An Inside Look at the Battle for Bristol Bay with Trout Unlimited's Austin Williams

February 15, 2021

The miners have appealed the permit denial. It's game on.

This week, Peter Ravella and Tyler Buckingham explore past, present, and future of the Pebble Mine, one of the most important issues on the American Shoreline. The proposed Pebble Mine is a very large open pit copper, gold, and molybdenum mine in the Bristol Bay, Alaska, location of one of the most prolific fisheries in the world. Annually, up to 50 million salmon return to spawn in the bay's river systems. The federal 404 permit for the project had been the subject of much anticipation during the Trump Administration, but in a surprise November 2020 decision, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers rejected the mine's permit sending the project back to the drawing board. The battle continues as the mine developers and the state of Alaska have appealed. Joining the show is Austin Williams, the Trout Unlimited's Alaska Director of Law and Policy. Austin has worked extensively on the campaign to stave off the Pebble Mine, which many believe would devetate Bristol Bay's incredible salmon runs. We talk strategy, tactics, and how Bristol Bay might be permanently protected in the future. Join us on a trip up to Alaska, only on ASPN!

Show Transcription
This transcription was generated by a computer. Please excuse any errors.
Peter Ravella & Tyler Buckingham

Peter and Tyler joined forces in 2015 and from the first meeting began discussing a project that would become Coastal News Today and the American Shoreline Podcast Network. At the time, Peter and Tyler were coastal consultants for Pete’s firm, PAR Consulting, LLC. In that role, they worked with coastal communities in Texas, Florida, and North Carolina, engaged in grant writing, coastal project development, shoreline erosion and land use planning, permitting, and financial planning for communities undertaking big beach restoration projects. Between and among their consulting tasks, they kept talking and kept building the idea of CNT & ASPN. In almost every arena they worked, public engagement played a central role. They spent thousands of hours talking with coastal stakeholders, like business owners, hotel operators, condo managers, watermen, property owners, enviros, surfers, and fishermen. They dived deep into the value, meaning, and responsibility for the American shoreline, segment-by-segment. Common threads emerged, themes were revealed, differences uncovered. There was a big conversation going on along the American shoreline! But, no place to have it. That's where CNT and ASPN were born.