Bristol Bay Proclamation signed by Northwest U.S. tribes and organizations
A Bristol Bay Proclamation was signed Tuesday by the United Tribes of Bristol Bay, along with other Northwestern U.S. tribes and supporters, to protect salmon and the traditions of Native communities in the area.
Those who supported UTBB at the signing were The National Congress of American Indians, Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians, Tsileil-Waututh First Nation of British Columbia, Lummi Nation and Makah Tribe.
The proclamation is geared against the controversial proposed Pebble mine project.
According to a release, "the Proclamation demands that the federal government honor its obligation to protect the lifeways of the Tribes of Bristol Bay; adhere to the first principles of government-to-government consultation including full, prior, and informed consent; and work with the tribes of Bristol Bay to ensure the long-term, sustainable management of their lands and waters."
According to those supporting the proclamation, the Pebble Mine near Bristol Bay would threaten not only the salmon but traditional culture and lifeways bound to the salmon.
“The United States cannot ignore sovereign Native Nations when it comes to decisions made about our lands, seas, ways of life and livelihoods,” said MaryAnn Johnson, a member of Portage Creek Village Council and treasurer of the UTBB Board. “We are thankful for the solidarity from all the other tribes, and we have come together to send a clear message about the need to protect our salmon.”
The group highlighted the success of the 2019 salmon season in Bristol Bay, during which the Alaska Department of Fish and Game says 56.5 million fish were harvested with an exvessel value of more than $306 million.
In late December, The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers delayed when the final environmental impact statement for the Pebble Mine will be released.
Previously, the final EIS was expected to come around the end of February or beginning of March. But during a teleconference, it was announced that the final EIS will be released at the end of June or beginning of July 2020.
Just this month,
The act requires federal agencies to assess the environmental and social impacts of proposed actions and hear public input before making decisions.
The most high profile project in Alaska currently in the NEPA process is the permit application for the Pebble Partnership's mine in Southwest Alaska.