The threat of the Pebble Mine to the economy of bear watching is actually larger than the threat to recreational angling.
This new short film is a riveting window into one of the most critical conservation battles on the planet: how the proposed Pebble Mine would destroy the best brown bear habitat in the world, and how Alaskans are fighting to stop it. There are few icons of wilderness as powerful as the bears of southwest Alaska. With thousands of them living wild on the Alaska Peninsula, they play crucial roles as ecosystem curators and economic drivers, drawing wildlife lovers from all over the world who support the region’s lucrative sustainable bear-viewing industry. This film explores what could happen to the bears, and to the irreplaceable value of wilderness if the Pebble Mine becomes a reality. Once regarded as untouchable, the best brown bear habitat in the world faces the risk of becoming a mining district, causing indelible harm to the pristine ecosystem at the headwaters of Bristol Bay. The enormous open-pit mine and transportation infrastructure would affect vast tracts of protected land: Katmai National Park, McNeil River State Game Sanctuary, and Lake Clark National Park protect habitat that supports the world’s largest sockeye salmon run, the largest congregation of bears in the world, and the incalculable riches of untouched wilderness. Those protections now hang in the balance.