 

Contact:  

Chris Wood, Trout Unlimited CEO, (571) 274-0601 

Nelli Williams, Trout Unlimited Alaska program director, (907) 230-7121 

Trout Unlimited sues EPA over removal of Bristol Bay protections 

Sportsmen argue EPA ignored sound science, prioritized advancement of Pebble mine over fishing industry. 

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Trout Unlimited, represented pro bono by Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP, filed a lawsuit today against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over its recent decision to withdraw protections for the Bristol Bay region of Alaska. Called the Bristol Bay Proposed Determination, the protections would have limited the scope and scale of impacts from the proposed Pebble Mine to the world-class salmon, trout and water resources of the region. 

“The practical effect of the EPA’s decision was to help out a mine that would devastate a fishing and hunting paradise,” said John Holman, who grew up in the area and is a second-generation owner of No See Um Lodge, a Trout Unlimited member business. “I cannot in good faith pass a business down to my family that will become a financial burden if the Pebble Mine is built. Who does our government work for? This decision made it seem like the EPA and our elected officials are writing off thousands of American jobs, and businesses like mine so a foreign mining company can obliterate the land I depend on, then walk away.”  

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Trout Unlimited’s lawsuit alleges the EPA ignored science and the potential impacts of developing the mine when it withdrew the Bristol Bay Proposed Determination, and in doing so violated the Administrative Procedures Act and Clean Water Act. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers cannot issue a permit to Pebble if the EPA’s decision on the Bristol Bay Proposed Determination is overturned.  

“Billions of dollars have been spent in attempt to restore salmon runs in the Pacific Northwest. Meanwhile, Bristol Bay sets records for its salmon returns year after year. All we need to do is have the humility and common-sense to leave this landscape alone,” said Chris Wood, president and CEO of Trout Unlimited. “Sacrificing a place such as Bristol Bay for some gold is a short-sighted fool’s errand. We are not a litigious organization, but we and millions of other sportsmen and women will not allow greed to compromise the most important salmon fishery on the planet.” 

The Bristol Bay region of southwest Alaska supports the world’s most abundant sockeye salmon run, Alaska’s best Chinook salmon run, and a world-famous trophy rainbow trout fishery. These fisheries are the foundation for a robust sportfishing industry, a rich cultural history and subsistence way of life supporting more than 30 Alaska Native Tribes, and a valuable commercial fishing industry. Bristol Bay fishing—including sport, commercial and subsistence—accounts for thousands of sustainable local jobs and more than $1.5 billion in annual economic activity.  

Citing this unique and wild character, and the economic and cultural importance of the region, the EPA prepared the Bristol Bay Proposed Determination after years of scientific research and multiple peer reviews, with many thousands of Alaskans and millions of Americans voicing support for protecting the region.  

“Any action that jeopardizes this fishery and extremely unique place is unacceptable,” said Nelli Williams, Alaska director for Trout Unlimited. “The proposed Pebble mine is widely opposed by anglers and hunters across Alaska and the country. This lawsuit is a step to hold the EPA accountable to their own science and American sportsmen and women, not a foreign-owned mining company.” 

Photo by Fly Out Media.

Photo by Fly Out Media.

“Look at what’s at stake and the maddening progress Pebble is making here at our expense,” said Nanci Morris Lyon, local resident and owner of Bear Trail Lodge, a Trout Unlimited member business. “Contrary to science, the will of the people, and common sense, Pebble is advancing toward their key permit, thanks in part to agencies giving them handouts. This lawsuit calls that out. We can’t afford Pebble in Bristol Bay, and that means we need science, oversight, integrity and persistence.” 

“Removing the Proposed Determination was one of the most poorly justified decisions in the history of the Clean Water Act and is an affront to the fisheries, local communities, and sportsmen and women around the world,” said Wood.  

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Trout Unlimited is the nation’s oldest and largest coldwater fisheries conservation organization dedicated to conserving, protecting and restoring North America’s trout and salmon and their watersheds. In Alaska we have worked in the Bristol Bay region for almost two decades along with thousands of members and supporters including dozens of businesses that depend on the fishery of the region. Follow TU on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram and our blog for all the latest information on trout and salmon conservation. For more information on the Save Bristol Bay campaign go to SaveBristolBay.org. 

National Trout Unlimited is hiring in Colorado!

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POSITION DESCRIPTION TITLE: Mine Reclamation Project Manager

DEPARTMENT: Western Water and Habitat Program

REPORTS TO: Colorado Abandoned Mine Land (AML) Program Manager

POSITION TYPE/HOURS: Full time/40 hours

DATE: 03/25/19

POSITION SUMMARY This is an exciting opportunity to join Trout Unlimited and use your talents to improve water quality and fisheries in Colorado watersheds impacted by historic hardrock mining. TU is hiring a self-motivated and highly capable person to facilitate and execute abandoned mine land reclamation and stream reclamation projects in watersheds across Colorado. This project manager will take projects from start to finish, which consists of developing project concepts, obtaining project funding, and managing project implementation .

New! Spring 2019 High Country Angler is out!

NEW! High Country Angler Spring 2019

The new spring issue of High Country Angler is now live and you can view it online or download the entire issue for free! This time around you can look forward these stories:

  • A Q& A with Landon Mayer by Frank Martin

  • Still Water Sure Thing: Yellowstone Lake by Brian La Rue

  • Paint By Number Fly Fishing by Peter Stitcher 

  • Your Guide to RMNP by Annie Smith

  • Dry Flies in February by Hayden Mellsop

  • Minturn Anglers by Mark Shulman

  • 50 Years Protecting Rivers by Mike Ledger

  • Corps, EPA Propose Clean Water Act Rollback By David Nickum

  • Public Lands: Best. Idea. Ever by CTU Staff

  • Behind the Fin with Dave Taylor by CTU Staff

  • TU and the Birth of Colorado Instream Flows by CTU Staff

  • Angler's All by CTU Staff

  • Fit to be Tied by Joel Evans

Celebrating the Colorado River

Celebrate with us by  sharing  the graphic above. 

Celebrate with us by sharing the graphic above. 

The Colorado River is said to be one of the most important water sources in the west, as it contributes to 7 different states' watersheds. July 25 marks the special day that we all use to celebrate this river.  As part of the celebration, storytellers throughout the basin share how important the river is to their community below: