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New survey reaffirms Bristol Bay residents are against Pebble Mine

Jason Sear

The United Tribes of Bristol Bay commissioned a poll to identify where Bristol Bay residents stand on Pebble Mine. A majority of respondents said they oppose the mine and worry the project will endanger the region’s sockeye run.


A survey released by United Tribes of Bristol Bay in July shows residents of Bristol Bay are overwhelmingly against the construction of the proposed Pebble Mine.



“It really confirms the fact that the people of Bristol Bay have not and do not want this project,” said Alannah Hurley, UTBB executive director.


UTBB hired Hays Research Group to conduct a phone poll that asked 400 people around Bristol Bay their opinion on the permitting process and proposed mine plan. When asked, "Do you support or oppose Pebble Mine?", 75 percent said they oppose it.



The survey also showed, slightly over half of residents do not trust the United States Army Corps of Engineers' permitting process or the Environmental Protection Agency.


Bristol Bay is home to the largest wild sockeye run in the world and more than two-thirds of those polled are concerned the mine will endanger the fishery that brings in millions of dollars to the region. Hurley stressed that salmon have been vital to life in Bristol Bay for thousands of years.


“This is a human rights issue this is a cultural rights issue. We’re are fighting for the core of who we are as native people,” said Hurley.


The Pebble Limited Parttnership is in the process of applying for numerous federal, state and local permits for construction of the mine. Alaska Governor Bill Walker recently asked the Army Corps of Engineers to suspend the federal permitting process for the mine, but that request was denied.



The Pebble Limited Partnership declined to comment for this story.


Contact the author at or 907-842-5281.