OK, I'll admit I've been in blogger retirement of sorts, not that it was ever a career. But I am pissed off, so I'm coming out retirement if only for a post or two, who knows maybe it will become habit again.
Look folks, I know there is Pebble Mine fatigue. It has been going on endlessly for about 8 years and really picked up steam as of late.Fly fishing blogs are constantly ranting about it. News media, especially in Alaska, remain saturated with the topic. Social media remains abuzz, espcially lately. You've probably signed petitions, online comments, etc ad nauseum. I get it. It is exhausting.
But here is the deal:
The state of Alaska is no friend to salmon and huge friend to industry. This year the state is on a fast track to try to "streamline" permitting, cut Alaskans out of the process, and open the door for mega-projects like Pebble. Now more than ever we need EPA's help and they are doing what they can. But, they need to hear from you.
On April 26, EPA released it's second draft Watershed Assesment. And in short, it says what we think it says - Pebble or any such mining is bad for Bristol Bay. In response to this Assesmsnet, we are half way through a 30 day comment period. Hence the reason comment links to EPA comment flying around through facebook and social media from Trout Unlimited and other hard working groups right now.
You've probably seen videos like this one:
Or this one:
Let me be crystal clear these are not simply some fluffy attempt to make you feel limportant, engaged or have a say. YOU DO HAVE A SAY. People are not just churning out this media, flooding the airwaves so we can feel good about ourselves, we are trying to motivate you to get off your ass.
So, get off your ass. Shit, you can even win trips to Bristol Bay. What more do you need?
Your comments count. Every single one of them.
Why am I pissed off? Remember when I ranted last year about how if you don't engage in conservation you have no right to be out on the stream. Well I still stand by that rant. And it seems folks can't take a few minutes to tell a federal agency to do their job and Stop Pebble Mine.
How do I know? Because comments are public record and anyone can keep tabs on how many comments are coming in and where they are from. And to date - only about 6000 sportsmen have commented. That is TERRIBLE.
Let's do the math - there are 60 Million anglers in the United States. There are roughly 5-6 Milllion fly fishers. There are 150,000 members of Trout Unliited (the disparity in this number is another topic that pisses me off), but yet only about 6000 anglers and sportsmen have written to EPA. That is someithing like .01% of American anglers. Are you kidding me?
You have time to post pictures of your awesome fish on facebook, but you don't have time to personalize and sign a pre-drafted petition to EPA?
So here's the deal. Stop reading this post. Go comment to EPA through this LINK. Heck, take note, tell friends, you can win a trip to Bristol Bay.
But now is the time, so go do it.