Pebble Mine Permit Denied by Army Corps of Engineers

Photo: Fly Out Media
Last week, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers denied a key permit for the proposed Pebble mine. This is a huge win for the largest sockeye salmon run in the world and the 14,000 fish-based jobs in Bristol Bay. The Conservation Alliance began funding the campaign to Save Bristol Bay in 2008 with a $30,000 grant to Trout Unlimited’s Alaska program. From 2008-2020, we awarded a total of six grants to Trout Unlimited (TU) Alaska totaling $225,000 for their effort to stop the Pebble mine and secure permanent protection for Bristol Bay. Keep reading for an update from our friends at TU Alaska: 
On Wednesday, November 25th, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a Record of Decision for the proposed Pebble mine, denying the Canadian mining company its most important federal permit needed to dig in the headwaters of Bristol Bay, Alaska.  
After a multi-year permit review process, the Army Corps found that the proposed copper and gold mine would cause “significant degradation” to wetlands and aquatic resources in southwest Alaska. In its record of decision, the Army Corps called the plan “noncompliant” with the Clean Water Act, saying the mitigation plan did not preserve a large enough area and was not protective enough, lacking, among other things, a long-term management plan and financial assurances.  
The permit denial functionally kills the mine plan in the immediate future.  
Nelli Williams, Alaska Program Director for Trout Unlimited, said in a statement: “The denial of Pebble’s permit is a victory for American jobs, rural communities, and a fishing and hunting paradise long threatened by this shortsighted and reckless proposal. With this behind us, the people of Bristol Bay can start the work of ensuring the region is protected into the future from threats.” 
With a two decadelong partnership with local tribes and commercial fishermen in the region, recreational hunters and anglers,  and outdoor enthusiasts were instrumental in moving the needle on the permit decision. In April, 250+ fishing, hunting and outdoor recreation businesses (including many Conservation Alliance businesses) and over 50,000 individual sportsmen and women sent a letter to the White House with the same message: Pebble’s permit must be denied.  
Joined by a high-profile chorus of advocates for Bristol Bay this fall, the effort to stop Pebble mine gained national attention once again from people across the political spectrum. Pointing to strong science and the lies of the Pebble Limited Partnership revealed in the Pebble TapesAmericans nationwide called on the Army Corps of Engineers to deny the permit and safeguard 15,000 fish-based jobs, thriving subsistence traditions and Indigenous cultures, and a fishing and hunting paradise.  
While the permit denial effectively stops the mine from advancing right now, it’s crucial that we stay engaged for the next chapter in Bristol Bay. Getting community-supported, long-term protections for the region is the only way that we can ensure Pebble, or any other mining company with eyes on southwest Alaska, doesn’t have the opportunity to advance and try to develop in Bristol Bay in the future.  
Led by local leaders and Tribal organizations, Trout Unlimited in Alaska is committed to organizing hunters, anglers and the outdoor community so that Bristol Bay gets the protections it needs and deserves. Join Trout Unlimited’s efforts for Bristol Bay and stay up to date on the next place for action