To the editor:

During our recent ComFish trade show I had the opportunity to visit the Renewable Resources Coalition booth. While I was there I had the opportunity to meet and speak with Sen. Begich on his tour through the show. As a 30-year Bristol Bay salmon fisherman, my concerns addressed the proposed Pebble Mine project

I have been very impressed by Sen. Begich’s ongoing respect and support for the EPA’s decision to conduct a scientific assessment of natural resource development in Bristol Bay. Begich and his staff have worked very hard to address the concerns of Alaskans while acknowledging the neutrality of the EPA’s review panel. The proposed Pebble Mine presents many dangers to Bristol Bay, and if developed it could seriously harm commercial fishing in the region. The EPA’s willingness to examine this issue is the first step in uncovering the possible dangers of this giant mine. With the EPA’s fair review of Bristol Bay we are making progress in protecting commercial fishing businesses, tourism-related businesses, and sport fishing businesses that rely on this flourishing land.

The risk involved in developing the Pebble Mine is simply too high and we need to make sure our concerns are heard loud and clear. I trust that with the support of leaders like Sen. Begich, all Alaskans will have the chance to voice their concerns regarding Pebble Mine and know they are being heard. If you are concerned for the well being of the Bristol Bay watershed, please make contact with Sen. Begich or his staff

Michael J. Friccero

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