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Earth to Boulder Fly Casters 

From the Boulder Fly Casters

The Pebble deposit is a massive storehouse of gold, copper and molybdemum, located in the headwaters of the Kvichak and Nushagak Rivers, two of the eight major rivers that feed Bristol Bay. If built, Pebble would be one of the largest mines in the world. Because of its size, geochemistry and location, Pebble runs a risk of polluting Bristol Bay, one of the world’s few and most productive wild salmon strongholds that supports a $500 million commercial and sport fishery.

Our speaker on September 27 will be Todd Bryan, of the Keystone Center, who is heavily involved in the Pebble Mine proposal as a facilitator and mediator.  He will present perspectives on both sides of the issue and will have recently returned from his work in Alaska.

From Ground Truth Trekking:

In 2007, the Pebble Limited Partnership (PLP) brought the Keystone Center, an organization that specializes in convening stakeholder dialogues, into the discussion about the proposed Pebble Mine in southwest Alaska. The Center is currently developing a multi-stage dialogue designed to identify and discuss issues concerning potential development of the mine, particularly relating to public evaluation of PLP baseline data.  Some opponents of the mine have raised concerns about the neutrality of the process since the Center was hired by the mining company. Additionally, some people feel that there has been insufficient consideration in the dialogue of the "no mine" option.

Translation? Keystone Center is a bought and paid for sham for the Pebble Partnership.

Shame on the Boulder Fly Casters, a TU chapter, for inviting Keystone in when they could turn to TU to speak about the issue. Keystone is just an attempt to distract folks from the real process going on with EPA - which is fair and independent science.

There is no compromise on the Pebble Mine, period. It is utter bullshit for a chapter of TU to entertain a speaker who says there is an argument to made for the mine.

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Reader Comments (22)

The Keystone Center is an industry friendly group that operates under the guise of mediation and facilitation. While they employ good people, their core mission is to facilitate favorable outcomes to their clients in contentious natural resource fights. All you have to do is look at their board to see the plot of the story they want to write (see below). Are we supposed to think that an organization whose board is stacked with industry reps and "free-market" advocates is really interested in doing anything but placating those industry interests?

I don't necessarily think it's horrible that the Boulder Chapter is bringing them in, I think it's idiotic though. It's Boulder though...

September 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDutch

Disappointing for sure. It's not a bad idea to hear the other side of the argument, but I think this is best filed in the category of "know thine enemy"...

September 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJPunk

If the Keystone group is bought and paid for and TU is bought and paid for and the EPA has some political leanings, who do you trust ?
I'm against the Pebble Mine if for no other reasons than the unknown potential damage it will cause. Just don't try to tell me one side does all the bullshitting

September 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersnuffer

Let Keystone have its say. If their case is as bullshit as most of us believe, no one will be swayed and we'll have a chance to refute them in person. No harm in hearing the other side if you are indeed confident, and no one can accuse you of being closed-minded.

September 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJB

Hey guys,

I would like to respond to your unreasonable attack and accusations against the Boulder Flycasters, the local chapter of Trout Unlimited in Boulder, Colorado, and one of the most celebrated chapters in our state, maybe even the country.

First, for the record, I am a Moldy Chum fan – I have your stickers (just bought a new set a few weeks ago, in fact), ball caps, and t-shirts that I wear with pride, and have for years. I have your website posts in my RSS feed, so I see your content served fresh, daily. Even have one of your old fly stickers on the back of my truck. In fact, I am one of your “Reel Purists” on the Reel Pure website. I appreciate your quirky and off-the-cuff comments and posts, and of course the fishing stuff is great.

But when I saw your post this morning blasting the Boulder Flycasters for their invitation to the Keystone Group to speak at their chapter meeting about the Pebble Mine, I could not believe my eyes. It was a “WTF” moment and quite frankly, was so out of line that I was hoping it was just a snarky quip about Pebble. As the morning wore on, I realized that was not the case.

Let me make this perfectly clear…

We steadfastly support protection of Bristol Bay, and feel that the best way to assure that is to not develop the Pebble Mine. Trout Unlimited is THE LEADER when it comes to the protection of this amazing and precious place. Colorado Trout Unlimited, and its 23 chapter’s state wide, has signed on in allegiance with National Trout Unlimited in support of the efforts to stop this mine in its tracks. We have participated in that effort in a number of very substantial ways. We have hosted an array of fundraisers, petition drives, events, movie showings and premiers, and have even had members and journalists go to Bristol Bay to see the site and participate in this process. Some of these events have been held in Boulder, hosted by the Boulder Flycasters.

That said, we think it is a good thing to hear different perspectives and get a wide range of information into the hands of our members and the public. Indeed, one of the worst problems plaguing our nation's dialogue on many controversial issues is THE REFUSAL TO LISTEN to others with whom we disagree and instead to retreat into our own echo chambers. We happen to believe that civil dialogue and exchange of ideas and information is a good thing, and helps individuals make more informed decisions. The fact that we will be hearing other points of view from a Keystone mediator funded through Pebble Mine does not in any way change our values or our commitment to the protection of Bristol Bay's wild salmon - it just means we want to understand all the different perspectives.

Trout Unlimited is a moderate, open-minded, and balanced organization. In few cases do we just flat say no. But this time, if you look at our record and our actions across the country on this issue, that is exactly what we have done. Just because we are willing to listen to the other side of the argument does not mean that we are weak or are caving, it means that we are mature enough to listen and engage.

The Boulder Flycasters are one of the most celebrated chapters in the state of Colorado – most recently for their significant local stream restoration efforts (costing hundreds of thousands of dollars and thousands of volunteer man-hours). They also have award-winning youth education and communications programs.

Instead of being condescending and negative towards a very dedicated group of volunteers, I would like to invite you to come to Colorado sometime, roll up your sleeves and participate in some of the great volunteer work that is being done here to conserve, protect, and restore Colorado’s coldwater fisheries…work that is being done to provide healthy places for you and others to fish, float, contemplate, and make money, together, in this amazing place.


Sinjin Eberle, President
Colorado Trout Unlimited

TU is a fundraising club and an anachronism.

September 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercaihlen

Well said Sinjin! Thanks for setting the record straight and continuing the great work you do for our state. I love being part of an organization that does the right thing.

September 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commentertrout sniper

I'd like to see direct links as to what Boulder Flycasters have done specifically to show support against Pebble. Can't find ANY. Keep your chapters in check, yo. Kinda reminds me of you 'Rags over the River'.

September 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterpk

I just read Sinjin's post about how it's a just thing to do " being open minded" & " having civil dialogue" I just want to ask one question, what the fuck is there to talk about?? There's nothing sane about this mine, there nothing even remotely good about it unless your looking to line your pockets with the money that does nothing but rape " YES I SAID IT " rape the land. Have you been there? Well until you have you don't have shit to say or discuss about it. Well thats not true, with out your voice we would still be a long way back on the information that is out there.TU yes it's a good org. But what it mostly does is try to repair the shit we've all fucked up through the years. Do you hear what I'm saying? Sorry I'm off my box now. Shit just pisses me off.

September 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJeff

Sinjin, I applaud you stepping up to buffer the kickback coming down on the Boulder Fly Casters. It is a prompt statement and shows proper leadership. But you know as well as every one else aware of the situation...they had no real idea who they where inviting to speak and NO ONE who cares even a little bit about "protecting cold water fisheries" has ANY budge room on this issue. It is not a matter of civil conversation or even knowing the enemy. The enemy is already very well known and even if the clowns at BFF thought they could trick this Keystone dude into showing PM's cards or exposing an Achilles' heel...remember, we are talking about the Boulder Fly Casters! These guys can't even pull off a decent silent auction. Good grief. Most celebrated in the state? Please tell me you just made that up.

Mr Eberle,

The issue isn't hearing the other side's arguments. You should absolutely encourage your members to join in the debate, Listen to both sides and decide for themselves. The issue is your bringing this person into a public forum SPONSORED by TU.

I was at the Regional Meeting a few years back that CO TU sponsored in Grand Junction, where in a non-public forum we invited representatives from the Shale Oil mining firms to speak about their issues. As I recall it went fairly cordial despite a few awkward moments, and very little change came out of the meeting. If it did anything, it extended a small olive branch, but in terms of productivity it was minimal.

Bringing this gentleman to a Public, TU sponsored function to promote the merits of this mine is counterproductive. The people that know their way around the issue will gain nothing, because they've heard the pro's of the mine before. Those that don't know the issue will be confused.

Make no mistake, TU outright opposes this mine. There is no compromise to be had. We've been listening to the other side for over 5 years and the plan hasn't changed. The undeniable overwhelming probability of a major impact to the fishery and the ecosystem is well documented. The vast majority of tribal leaders and local residents oppose the mine. There is no more argument to be had here than there is a debate to be had over climate change or evolution. Only deniers. And this event is supporting those deniers and doing it with the TU logo stamped on the front.

Please, with all due respect, reconsider your position, cancel this speaker and do something more productive with this meeting to educate your membership and the public as a whole.

September 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMegakarl

It is a pity that inarticulate, vernacular-loaded diatribes by persons such as 'Jeff' above might be seen as the extent or face of the average fly-fishing person. Such polarized and scant intellectual arguments only worsen any given stance, and do little or nothing for their cause. It is a pity that such indisciplined rants are not edited as they provide little or no intellectual input to a serious, and profoundly crucial issue that deserves thoughtful arguments and logical reasoning rather than vindictive, expletives and red-neck drivel. Congratulations to Co. TU and particularly Boulder flycasters for having the courage to listen to alternative views and arguments.

September 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterG.S. Marryat

I'd be all for civil debate if there was some hope of swaying the other side but it's not as if this consultant, hired by a mining interest, is going to decide "Jeez, you guys have a point, this mining stuff isn't such a great idea.". The consultant gets fees to create its own forums, TU shouldn't be providing them with a place to put their soapbox. We won't be inviting them to my chapter.

September 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSteve Z

I live in Miami, far away from Alaska and probably will ever have the pleasure of fishing Bristol Bay, but it saddens me when I see our natural treasures sold to the highest bidder, because of greed and short term profit... I hope with all my heart that this horrendous idea of the pebble mine never gets off the ground.

I have the pleasure of fishing the waters of Biscayne bay and I have seen the harm that over development has caused in the bay, I hope Alaskans resist the false corporate propaganda that is being thrown out there, as well as the lure of BIG money and short term profits, and realize that Bristol Bay is one of the last great Salmon fisheries left in the world and much more precious to all of us than all the gold in the world... once destroyed, it can never be restored.

September 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEddie O.

TU is bought and paid for by the left wing liberal Democrats. Their blind support for any crazy "pro environmental movement" helped this nation take the next step to ruination while many of their influential members fly private jets (or commercial jets) all over the world while ostensibly supporting green living and causing unintended consequences falling heaviest on the lower classes. No other side! That says it all

September 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMirp1

Bringing in a speaker in the guise of compromise is the first sign of weakness. When the facts are reviewed, it's completely clear, there is no need for the Pebble Miine. I watched the Columbia River system, specifically the Snake and the Grand Ronde grow into a polluted, dammed mess and I think ultimately that big money and greed is very hard to control. I look at this Pebble Mine project as a last stand, a last chance for what is provided in the way of food and recreation and jobs to prevail.

September 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMartin Niemi

Yes Mirp. TU, the media and reality have a clear liberal bias.

TU has no private jets. As far as commercial jets, if you know a greener way to travel several thousand miles in a few hours, I wouldn't keep it to yourself. You'd likely make a lot of money off of the idea.

What unintended consequences on the lower classes does greener living have? And what specifically has the environmental movement done to make your personal life worse?

Explain to me how preventing companies from destroying our country's environmental capital and natural resources such as water, soil, clean air and the planet's natural ability to regulate temperature is hurting our country? Because we are challenging companies to innovate and improve rather than take the easy route with long term health consequences to pad their bottom line? What do you have against innovation, sir?

TU does not oppose mining outright. Across the country we have worked with mining interests to protect our fisheries while allowing them to operate whenever possible. We also have done a great deal of work alongside mining interests to reclaim areas that were damaged by outdated mining practices. They don't oppose mining, they oppose THIS mine. Just like the residents of the area that will supposedly benefit from the jobs and roads that will be built oppose it. There are more important things than the bottom line.

The plan in place hasn't changed in 5 years and it's still garbage. A multi-million gallon, natural walled tailing pond that has to hold toxic mine tailings UNTIL THE END OF TIME in an earthquake-prone area at the headwaters of one of the most significant fisheries on the planet is unacceptable. It is not reclaimable. It is not safe. Until Pebble can come up with a better plan to take advantage of the resources in the area, we will take a hardline stance opposing the mine at all costs. If a better plan is presented that is a more reasonable solution environmentally, TU and it's members will gladly analyze the new information and if it is reasonable, change our stance to working with Pebble to do what is best for the fishery.

But as of today, not just no, but HELL no

September 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMegakarl

Good ,maybe they can tar and feather the speaker after he spews his lies about this environmental atrocity.

September 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDoug

After the Boulder TU meeting the Pebble Mine advocates will say: "see, we met with TU and that proves we are able to negotiate with the opposition to our project, we are reasonable people, you can trust us, we are not trying to roll over the little people, etc, etc.

Boulder TU is giving the Pebble Mine operatives a public platform to promote their objectives.

Cancel the meeting and take the lumps you well deserve.

September 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVince Staley

For an organization that I belong to, have given to, and one which holds the promise of restoring and protecting our cold water fisheries, I completely agree with those that don't want this joker creating doubt about the viability of the Pebble Mine.

TU's purpose is to protect coldwater fisheries, not justify the destruction of them then provide a path to restore them. If this mine is built, it's not a matter of IF but a matter of WHEN? and HOW BAD? the fishery suffers. Effects will be long after the debate is over, and even fewer people care about what was lost. There are too many other areas already exploited to get copper, gold, and molybednum.

TU's purpose at this very meeting should be how do we keep this mine from happening? What measures will be put in place to kill the profitability of the mine (such as create massive tax burdens to fund restoration, regulate stringent monitoring and reporting, and pre fund clean up)? What can the feds and local gov't do? Expose the groups (just like Keystone) that are enabling the project, not greet and listen to them.


Marc Hughes:

If that mine is built and the restraining dam is compromised there will be nothing to restore. Any returning fish will be dead, any spawn dead, and the whole ecosystem wiped out.

The Pebble Mine project should be locked up for eternity or else it will become another monument to man's greed and lack of public energy to protect what's left of the Garden of Eden.

September 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVince Staley

boulder...just one dumb decision after another. why you think its a good idea to hear both sides of this is beyond me. you know what the other side!!! duh, c'mon guys, have some common sense. and if colorado TU was really on the ball, they would be fighting for our right to public water and get involved in private land issues. in my opinion there is not a single chapter of colorado trout unlimited with their shit together... BOOM!

September 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDFC87

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