Pebbled: Virtue signaling won over science in the project of the century for Alaska - Must Read Alaska
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Sunday, November 28, 2021
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Pebbled: Virtue signaling won over science in the project of the century for Alaska

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By MARK HAMILTON

(Editor’s note: This is the first in a series about the history of the Pebble Mine project in Alaska, from the perspective of someone who was part of the team trying to help it succeed against the odds of public opinion and propaganda).

Let me begin with a short story. When I first came to Alaska in 1988, the state was in a financial crisis, much of downtown Anchorage was boarded up, condos were selling for a quarter of their purchase price, and there was a very popular bumper sticker—which, although a bit crude, was humorous.  

The bumper sticker said, “Please God let there be another oil boom; I promise we won’t piss it away this time.”  

Well, Alaska, you just did!

Fact: The entire economic value of all the oil shipped from Prudhoe Bay is about $416 billion.  The current economic value of Pebble Mine deposit’s discovered and inferred minerals is about $550 billion.

Now, it is only fair to note that the profit margins for mines is much tighter than oil, so we could not begin to tax that value at 35 percent as we do oil. On the other hand, and one of the reasons why the margin is smaller is that it takes a lot more people to mine and transport the discovered minerals. That means jobs.  

We didn’t get that next oil boom, and we won’t get another Pebble Mine. Those are multi-generational discoveries.  Besides, and I’ll talk to this later, any mine will need to have water, lots of water. That means there will be fish, and animals, resident and seasonal; there will be people.  And that means there will be controversy.  

We have demonstrated that we will shy away from or embrace the controversy, rather than wait for the science to decide.

When more than half of the population embraces the narrative of fear, it becomes political. 

Once political, our elected officials, at the minimum cannot afford to support the mine, and finally will come out against the mine in order to get re-elected.  Having the unfounded fear affect you, or believing the gross exaggerations (and flat-out lies) means you’ve been “pebbled.”

The overwhelming majority of the public has no knowledge about the specific development they are encouraged to oppose.  For many, it represents an opportunity to virtue signal their love for the environment.  Of course, you care about the environment; it’s probably a big piece of the reason you live in Alaska.  You don’t love it anymore because you tweeted it.  You have no more virtue because you donated to a cause selling fear.  You already live in a state that holds 65 percent, by acreage, of all the Federal parks.  That doesn’t include state parks or set-asides, or EVOS purchased reserves.  You already live in a state that has 85 percent of all Federal wildlife areas.  How much more do you need to feel committed to the environment?  

I’ll tell you what the anti-development people want.  They want it all.  I’m not buying, “I’m not against mining, just this project”.  Really, what mine are you for?  “I’m not against oil drilling, just not THERE.”  Oh? Please add into your assessment the reality that oil and minerals are where you find them.  Where they are is where they will have to demonstrate that they will do no major harm to the environment.  

You don’t have to let the developer build it; but it is senseless to support a preemptive dismissal of a project because someone, somehow tells you it cannot be developed without changing the world as you know it.  Don’t let yourself be “pebbled.”

If any project will result in major harm to the environment, it will not get a permit.  And shouldn’t.  But you cannot decide the results of the Environmental Impact without allowing the process to happen.

Understand that a developer is dealing with the expenditure of hundreds of millions of dollars in order to go through the permitting process.  They are aware of the regulations and believe they can be met.  Maybe they can; maybe they can’t; but you can reasonably assume that no one is going to risk hundreds of millions of dollars on a project that can be dismissed before any science is presented.

Mark Twain once said:  “It is easier to fool people than to convince people that they have been fooled.”

I am going to buck the odds and convince you that you have been fooled.  You are not fools; I’m counting on that, but you have been fooled.  You have been “pebbled.”

The “Pebbled” series at Must Read Alaska is authored by Mark Hamilton. After 31 years of service to this nation, Hamilton retired as a Major General with the U. S. Army in July of 1998. He served for 12 years as President of University of Alaska, and is now President Emeritus. He worked for the Pebble Partnership for three years before retiring.

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  • Mark, You are spot on as always. We must extract and develop or die as a State.

  • Great stuff

  • Yes. Everything is political now. The only thing I can say is “Live like sheep, and you’ll die like a lamb.” What happened to the Alaska can do, should do, don’t give a damn attitude? Folks we live in a different place and that means you have to adjust your thinking and actions.

  • Trading one of the largest salmon runs on the planet for a gold mine? Gold can be mined in a bunch of places, gold runs out fish are forever.

    Hamilton just another new comer to Alaska selling out to Canadian mining industry.

  • I am so looking forward to this series. “Pebbled.” Maybe the word will enter into our lexicon like “gate” has from “Watergate.” But Twain was right when he said folks don’t want to know they were fooled and would prefer to be fooled.

  • Absolutely correct. Sadly the majority of the opposition to the project is not from Alaska and cares little about Alaska’s people or fiscal future. For some odd reason they think it is better to continue our dependence on “other” countries for the very minerals that will support and supply the “Green” movement towards electric vehicles, wind power & solar power. It makes no sense for the long vision the opposition says they are striving for. Dumb. Just dumb.

  • Alaska, resource warehouse, deep frozen, closed. . . Until perhaps the Chinese need Copper?
    Heck, the Japanese own a huge portion of Alaska’s fish. When the Chinese need copper for their growing middle class, well here it is?
    Preservation? Yes, we have preserved an impoverished underclass across Southwestern Alaska. Rural Alaskans left behind, even their quota of the fish given to our Seattle and Oregon based fishing industry. An industry subsidized by Alaskan oil, as we should all know.
    One suspects those jubilant about Pebbles demise tend to be the same who think we should leave our oil in the ground. Why heck, fisherman used sailing rigs long before they became what environmental activists likely see as filthy, polluting, diesel equipment operators!
    What the heck, we can always tax the remaining industry, government employees and retirees, at a rate sufficient to pay for all the government services we can’t do without! Ha!

  • Pebbled and China-gated: Who supplies nearly all of the precious minerals needed for satellite technology, and hence cell phones, internet, and so much more essential to modern living, electric vehicles and anything else requiring an electronic battery–China. Our financial/political millionaire and billionaire elites, and the China billionaires, have sold us a sinking ship in the many-tentacled political ideology that embraces the environment at all cost over our quality of life and a future independent of China and the conglomerates who manage our military-industrial complex. We have moved way beyond such a quaint term for those who spy on every move we make. We have learned to love our slave masters.
    Our educational system from the top down has been purchased wholesale and our country’s history, the hard-fought freedoms we think we still enjoy, suppressed and erased, all for the new religion of “woke” virtue signaling and a conspiracy of silencing those who oppose it. What will we not sell to the moguls who incarcerate their political opponents and generations of their relatives, terrorize their own populations and ethnic-cleanse their society of the most obstinate and vulnerable, even selling the organs of the enslaved to the top bidders, Meanwhile, America looks the other way, our leaders purchased, our quality of life being eaten away, byte by byte.
    Has everyone already forgotten what happens to even those accused of crimes against the CCP? For all its fantastical imagery of beauty, culture and conformity of its masses, China rules from a position lacking all civilized moral anchors. The heart of this country is being eaten by a monstrous parasite from the inside out, and we are watching it happening within a single generation.

  • Definitely looking forward to the series. Something worth mentioning is a property called groundhog. 3 miles from pebble. It has possibly the potential to maybe double what is in pebble…? And with modern day prices potentially be worth twice pebble alone…?

  • These projects could leave a vacuum for manpower if they were to go forward, affecting the fishing industry that way. That may be the real fear. Js

  • I once sat down on my own and calculated, as General Hamilton has done, the estimated value of the recoverable minerals at Pebble. My results were very similar to his. Truth is that most Alaskans have never come to grips with how much wealth they are throwing away.

  • I am pumped about this series!!!

  • HARBORGUY, I’m not against gold mining, just not there!

  • This article is spot on, and should have been printed and widely distributed years ago.
    I have been saying essentially the same thing for many years…….that all these sheep who are proudly bleating “No Pebble!”, and proudly displaying their anti Pebble bumper stickers, actually no idea what they are protesting against.
    They have been braying their opposition not to Pebble, but to an idea……because no permit, with the mining plan(s) has been submitted to be analyzed…yet.
    So all you anti Pebble sheep are just against the idea of a mine, and not against a specific mining plan.
    .
    And a big thank you to HARBORGUY for so exquisitely proving Mr. Hamilton’s point, even if by accident.
    You sir have been thoroughly “Pebbled” by the anti truth purveyors and the anti American-pro CCP propagandists more commonly known as our mainstream media or MSM.

  • Being easily duped is a consequence from generations recieving a poor education either or family and academic instruction. There was a different adult generation living when prudhoe bay oil was discovered, and there was a different kind of Alaska Native. People were more opportunistic. Like all poor and depressed peoples they expect for others to take care of them.
    I guess the adult generations of the 1950s missed something raising this living generation. They must have done too much for todays adults setting us up in a dependent position. They were happy to feed and provide for us, they neglected to teach us how to feed, provide for ourselves, and knowledge how to protect ourselves from abusive peoples.

  • Two pieces of good news from Pebble.

    First, the find isn’t going anywhere. When the decision to develop is made, perhaps sooner rather than later, it can be dusted off very quickly.

    Second, despite what you hear from the anti-Pebbles including Harborguy above, mining and salmon have coexisted quite nicely in several parts of the state for over a century. Copper River anyone? How about the center of liberalism in the state, Juneau itself. Where over a century of mining within the borough coexist with commfish, a personal use dipnet location, guided sport fish and sport fish.

    If we have done this before under environmental and remediation rules written a century ago, what makes you think we are no longer capable of doing the same under the current rules and regulations? And if the new rules & regulations don’t work, why pray tell are we using them?

    Pebble’s gonna get built. It is only a matter of time. Cheers –

  • Harborguy,

    Who is talking about trading one resource for another?
    .
    Let’s just assume the absolute worst case scenario and that somehow someway the entire drainage that Pebble sits is killed off in its entirety. Bristol Bay will still be one of the largest salmon runs on the planet. Bristol Bay has numerous river systems and if somehow, someway one river system were wiped off the face of the map there are still other rivers producing massive amounts of salmon.
    .
    Pebble is much, much more than just a gold mine…you might want to look into some instead of repeating talking points that have been spoon fed to you.

    • The river system that would be destroyed happens to have sockeyes that don’t need a lake in their rearing-I think it may just be the first and only such system like that and you would throw it away.
      It won’t happen IMO.

  • The killing of the Pebble project was done under the Trump administration.
    The decision makers changed the rules. It is that simple. Making it impossible for the developers to make wetland remedies because they were restricted to the Valley they were mining. All other similar mining operations have been allowed to do wetland mitigation all over the State.
    Donald Trump changed the rules on Pebble, make no mistake about it.
    Once the Anti Pebble media campaign was started by the wealthiest Alaskan, Bob Gilliam, it was doomed. Alaska had never had a movement like the Anti Pebble crusade. Witness all the vehicles with the Anti Pebble badge.
    A few years back at the Alaska State Fair, there was a Anti Pebble booth.
    I told my Engineer daughter to go up to people at the booth soliciting signatures, and tell them you will sign their petition IF they show their Alaska drivers license.
    Nobody could produce an Alaska drivers license. She learned an important lesson that day.
    Anti Pebble was a well financed campaign that unfortunately set a new impossible threshold for future resource development in Alaska.
    To date the only Alaska Federal Politician with Guts to ask for compensation for the Federal Government over reach of State of Alaska land development is Don Young.
    Don did it in an election year.
    Dan ran from it as fast as possible.
    True sign of character.

  • Yes we need mines. I’d respectfully point out that that you overlooked a couple things that would of made a difference in finding Rural support.
    1. Alaska Mining laws with respect to our share of royalities haven’t had a serious look at by the legislature since Statehood.
    2. I’m thinking anyone with foresight would have a problem with mining royalties being deposited into the General Fund, instead of the Corpus of the PFD.
    3. Where is the Smelter Tax.
    4. Why ship overseas to smelt, like everything from Red Dog?
    5. Why would we allow foreign mining companies to take our resources and sell to foreign countries that are smart enough to stockpile gold bullion, in lieu of having a contract with the federal government to stock our gold bullion in fort Knox?

    Don’t be so tunnel visioned as to overlook the lack of due diligence from those people that were and are paid handsomely to, lets say, get the ducks in order.

  • Hamilton may as well be writing an eulogy because it will take at least a full generation for the “No Pebble” adherents to pass, and a new generation to be open to the facts.
    Fact is that the major mining companies work on a decades long scale. It cost many billions to bring any large mine to production, and decades to recover the investment before any profits are made.
    After the ACoE folded to political pressure, the majors realized that there is no future for large mines in Alaska for some time to come. They’re still exploring and filing affidavits of annual labor, to keep control of their prospects, but not planning any more than that for now.
    There’s at least two Pebble size prospects in Eastern Alaska. There’s the lead, graphite and other prospects along the Brooks Range, waiting for approval of the Ambler road. There’s many more … all on hold.
    Collectively, they represent at least 20,000 high paying, year around jobs. Don’t any of you trolls dare dispute this because you will be shown as ignorant fools, or shills for the environmental industry. The facts are everywhere, beyond any reasonable dispute.
    Pebble, by itself, would have needed 2 thousand full time workers. 20 thousand jobs, at 100 thousand is 2 billion in personal income annually. All the currently working mines in Alaska have proven track records of local hire, which means that the lions share of that 2 billion would circulate in Alaska.
    The anti-Pebble campaign profited the “DONATE” NGO,s, and only them. It cost the lively-hood of 20 thousand direct employees, and all the other jobs which spring up around massive incomes.
    “No Pebble” is beyond shooting ourselves in the foot. We collectively slit our own throats. We’ve guaranteed slavery to the oligarchs for at least another generation.
    Were we to reverse ourselves today, it would take a decade before the majors would begin to trust us, and another decade before a shovel broke the ground.
    We could have had it all, 10 years ago.

  • WILLY KEPPEL, the EPA has regulated a good part of value-added processing out of existence in the US. I believe that the last lead smelter, the Doe Run Company smelter in Herculaneum, Missouri, was shut down in 2013 by the EPA, pushing processing overseas to unregulated smelters who often work in open air (great for the environment!). Likewise, the value-adding for many industries goes elsewhere-along with the high paying positions-so that our politicians can focus on service industry jobs to entertain the wealthy foreign owners when they visit. In Alaska we have the resources and the energy to process them into workable products, but we are hamstringed by San Francisco progressives who fret that it might ruin the ”beauty’ when they fly their private jets up to visit. And I heard that first hand on a flight home from work with a bunch of visiting Sierra Clubbers to the oil fields. They admitted that the oil companies were very environmentally conscious, ‘but it was so UGLY’.

  • Anybody that has any ability for logical thought knows that mining and mineral development are the only reason Alaska exists as a state today. If not for mining and the oil industry, there would be a much smaller population in Alaska because you can’t have all the bureaucrats we have getting paid form income taxes from a tiny WORKING population. If the current trend persists, state and local governments, and their union bureaucrats, will eventually have to come to reality because you can only steal so much from the WORKING population before that population moves on to a more lucrative life elsewhere. The Pebble Mine would have been a huge benefit to the Illiamna region and Alaska, much like the Drift River oil development of the 70s and 80s was, where it employed hundreds. It also provided jobs to airlines and freight companies for decades. Today, you could never get it built due to all the idiots that don’t know where income comes from.

  • HARBORGUY: Please provide rationale that fish are forever. King runs are on the decline without a mine. Are you overlooking climate change, disease, foreign fleets, burgeoning population consumption?

  • The Pebble deposit was exposed fairly recently by glaciation. Metals from the deposit are currently leaching into the streams cutting through it. In fact, Cominco discovered the deposit using stream sediment geochemistry. Mining of the deposit will actually reduce the amount of metals in the stream. Science.

  • Is Mark still on the Pebble Partnership (northern dynasty) payroll? It might be useful for the readership to know. Looking at the internet it appears he still is their Executive Vice President for External Affairs?

    Of course educated folks like Mark can give honest opinions about the safety of a mine, but if he was/is being paid to help move the Pebble mine forward I think it safe to assume his pieces are biased. Given it was/is his job to promote the mine.

    I hope the Pebble Partnership is at least paying SD for this “ad” space?

    • He is retired from Pebble. – sd

  • Obama slowed it. Trump killed it. Collier put the nail in the coffin. The latter 2 makes it sound like Pebble “pebbled” itself.

  • I understand that. I also don’t understand and I’ve been fighting the stupidity of sending all of America’s recycled metals overseas to get smelted down and sold back to us. It’s time to tell the EPA to take a flying leap put a smelter in Alaska and deal with what we have right here where we can protect our own resources.

  • One thing is for certain, whenever the power gets to be in control and relaunch pebble, it will happen. It doesn’t matter if it’s a hundred years from now or a thousand years from now or 10 years from now, Pebble will happen. It’s political obviously, and the right palms have been greased to temporarily slow this much-needed project down. It’s sad really, because it could have provided so many high-paying jobs to native alaskans. Not everybody has a boat or a permit. Some work in the canneries for peanuts, some work on the boats again for peanuts. You have a good year and catch lots of fish and the salmon people drop the price on you where it’s not worth it to go out and catch a fish for 20 cents a pound. Yes salmon runs are deteriorating and that has nothing to do with pebble but more to do with climate change and warming oceans. I watched a show the other day about the hatchery down in kake, and they alone are pumping out millions of salmon a year. I wonder what was wrong with the salmon doing it naturally in that location? Is it so there’s more salmon to catch and so the numbers that can be caught are escalated? This doesn’t help the state because mostly natives don’t pay tax federal or otherwise on their cats because it’s sold under the table to the tenders for cash. It doesn’t really benefit them although something is better than nothing when the market price for salmon drops because of too high of catch numbers. Salmon isn’t forever. We’re finding ways to screw it up. We’ll go after the oil the gas and the minerals whenever the right people are in power.

  • Agree with all. Thank you Mr. Hamilton. Some great input from readers also.
    Sadly critical thinking is an ‘endangered species’ that needs protection.

  • Bristol Bay Native Corp: members: Just a reminder … Your leaders sold 19% of the Pebble mine for 8 million, when it was worth over 54 million on the open market.
    Were they drunk, or on drugs? Just plain stupid? Did any of them suddenly come up with lots of beads and trinkets?
    If Pebble had been approved, that 19% would have been instantly worth 500 million or more.
    On the 9th each of you received a 7( j ) distribution. That’s half of the 7( i ) your corp received.
    So, where’s your own income to distribute? Did the fish make you any money? Did any of your business ventures make you any money? Are you ever going to become anything other than a parasite on the other 11 corp?

  • Thank you, President Hamilton. Your correct in your analogy and you have never been political and still are not! I enjoyed this article and look forward to more. You are and always have been visionary and love the State of Alaska.

  • Harborguy – General Hamilton is no “newcomer” just because he’s only been here 23 years. He came here during arguably the hardest recession that Alaska had been through since before the earthquake. He makes a good case. Oh and it’s not about the gold – the value is in copper, something the world will need much more of in the “green” revolution to come. The rivers aren’t going anywhere.

  • I’ve always been tempted to slap a bumpersticker over those “no pebble” stickers that says “because I want the copper in my house to be mined by poorly paid laborers with no health or safety oversight in Chinese-owned mines in Central Africa with virtually no environmental regulations….”

  • Bill Yankee,

    You think that there is only one river system in the entire world that sockeye do not need a lake for rearing, and that it happens to be this very river system? Care to provide, I don’t know, any proof whatsoever to back your claims or are you good simply spouting anything no matter how ridiculous to meet your ends?
    :
    We should certainly stop the already stopped presses because Bill Yankee said so…
    :
    Way too funny!

    • I would link the article but since Suzann doesn’t allow them I’ll not bother. You can certainly look for articles on this yourself.
      Here is Ashley Braun from his 2020 article on these fish: “These salmon represent a rare class of sockeye with unique genes and a singular life strategy that sets them apart from the millions of fish that spawn in the rivers and streams that feed into Bristol Bay.”
      Now you think this is all pretty funny but you are speaking from ignorance here, as usual.

  • WILLY KEPPEL, right on! We have the ore here and it is far more efficient to ship finished product than bulk. Smelting is a high dollar job. Time to reclaim our rights! A society which produces nothing cannot survive. If the fools in Washington have their way, the only jobs for the next generation will be cleaning toilets for our foreign overseers.

  • Bill,

    Did you forget what you wrote right up there^? Just a reminder, here’s what you wrote “The river system that would be destroyed happens to have sockeyes that don’t need a lake in their rearing-I think it may just be the first and only such system like that”. There are plenty of sockeye that do not require a lake. From the limited information you provided I was able to find the article you are speaking of that based it’s findings upon an ADFG study that, guess what, says there are 8 other river type sockeye populations just in Bristol Bay. In fact the article says the river type population you are speaking of is “closely related to three other river-type populations in the Nushagak River”
    .
    There are numerous river type sockeye salmon populations just in Bristol Bay, there are others across the state and world. So while you “think it may just be the first and only such system like that” you would be wrong, once again. The very information you tried to use to prove you were right only further proves you are wrong.

    • Steve-O, when I wrote that I hadn’t seen the article by Braun and frankly I had never heard of sockeyes that didn’t utilize a lake. Anyway, according to Braun there are 8 out of 98 total populations in BB that don’t utilize the lake system-you do realize that 8/98 is less than 10% and that these are very unique sockeyes that you would destroy. You are daft IMO.
      Further, saying it “may” be the first is not wrong, either. And as usual you are full of it but at least you’ve dropped the “way too funny” business.

  • If you’ve read any of my previous comments on Pebble’s, and Northern Dynasty Minerals management, you will see that I panned them heavily, long before Collier’s gaff … all except Hamilton.
    Hamilton was hired on because of his good reputation. Collier’s running off at the mouth tarnished NDM and PLP severely, which they deserved. Hamilton got scuffed a little bit, like a drive-by victim.
    I have never seen Hamilton as part of the problem.

  • I’m all for Pebble being mined, but all against PLP/NDM management. This management team is part of Hunter/Dickenson management. H/D owns NDM/PLP. and board members from H/D are on the NDM and PLP boards.
    Such an incestuous relationship allows for all kinds of questionable business practices. For instance, when anyone buys shares in the Pebble mine, they’re actually buying shares in Northern Dynasty … which is owned by Hunter/Dickenson.
    H/D can use your money on any other failing project, which leaves the Pebble mine at risk of financial failure, even before they manage to sell it to anyone.
    In other words, if you want to invest in Pebble, you have to buy stock in NDM. That’s not investing in Pebble. That’s investing in NDM.
    Might as well invest in a clown car, as any investment in NDM is not an investment in Pebble. If PLP folds, it reverts back to NDM. If NDM folds, both it, and PLP revert back to H/D.
    H/D loses nothing … rinse and repeat.

  • BILL YANKEE, with proper regulation and management, building Pebble will have zero impact upon those salmon. Development of Red Dog brought salmon back to the streams and development of the North Slope coincided with (caused?) caribou populations to explode rather than go extinct as the naysayers predicted. Even in the strip mined regions of the Midwest, with no reclamation at all, wildlife thrives and there is some of the best deer hunting. Humans and wildlife can coexist. BUT IT IS UGLY! as the Sierra Clubbers said.

    • Pebble won’t be built in our lifetimes-until it can be build with little impact on those salmon. Just my opinion.

  • Bill,
    Even when you prove yourself wrong you fail to admit it. Talk about daft and ignorant, way too funny!

    • Just because the earlier article (I had read) didn’t mention a thing about those few other rare systems that had no need for lakes. And all you did was spin the thing like there are “numerous river type sockeye salmon populations just in Bristol Bay.” Yes numerous others like 7 others and 90 that are unlike those.
      Too bad nobody around can use your type of spin. Certainly too funny.

  • Alaskans have the opportunity to vote to become one of America’s richest States by electing Politicians that will pass legislation to develop natural resources, including Pebble Mine… or to become one of the poorest States by continuing to let environmental interests, from the Lower 48 and offshore, block development. Wake up, people, you are rolling the dice and don’t even know it!

  • Pebble partnership can shoulder much of the blame. I live near the proposed project and they came on strong in the beginning. Much disinformation about how smart they were, how easy it was going to be and how rich the locals would become. They lost several years, before facts and science became involved. Had they taken a breath and taken a serious approach they would have been much farther ahead.
    Now, instead of fact finding, engineering , and science it’s become a environmental political game. There is no doubt it will be mined, when and who is the question.
    Counting on salmon as a mainstay is foolish. The oceans are in crisis and fish prices are going in the wrong direction. Bristol Bay and Alaska need diversity more than ever.
    Guess we could look at sailing fresh, clean water around the world.

  • Evidently you missed in the FEIS the water used by pebble would be as clean if not cleaner going back into the system in regards to keeping fish healthy. What do you have to say about the fish farms in BB area that actually are heavy pollutants. Bet you hadn’t heard… get edumicated please

  • Bill,
    If you cared about the salmon as much as you pretend to you would be advocating to stop commercial fishing that could easily wipe out these numerous populations of river type sockeye that you seem to think are so at risk. Fact is river type sockeye are not abnormal, there are at least 8 other river type sockeye populations in Bristol Bay alone, even though you previously thought the one and only river type sockeye in the entire world happened to be in this very specific spot (no doubt that anti-mining propaganda led to you believing that nonsense).
    .
    River type sockeye salmon are not unique to this river system, the information you brought in an attempt to prove they were unique actually proves they are not. You are the only one trying to spin anything, the only thing I’ve done is challenge your false information with fact.
    .
    I know you don’t like being wrong, but that as always, is on you.

    • There are not 8 other river type sockeye populations in BB alone. Here is Braun on it : “Of the 98 populations the state has identified in its genetic analyses in Bristol Bay sockeye, only eight are river-type,…..” Of course you don’t care much for propaganda, then why do you distort what is written?
      And I didn’t attempt to prove they were unique, I said they “may” be but you can’t read, or comprehend. Further you “fact” turns out to be BS.

  • BILL YANKEE, Pebble may or may not be built in our lifetimes; it doesn’t matter. What does matter is that it be responsibly developed. I fear that as our leadership bankrupts the country that one day the gleam of gold will override all sense of safeguards and the unregulated rush will be on to extract as much bullion as quickly and cheaply as possible by us or by new owners.

    • It won’t be developed until it can be done responsibly IMO. The technology doesn’t exist, so far, to be able to do this (also IMO). The minerals aren’t going anywhere and may one day be extracted without harming the fish resource.

  • Why is it that “Bill Yankee” can reply to comments but that functionality doesn’t work for me?

    • JMARK – I don’t know the answer to that. But there certainly is a glitch somewhere in the comment section that I have to figure out. -sd

    • I’m able to reply using internet explorer but not using Chrome. I have no idea why. AK thinks it’s the Deep State. Heheh!

  • Bill,
    Let me just offer my heart felt thanks to you.
    .
    I really do appreciate the fact that you have been able to so willing display the problem that propaganda causes. Here you were believing that there is only one unique population of river type sockeye, when in fact they are all over the place, with 9 different populations just in Bristol Bay.
    .
    Why it is that someone would willingly mislead you and countless others is a travesty. If people were to actually judge this mine on the facts instead of propaganda we would all be better off.

    • Again, I only said they “may” be unique and there you go with the “9 different populations” when Braun said 8.

  • You are spot on. It is sad to see that some people are against this project which has the highest environmental and safety standards. Demand will always be there for minerals. Either they are mined here or somewhere else with lower standards. I don’t understand how it is better for the environment to against pebble.

    People are easy to fool to support the wrong things.

  • JMARK: Maybe BillYankee uses Apple OS. I use Ubuntu, a LINUX OS, and can’t reply directly. Most folks use Windows and apparently neither can they.
    MRAK had that DDoS attack recently, and maybe there’s still something still affecting her system. Not a virus, but maybe some minor applications got corrupted.
    Every time I boot up a message appears saying that there’s some problem with my system, but after many years of this “problem” I can’t find out whatever it is. Maybe it’s because whatever got corrupted is something that I never use?

  • REED: You’re correct about H/D, NDM, PLP management being “snake oil salesmen”. Had they been honestly up front, Pebble would probably have been approved long ago.

  • Bill,

    You got me, I am completely wrong. I said there were 9 when there were 8…boy I really missed the mark there didn’t I. See it’s not hard to admit when you are wrong. I missed being correct by 1 or a factor of 12.5% just for the Bristol Bay area, you missed being correct by 7 or a factor of 700% just for the Bristol Bay area and by an untold number world wide.
    .
    Yep you really got me Bill, you win the internet and yet somehow you’ve once again proven just how wrong you are!
    .
    Way too funny!

    • Steve-O when I first mentioned this you were completely ignorant of anything like these river oriented fish and you could have celebrated learning something but no you are only interested in one-upping and that what makes you such a sad individual.
      And your miss (of 12.5) is larger than the percentage of these river sockeyes at 8/98 (or 8%). Give it up as you have nothing to add.
      And, by the way, I know of no other sockeyes like these though there could be some but as Braun says they are extremely rare.

  • Bill,
    There you go making stuff up again. I am well aware of these types of sockeye, hence me challenging your absurd statement. It’s still right up there^ for you to read, it didn’t go anywhere.
    .
    You sir continue to call me ignorant and daft, while displaying your ignorance and daftness with each and every post. From the very article you used to prove how wrong you were “Lake- and river-type sockeye differ not only in their survival strategies but in their genes. Furthermore, a growing body of genetic evidence suggests that river-type sockeye are the ancestral form of the species that “acts as a seed source” for establishing new populations in new habitats”

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih . gov/pmc/articles/PMC3352436/ is a study hyperlinked (by clicking on the words “growing body”) in the article you provided that proves you wrong, once again. You should note that river-type sockeye have been known to exist for numerous decades, this isn’t new information Bill, it’s old established information from multiple locations in the world. Sockeye salmon don’t need lakes, there are river-type sockeye salmon just about everywhere sockeye salmon exists.
    .
    Lake-type sockeye are the Johnny come lately to Alaskan waters, the river-type are those who stray and move to new areas after the last glaciation event. You didn’t think that the sockeye stayed in the frozen lakes under massive ice-sheets during glacial periods, did you Bill? You know that most of Alaska was covered in glaciers about 10,000 years ago, right Bill? The location of the proposed Pebble Mine was also, you guessed it under glacial ice about 10,000 years ago and there weren’t even and frozen sockeyes there then, imagine that!
    .
    Bill, even though you just said “I know of no other sockeyes like these” the good news is now you know of other river-type sockeye. Just go back to the original propaganda you read and re-read it then do a little bit of research, even you can rid yourself of the ignorance you put on display here.

  • Bill,
    Even the ADFG species profile has this to say “Eggs hatch during the winter, and the young “alevins” remain in the gravel, living off their yolk sacs. In the spring. they emerge from the gravel as “fry” and move to rearing areas. In systems with lakes, juveniles usually spend one to three years in fresh water, feeding on zooplankton and small crustaceans, before migrating to the ocean in the spring as “smolts”. However, in systems without lakes, many juveniles migrate to the ocean soon after emerging from the gravel.”

    This isn’t new or unknown information.
    .
    Once again speaking of sockeye salmon the ADFG species profile says “In systems with lakes, juveniles usually spend one to three years in fresh water, feeding on zooplankton and small crustaceans, before migrating to the ocean in the spring as “smolts”. However, in systems without lakes, many juveniles migrate to the ocean soon after emerging from the gravel.”

    • Like I said earlier this is the first system I’ve ever heard about sockeye systems without lakes. Evidently you know of some as you now sound like an expert. Frankly I think you are full of chit here, as usual.

  • BILL YANKEE, your latest comment leaves out the word ‘responsibly.’ We are conscientious of the consequences, but do not make the mistake of assuming that virtue is universal. Mankind is defined by continual change. Alaska was owned by the First People, then the Russians, then the Americans. The way things are going in DC, who is to say which landlord will be next. The Russians again? The Chinese? The Nigerians? One of my Russian coworkers told me that under the Soviets, if 90% of the oil came out of the pipeline at the terminal they considered it a good job (Chernobyl?). The book I currently read tells the story of the re-peopling of Manchuria last century (or watch the movie Purple Sunset). History is the story of continual change, some beneficial and much detrimental undoing the progress of generations. Perfect is the enemy of good and Pebble will be developed. It is just a matter of who benefits. I hope someone good enough comes along soon.

    • “It won’t be developed until it can be done responsibly IMO.” That was my first sentence in last comment to you-can you see it in there? The rest of your post was gibberish IMO.

  • Bill,
    You might think I am full of chit, but I’m not. The article you mentioned tells you that I know what I am talking about. I don’t know what is going on with comments here but they are spotty. I wrote the following comments earlier, but I will cut out an links in an effort to see it gets to you so you can understand the truth that you are so bound to deny.
    .
    Bill,
    There you go making stuff up again. I am well aware of these types of sockeye, hence me challenging your absurd statement. It’s still right up there^ for you to read, it didn’t go anywhere.
    .
    You sir continue to call me ignorant and daft, while displaying your ignorance and daftness with each and every post. From the very article you used to prove how wrong you were “Lake- and river-type sockeye differ not only in their survival strategies but in their genes. Furthermore, a growing body of genetic evidence suggests that river-type sockeye are the ancestral form of the species that “acts as a seed source” for establishing new populations in new habitats” there is a study hyperlinked (by clicking on the words “growing body”) in the article you provided that proves you wrong, once again. You should note that river-type sockeye have been known to exist for numerous decades, this isn’t new information Bill, it’s old established information from multiple locations in the world. Sockeye salmon don’t need lakes, there are river-type sockeye salmon just about everywhere sockeye salmon exists.
    .
    Lake-type sockeye are the Johnny come lately to Alaskan waters, the river-type are those who stray and move to new areas after the last glaciation event. You didn’t think that the sockeye stayed in the frozen lakes under massive ice-sheets during glacial periods, did you Bill? You know that most of Alaska was covered in glaciers about 10,000 years ago, right Bill? The location of the proposed Pebble Mine was also, you guessed it under glacial ice about 10,000 years ago and there weren’t even and frozen sockeyes there then, imagine that!
    .
    Bill, even though you just said “I know of no other sockeyes like these” the good news is now you know of other river-type sockeye. Just go back to the original propaganda you read and re-read it then do a little bit of research, even you can rid yourself of the ignorance you put on display here.

    • Care to give an example of any other river type sockeyes, other than these mentioned by Braun?
      I fished PWS for a lot of years and never ran across a single system that didn’t utilize a lake and for that matter haven’t run across one in SE either. They may exist but they are not common knowledge and according to Braun “they are very rare.”
      BB is a special situation that contains a few braided river systems that don’t have lakes but are in close approximation to the lake systems rivers. I suspect those fish are strays from large years, similar to how those hatchery pinks saturate all the streams around PWS hatcheries to where the wild runs once there are now assimilated by those hatchery fish. For whatever reason those fish without lakes have developed their own genetics and here is another quote from Braun’s article: “These salmon represent a rare class of sockeye with unique genes and a singular life strategy that sets them apart from the millions of fish that spawn in the rivers and streams that feed into Bristol Bay.”
      Again, give us an example of another sockeye system (outside of BB) that doesn’t use a lake and just stop with the BS about your ideas about glaciation and sockeyes as you are just pulling that out of your you know what.

    • While you are at it Steve-O try looking up Berengia and you’ll see that most of Alaska was ice free including BB.
      Anyway, I did find that some of the Kewthluk river sockeyes do not utilize a lake system but this is not common knowledge (except for you it seems, heheh).
      How are you doing coming up with any other sockeyes like this?

  • Bill,

    Sockeye can and do exist with lakes and without lakes, river-type sockeye exist in systems with and without lakes, they are not mutually exclusive. No doubt many of the sockeye you caught were river-type with you none the wiser.

    Seriously, do not believe me. Do your own research, go look at the article that you brought up by Braun, she links (as I previously mentioned) to numerous studies that all reference river-type sockeye. Since you can’t be bothered to actually inform yourself, check the Alsek, Taku, Stikine, Nass, Skeena, Lower Fraser, and Southern Skagit rivers, also check Coastal BC, Central Coast, West Vancouver Island, and Washington Coast these are all areas with river-type sockeye exist according to the links by your source Braun. River-type sockeye are EVERYWHERE that sockeye are, this is common knowledge except to those who are willingly ignorant.

    The fact that you still believe an obvious propagandist is troubling. It should be clear by now, but Braun is by no means an expert in anything other than spreading propaganda. She simply took snippets of information and twisted it to share with willingly ignorant folks and hoped they would do her bidding. Congratulations Bill you have done her bidding.

    • Steve-O you say this but don’t back it up. You say they are everywhere but don’t back that up either. You were completely ignorant of river sockeyes when we started this conversation and now you appear to be the expert on something that is not common knowledge but you just know it’s the case.
      Again show me one river in SE or PWS that has river sockeyes. Suzann won’t allow any links but try mentioning someone’s quotes with their name and I can verify what you think you know. I have no idea what your bitch is with Braun but she evidently struck a nerve. I suspect she also thinks you are full of chit.

  • Here is something that may interest a BSer like yourself. This is an ADF&G paper from 2011 and was authored by Gregory T Ruggerone and others: “River-type” sockeye salmon are not abundant across the Pacific Rim. Small populations have
    been observed in the Kamchatka River, Bolshaya River, Mulchatna River (Nushagak drainage),
    Stikine River, and Taku River (Wood et al. 1987; Burgner 1991; Eiler et al. 1992). This
    variation in sockeye salmon juvenile life history strategies reflects successful adaptations by
    sockeye salmon to a variety of freshwater habitat types.”

    Note the small populations have been observed etc., etc. They don’t appear to be “everywhere” as your common knowledge has led you. Keep it up though as I’m sure plenty are already laughing at your ignorance here IMO.

  • Bill,

    I did back it up, read the study from the article you mentioned, the one I’ve already told you to read…right up there^. Read the ADFG information I provided right up there^. Read anything I wrote right up there^.
    .
    I’m glad you are doing some of your own research and seeing that river-type sockeye are spread across the world, everywhere sockeye are found…Kamchatka, Bolshaya, and Mulchatna Rivers only add to the list I’ve already provided you right up there^. I’m glad you are no longer ignorant on this subject and glad I could help inform you.
    .
    This is something I’ve known of since I first started commercial fishing. I’m not surprised you didn’t know about it, you’ve made quite the art of not being very well informed, you seem to revel in being willfully ignorant. I had a captain once that didn’t know you could tell a male salmon from a female salmon just by looking at them, seems that sometimes people just can’t see what’s right in front of them.

  • Bill,
    When you said “Again show me one river in SE or PWS that has river sockeyes.”. You must have not read what I wrote right above your comment, the one you were actually responding to, it’s still right up there^ feel free to read it again. Also in your next comment you then mentioned two of the rivers I had previously told you have river-type sockeye that are in SE.

    • There is no question that there are river types in SE (very few), not so far in PWS and I still think you are full of chit about knowing about this for some time as you’ve expressed so much ignorance about it all along. You have said they are everywhere sockeys are and we now know that’s bullchit-you got any more of this insight?
      Now, the important knowledge here, as expressed by Braun on this BB site, is that these type of sockeyes are “rare.” And that was also expressed by
      Ruggerone et all in that 2011 ADF&G article although they didn’t use “rare” you get the idea.
      And you have an issue with Braun with her propaganda but you are losing your ammunition in this regard. Of course it’s all water under the bridge as Pebble is dead and Braun may have had some influence in it. Heheh!

  • How about in your hometown, AK? Portland, is it?

  • GLENN FOSTERMAN, it was sarcasm. “Let’s drill in your yard, not mine, but I want cheap fuel.” “Let’s mine in your yard, not mine, but I want a fancy car and cell phone made with rare earths.” “Put the power plant in your yard, not mine, but give me cheap electricity for my electric car.” “Let’s raise pigs in your yard, not mine, but I want cheap pork chops.” The list goes on of people wanting things with no idea how those things come about. All life as we know it exists only because of two things: six inches of topsoil and occasional rain. And if it can’t be farmed it has to be mined. Sometimes people need to be thankful for the smell of hogs and the sight of progress.

  • Bill,
    Let me remind you of your words that spawned this discussion, “The river system that would be destroyed happens to have sockeyes that don’t need a lake in their rearing-I think it may just be the first and only such system like that” you seem to have lost the target. Now you are accusing me of being ignorant of the very thing I informed you of…it makes no sense man, and it’s all right up there^. I challenged your completely false statement and then you provided the proof that you are wrong, now you are accusing me of being ignorant because I knew the information before you did…it makes no sense.
    .
    Let’s recap, shall we? You claimed there was a salmon run that was completely unique, “the first and only such system”…I challenged you statement because I knew it was wrong, you provided proof that you thought helped your cause, instead it absolutely and completely destroyed your faulty point if view. Since then you’ve repeatedly proven what I said and disproven your initial claim. You’ve actually started looking into the matter and you continue to provide more information that discredits what you’ve said and proves what I said is correct…but you claim I’m ignorant…thanks Bill, I appreciate your effort.
    .
    Way too funny Bill, way too funny!

    • Maybe try giving us another of your Alaska was mostly covered in glaciers 10000 years ago, or “River-type sockeye are EVERYWHERE that sockeye are, this is common knowledge except to those who are willingly ignorant.”
      Funny indeed. And I noticed you left off my “may” in your above quote-nice attempt at a strawman there but falls flat again.
      You’ve always been full of chit and still are IMO.

  • Bill,
    Here are some direct quotes from you,
    “The river system that would be destroyed happens to have sockeyes that don’t need a lake in their rearing-I think it may just be the first and only such system like that”
    .
    “there are 8 out of 98 total populations in BB that don’t utilize the lake system”
    .
    “I know of no other sockeyes like these”
    .
    “give us an example of another sockeye system (outside of BB) that doesn’t use a lake”
    .
    “the Kewthluk river sockeyes do not utilize a lake system”
    .
    “show me one river in SE or PWS that has river sockeyes.”
    .
    “populations have been observed in the Kamchatka River, Bolshaya River, Mulchatna River (Nushagak drainage), Stikine River, and Taku River”
    .
    “There is no question that there are river types in SE”
    .
    Glad I could help you in your process of discovery Bill, I look forward to further educating you in the future on myriad subjects…maybe next time try not being so obstinate. By the way, the may is right up there^ Bill read the quote in the first paragraph for yourself.

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