Anglers and conservation groups earned a hard-fought victory last month when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers rejected a Canadian company’s application to develop a copper-molybdenum-gold mine in southwest Alaska.
The project, known as the Pebble Mine, has loomed over Alaska’s Bristol Bay region for more than a decade with an impetus to cash in on large mineral deposits near the headwaters of Earth’s most prolific salmon runs. Since 2005, conservation groups, sporting groups and locals have waged a legal battle to protect this pristine landscape and fishery. By some estimates, the mine, as proposed, would have destroyed more than 330 miles of streams with toxic runoff at the head of the most productive salmon fishery in the world.
The decision stated: “USACE determined that the applicant’s plan for the discharge of fill material does not comply with Clean Water Act guidelines and concluded that the proposed project is contrary to the public interest.”
Multiple news agencies are reporting this latest decision as a death blow for the project, but it’s worth noting that Pebble Mine has risen from the dead before.