I'm writing to thank former Alaska first lady Bella Hammond for her thoughtful opinion piece (Compass, Sept. 14) praising EPA's actions in Bristol Bay. Bella is a lifelong resident of our region, and we're so proud of the leadership she (and her late husband) provided on this issue.
The EPA's scientific assessment of Bristol Bay is strong. They worked with top scientists in the world and spent time in the region to incorporate traditional knowledge into their report. In order to maintain our culture and help our families survive, it's crucial that commercial and subsistence fishing are available to our people. To do this, the proposed Pebble mine can't move forward.
During the recent EPA peer review on its draft assessment, many Native leaders stressed the importance of a relationship with local tribes and how mining would threaten residents ability to harvest salmon. While we don't wish to see all development stopped, a mine in Bristol Bay is too dangerous.
By conducting a fair assessment of the proposed mine, we're convinced government officials will see the dangers of this project and stop it from moving forward.
-- Betty J. Bonin