Bristol Bay and Beyond, Jan. 23

Jan 27, 2015

Pebble CEO Tom Collier talks federal lawsuits, Bryce Edgmon has reaction to Gov.'s budget address, a preview of the Coffeehouse, and more.

Bristol Bay patiently waits for winter to come. The Igushik River slowly iced over late in the week, but not yet enough for safe travel by Manokotak residents.
Credit Joanne Knight

His Grace Bishop David traveled the region this week, offering blessings, including on Lake Aleknagik.
Credit Robyn Chaney

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The afternoon sun reflects off the N&N Market in downtown Dillingham after a fresh snow.
Credit Clark Fair

On Thursday night, Governor Bill Walker delivered a State of the Budget address, the night after he delivered a State of the State address in front of assembled lawmakers in Juneau.  Walker’s sober message to the state was that the finances are in deep trouble, and it will take some deep cuts to help make things right. Among those in attendance was Disctrict 37 Representative Bryce Edgmon, who offered some reaction to the speech.

A 3.7 magnitude earthquake was reported north of Dillingham Tuesday, prompting some residents who read about it to wonder if they had felt it or not. Out in the Aleutians, earthquakes are an almost hourly occurrence, though most are too tiny to feel, and the bigger ones are usually over in just seconds. But there’s another type of earthquake that runs deeper than those daily events:  a slow earthquake.  As Annie Ropeik at KUCB in Unalaska reports, that’s what scientists are looking for right now.

Steve Wassilly performed three songs at the annual Coffeehouse Saturday night in Dillingham.
Credit Clark Fair

Pebble CEO Tom Collier. (this photo was taken during a 2014 interview in Dillingham)
Credit KDLG

For the last two years, the momentum in the battle over Pebble Mine has been pretty decidedly in the favor of those who would like to see any possibility of that mine’s development squashed forever. The Pebble Partnership lost it’s deep-pocketed partner Anglo American, and other major shareholders divested from Northern Dynasty. The EPA has developed, but not finalized, 404c restrictions that would block a Pebble-sized mine. And state voters just adopted an initiative to give the legislature, rather than executive branch agencies, a final say in whether Pebble or similar mines would be developed in Bristol Bay.

But Pebble, against the ropes, has come back swinging. Northern Dynasty just raised some $13 million dollars to continue their efforts, and Pebble continues to lobby Congress to tighten the EPA’s operating parameters within the Clean Water Act. There is also an EPA Inspector General investigation into agency actions surrounding Bristol Bay, and one of Pebble's federal lawsuits against EPA has now stopped the agency dead in its tracks until a judge hears more of the case.

For our Friday conversation, Tom Collier spoke with us by phone this week from Juneau. We’ll pick up the conversation as Collier explains lawsuit number two, known as the FACA case, which has resulted in a  preliminary injunction, or halt, on EPA's work.

Getting ... there. The Igushik River finally froze this week, but travel was still not yet recommended.
Credit Joanne Knight

Finally, for an off season, there has been a lot happening in the world of the fishing industry. Our regular guest Gabe Dunham from the MAP program in Bristol Bay, is back with us.

Blessing Lake Aleknagik this week.
Credit Robyn Chaney

That's it for this week's Bristol Bay and Beyond, our weekly newsmagazine on KDLG. We hope you join us each Friday at 12pm and 6:30pm on AM670.

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Have you taken a stellar photo this week that be our cover photo? Send it to us! We'll credit you, and then hound you for more photos thereafter.

Heading down the western ridge of Snake Mountain.
Credit Clark Fair