Earlier today, Monday, January 8th, 2024, the United States Supreme Court refused to hear a challenge to the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2023 rejection of Pebble Mine, according to major news outlets. Pebble Mine was a proposed gold and copper mine in the headwaters of Bristol Bay, one the world’s most productive salmon fisheries and ecosystems. This mine would have fundamentally altered and posed grave risks to this incredible and pristine region. Ultimately, the EPA rejected Pebble Mine through Clean Water Act authorities, and then Alaska sought an expedited review by the Supreme Court.

“Although we are glad to see the Supreme Court refuse to entertain Governor Dunleavy’s frivolous lawsuit challenging the EPA’s Clean Water Act veto of the Pebble Mine, we should have never gotten to this point in the first place,” said Delores Larson, Interim Executive Director, United Tribes of Bristol Bay. Governor Dunleavy’s lawsuit was–and will continue to be–a massive waste of taxpayer money that only represents the interests of the company behind the Pebble Mine.”

While the issue and potency of Pebble Mine is all but dead (yes, we’ve been using this metaphor for what feels like years), the state of Alaska has a more traditional option to reverse the EPA’s decision. Alaska can challenge the EPA’s Clean Water Act determination in lower courts and appeal unfavorable decisions up to the Supreme Court, but, at this point, Alaska’s future legal strategy with Pebble is not widely known. In any event, this is a win for Bristol Bay and conservation in Alaska and all throughout the country. A wild place, will remain wild…for now.

Cover picture @AlaskaFlyOut

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Will Poston
Will Poston has been with us here at Flylords since 2017 and is now our Conservation Editor. Will focuses on high-profile conservation issues, such as Pebble Mine, the Clean Water Act rollbacks, recovering the Pacific Northwest’s salmon and steelhead, and everything in-between. Will is from Washington, DC, and you can find him fishing on the tidal Potomac River in Washington, DC or chasing striped bass and Albies up and down the East Coast—and you know, anywhere else he can find a good bite!


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