Nine members of the U.S. House of Representatives from Washington and Oregon sent a letter this week to President Obama expressing their strong support for protecting the jobs and salmon resources in Alaska’s Bristol Bay.
They join five Western senators who earlier sent a letter to the White House stating their grave concerns about the vast mining proposal under review by the federal Environmental Protection Agency.
The House members – Reps. Suzan DelBene, Denny Heck, Derek Kilmer, Jim McDermott and Adam Smith of Washington, and Reps. Earl Blumenauer, Suzanne Bonamici, Peter DeFazio and Kurt Schrader of Oregon – asked the president to “move quickly to protect Bristol Bay from any open pit mining that would threaten the Pacific region’s fishing economy.”
Bristol Bay’s extraordinary fishing resources power commercial fishing and fish processing industries that extend down the West Coast. Add in sport fishing and tourism and the employment and income numbers climb even higher.
They are all alarmed by a proposal to “turn the habitat where these fish spawn into an industrialized hard rock mining zone.”
A truly bad idea, with profound environmental hazards that will exist for hundreds of years, is attracting the negative reviews its deserves. Read a Times editorial that agrees with the sentiments expressed by these lawmakers.