AFFTA fundraiser for Bristol Bay raises over $100,000
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An event spearheaded by the American Fly Fishing Trade Association (AFFTA) to raise funds in the fight to stop the controversial Pebble Mine development in Alaska has realised more than $100,000.
The cash was raised during ‘The Day for Bristol Bay’ event in August which was organised by AFFTA. It encouraged all those involved in the fly fishing industry to organise fundraising events across the US for the Bristol Bay Defence Fund.
In a letter of thanks to AFFTA, members of the Bristol Bay Defence Fund said the cash injection ‘will change the shape and trajectory’ of its work. It added: “We are entering a critical moment for our campaign. Presently the US Army Corps of Engineers is engaged in a deeply flawed process for Pebble Mine. It has chosen to fast-track the process and renege on its responsibility to fairly and accurately weigh the extreme risks of this terrible project.
“Our goal is to slow and halt this broken process which is based on faulty science and the false premise that large-scale open pit mining will not harm Bristol Bay’s incomparable wild salmon runs and rainbow trout populations.
“As we head into the next few critical months of the effort, the funding you have raised for our campaign will be crucial. We have waves of fishermen, guides, lodge owners, and others who rely on the waters of Bristol Bay, heading back to Washington DC to meet the lawmakers and decision-makers. Questions will continue to be raised regarding inappropriate activity surrounding the timing of information releases to manipulate Pebble’s stock price.
“We will be hiring technical experts from a wide array of disciplines to identify flaws and gaps in the Army Corps’ environmental analysis and we are turning up the pressure on key lawmakers, like Senator Lisa Murkowski, to ensure she knows the consequences of her decisions.
“We know that AFFTA and the sportfishing community are critical partners in this fight. But the way your community stepped up to help our campaign in August was above and beyond anything we could have expected. Your past and ongoing support will make all the difference and help us to ensure that future generations of fly fishermen will know Bristol Bay as we know it – one of the greatest fly fishing destinations in the world.
“Thank you again for the time, support and generosity you have shown our campaign. Together we will win.”
The letter is signed by: Shoren Brown (Director, Alaska Heritage Campaign), Tim Bristol (Director, SalmonState), Erin Dovichin (Managing Partner, Alaskan Venture Fund), David Finkel (Vice President of Development and Communications, Wild Salmon Center), Alannah Hurley (Executive Director, United Tribes of Bristol Bay), Matthew Newman (Staff Attorney, Native American Rights Fund) and Joel Reynolds (Western Director/Senior Attorney, Natural Resources Defense Council).