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News Release

United Tribes of Bristol Bay

Today, a coalition of Bristol Bay organizations released the “Call to Protect Bristol Bay,” a roadmap that outlines the true protections that provide long-term certainty for those dependent on the region’s robust natural resources.

“There is an urgent threat to Bristol Bay that must be met with urgent action,” said Bristol Bay Native Association President/CEO Ralph Andersen. “Although we are relieved that Pebble’s permit application has been denied, our people must be assured that no matter the political winds, our way of life is protected from the threat of mining in our region. This commitment ensures that those who depend on Bristol Bay can continue building a sustainable future free from this threat.”

“True protections for Bristol Bay must stop the immediate threat of mining, ensure that no future proposal will hurtle through the federal permitting process unchecked, and provide a lasting guarantee to future generations that our lands and waters will not become a mining district,” said United Tribes of Bristol Bay Board President Robert Heyano. “Any protections that do not meet this standard are unacceptable.”

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“We must act to ensure that the current threat to Bristol Bay - the proposed Pebble Mine - does not come to fruition. And we must provide certainty to those who depend on our region’s resources that their future will not be threatened by any such proposal in the future. The establishment of a National Fisheries Area in Bristol Bay would provide stability for the Tribal communities of the region as well as the commercial fishing industry that relies on these waters. This should be a common sense piece of legislation that should have the support of anyone who claims to represent Alaskans in Washington,” said Bristol Bay Economic Development Corp. Chairman Robin Samuelsen.

Bristol Bay Native Association, Bristol Bay Economic Development Corp., and United Tribes of Bristol Bay are asking elected officials, civic leaders and the public to support the call and work toward permanent protections for Bristol Bay. The "Call to Protect Bristol Bay" is available online at

Bristol Bay Native Association represents 31 Bristol Bay tribes & is the regional nonprofit tribal consortium providing social, economic, and educational opportunities to tribal members.

Bristol Bay Economic Development Corporation represents 17 CDQ communities & exists to promote economic growth and opportunities for Bristol Bay residents through sustainable use of the Bering Sea fisheries.

United Tribes of Bristol Bay is a tribal consortium representing 15 Bristol Bay tribal governments (that represent over 80 percent of the region’s total population) working to protect the Yup’ik, Dena'ina, and Alutiiq way of life in Bristol Bay.

Bristol Bay Leaders Release “Call to Protect Bristol Bay” - United Tribes of Bristol Bay - logo