Priority Campaign 2022

Bristol Bay, Alaska

Bristol Bay
Photo: Stop Pebble Mine

The Conservation Alliance harnesses the power of businesses and outdoor communities to protect North America’s cherished wild places and outdoor spaces. Through the collective strength of our membership – companies from banks to breweries and outdoor gear – we champion solutions that balance the best interests of the land and water, wildlife, and people. Since 1989, we’ve helped protect 81 million acres and 3,580 river miles, remove or halt 37 dams, purchase 21 climbing areas, and designate five marine reserves.

In 2023 and 2024, we are investing additional advocacy resources in six priority campaigns. Each campaign is focussed on natural resource conservation, adapting to a changing climate, recognizing the rights of Indigenous communities, and protecting habitat in places that are also valued for human-powered recreation. We announce our Advocacy Priority Campaigns once a year. In collaboration with our grantees, we work to identify land and water conservation opportunities that are urgent, vital, and need national attention.

Bristol Bay, Alaska

What’s at stake?

Bristol Bay, located in Southwestern Alaska, home to one of the world’s last great wild salmon ecosystems. Salmon play a central role in the cultural and spiritual identity of the Yup’ik, Dena’ina, and Alutiiq peoples who have lived in the region for millennia, and are critical to their way of life. Home to the world’s largest wild sockeye salmon run, Bristol Bay provides over 15,000 jobs and generates $2.2 billion annually from the commercial fishery that feeds Americans from coast to coast. This is under threat from the proposed Pebble Mine would produce billions of tons of contaminated waste, which could destroy the region’s salmon habitat and permanently impact the many communities and industries that depend on it.

What’s the solution?

Permanent protection for Bristol Bay under the Clean Water Act. In November, 2020, the Army Corps denied an important federal permit for the Pebble Mine. And in October, 2021 the courts cleared the way for the Environmental Protection Agency to again consider taking action using section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act to veto the Pebble Mine.

The Conservation Alliance joins groups advocating for permanent protection of Bristol Bay through:

  • EPA finalizing its action under the Clean Water Act and veto the Pebble Mine, and
  • Passing bills in Congress and the Alaska legislature to permanently ensure that mining projects that would harm Bristol Bay salmon, rivers and lakes can never be built. 
Who is The Conservation Alliance’s partner?

The United Tribes of Bristol Bay is a Tribal consortium of 15 federally recognized Tribes in Bristol Bay, representing over 80 percent of the region’s population. The Conservation Alliance has been a proud supporter of the United Tribes of Bristol Bay since 2021.

Photo: Stop Pebble Mine Campaign