Re: “President Biden should give more than words to protect Bristol Bay” [Aug. 16, Opinion]:
It’s a sad truth that there are fewer and fewer wild places left in our country. These untamed lands are important for all sorts of reasons — protecting wildlife, combating climate change, supplying clean water. For some of us, these wild places also provide employment.
I began commercial fishing in Bristol Bay, Alaska, in 1984 and just completed my 30th season. It has allowed me to support my family while also providing wild salmon to millions around the world.
The Seattle Times editorial board had it right when it called on President Joe Biden to protect Bristol Bay from the Pebble Mine, an open-pit copper and gold mine that would be located in Bristol Bay’s headwaters and produce thousands of tons of toxic waste. In contrast to other salmon populations declining on the West Coast, Bristol Bay had a record-breaking 65 million sockeye return this summer. Thousands of fishermen like myself depend on these salmon, and we are united with tribes, recreational fishermen, conservationists and businesses in supporting permanent protection of Bristol Bay from the Pebble Mine.
It’s time for the Biden administration to put those protections in place so that Bristol Bay continues to provide for future generations.
John Fairbanks, Bellingham