What’s up with Pebble? How can I help?


—The latest update from Lauren Oakes [Red Gold co-producer]

In addition to all the inquiries we get about where one can acquire the soundtrack, my inbox is flooded every day with emails that go like this: “I saw Red Gold… It made me cry [men, women, children all write this]…What’s going on with Pebble right now and can I help?”  Of course the answer is Yes! Yes! Yes!

On November 14, 2008, Ben and I stood before 500 people at the National Geographic Headquarters in Washington, D.C. to show Red Gold [what an honor].  On the very same day, just a block away from the theater in the Bureau of Land Management building, President’s Bush’s staff put out a Record of Decision for the Bristol Bay Area Management Plan.  It opened nearly 2 million acres of federal land surrounding the Pebble Site to mining exploration.  2 million acres.  So while citizens continue to battle development of the Pebble mine on Alaskan State land, we now face the worst – Pebble amidst a mining district in the heart of the world’s largest remaining sockeye salmon fishery.  When the Obama administration comes into office, our leaders of change will have 30 days to reverse this decision.

State Land. Federal Land. To me, the land classifications are borders drawn for management purposes.  But in reality Bristol Bay and its pristine waters, the abundant wild salmon runs, the life this watershed sustains are global resources we cannot replace.  We need more people standing up saying “No – not here, not this place.  Wrong location. A risk not worth taking.”

Support for gaining permanent legislative protection for the Bristol Bay watershed continues to grow.  The Trout Unlimited Alaska program is currently engaged in a number of projects to stop development of the Pebble Mine.  We are placing emphasis on necessary science research so we can understand more of the critical water and habitat issues.  We are also working with state and federal policymakers to support legislative protection, and we are leading a nationwide campaign to educate and engage salmon consumers on the values of wild salmon conservation and cuisine (www.whywild.org).  We continue to raise state, national, and international support for protecting this world-renowned watershed, a mosaic of unconfined rivers supporting nearly a 1/3 of our wild salmon supply.

Yes! You can help.

**** Write members of congress today and express you support for protecting the watershed from mining development.  Ask the new administration to keep BLM lands in Bristol Bay closed to mining.

*** Donate.  I hate this part about asking for money but it’s true;  to do more good work to protect Bristol Bay we need more financial support and that’s the simple reality they taught me here in non-profit world.  http://www.savebristolbay.org

** Host a Red Gold screening.  Contact Emily Long:  emily@feltsoulmedia.com.

* When you’re at the grocery, or at your favorite restaurant… please request wild salmon. You’ll be supporting sustainable, well-managed fisheries and increasing the demand for what Bristol Bay is famous for. Avoid the farmed stuff unless you have a thing for artificially colored dinner.

And then lastly I’d like just like to thank the people who believed in this project, Ben and Travis for asking questions and listening, and then all those who understand there are still some places left on this planet we must protect.   Please go flood the email boxes of your congressman and tell them they have a chance to save one of our last great salmon runs.    – Lauren (loakes@tu.org)


6 thoughts on “What’s up with Pebble? How can I help?

  1. I went the the Banff Film Festival World Tour last night and viewed your film Red Gold and I have to say, like most of your viewers; I cried. I am a very active environmentalist and a political artist and was so moved by your film. Simply thinking about it still makes my eyes water. I just want to commend you for taking the time and money to create such an amazing film and to bring awareness about the horrible possibility Pebble may bring to your state and community.

    As soon as I was home I wrote a very public note about your film on my Facebook page and sent emails explaining (in a few short paragraphs as best I could) what Pebble proposes to do, as well as included the email address of a number of Congress members for every one to send letters to.

    I included links to your site and your blog as well as the trailer to your film.

    I am hoping that we can help make a difference. I believe that Canada, with as many National Parks as we have, can completely understand your cause, and can help you! Even if it’s as simple as writing a letter.

    I myself will be sending letters to every member of Congress in the Washington and Alaska states.

    If you know of anyone else who would be important to contact, please let me know and I will forward the information off.

    Thank you again for such a beautiful film. I really hope to help make a difference and keep those money hungry bastards off your land. (Pardon me, but I am infuriated!)

    Wishing you much success;

    Amy Middleton

  2. A friend shared with a bunch of us your film at a potluck and we all sat down and wrote letters to Obama adminstration. As Canadians we think this is very important to us and we should help our neighbours

    PLease update us what has happened lately
    Do you have a newsletter to share with us Canadians

    ALL the best keep up the fight

    • We all share this world doesn’t matter if we are Canadians or Americans or any other nationality. We need to save any land as it is slowly being developed for economic reasons.

      Keep the great work

  3. Like others i too cried. Great job. I love alaska, and bristol bay. I fell in love with this wild area,also with flying there.I own a cessna 180, and offer my services as plane and pilot, if i can help in further conservation efferts. And oh yes the sound track was wonderful, can you tell me who it is, thanks kirk

  4. Hi Lauren,

    I floated the Koktuli two years ago with my son and grandson, and wrote a story about the trip that was published in Fish Alaska magazine a couple months ago. If you’d like an e-mail copy of the piece, I’d be glad to send you one. Keep up the good work!

    Les Palmer
    Sterling, Alaska

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