Asks president to stop mine plan

COURTESY TO THE BELLINGHAM HERALDJune 14, 2013 

I appreciate the opinion piece, "Alaska's Pebble Mine proposal threatens Whatcom Business" by Pat Pitsch. I'm another Washington resident who makes a living from the Bristol Bay commercial salmon fishery - the most valuable wild salmon run in the world. This $1.5 billion a year powerhouse industry supports a lot of business and revenue flowing to this state. Bristol Bay supports more than 3,200 jobs for Washington residents and provides $169 million in income. These benefits spread far and wide, from fishermen and processing workers, to shipping companies, warehousing services, airlines and more. It's time we recognize the full value this fishery pumps to the American economy. At risk is a sustainable fishing industry from an open-pit mine backed by foreign mining giants. Digging up the Pebble deposit will destroy, at a minimum, up to 90 miles of salmon streams and up to 4,800 acres of wetland habitat. I do not oppose mining. Pebble is simply the wrong project in the wrong place. Bristol Bay supplies 50 percent of the world's sockeye. We must ensure the future of this global-scale food resource and its economy. Please join me in urging the Obama administration to stop the Pebble Mine now and preserve the sustainable jobs and industry of Bristol Bay.

John Fairbanks

Bellingham

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