Friday, February 22, 2008

Fly Fishing Film Tour 2008 - Stop Pebble Mine

Last night Matty, Kara, Chris and I met in the U-District and attended the 2008 Fly Fishing Film Tour. If you're into fly fishing this is an annual must see. I missed it last year due to my UW PM Certification classes but was able to join in the fun this year! Rather than showing one fly fishing film they show excerpts from 6 or 7 to give you a taste for multiple films (and they sell the full length versions of them in the lobby of the theater and on their website in case you get hooked!).

There was a great film by AEG Media called Fish Bum I: Mongolia. These guys traversed Mongolia in vans and caught some gigantic trout.

The films that caught my attention the most were the two that focused on the effort to stop the Pebble Mine from ruining Bristol Bay in Alaska. They were Equilibrium by Castaway Films and River Poets by Fly on the Wall Travels. The second one, River Poets, contained interviews by fishing guides who work in Bristol Bay. Granted it was probably the sweeping landscapes and heart moving music that caught me up in it, but if I can pass along the message and help just a little bit so be it.

Here is a brief recap of what is going on with Pebble Mine and Bristol Bay from the Pacific Environment Website:

A major threat to Alaska's fishing and hunting is the proposed development of an open pit mining district at the headwaters of the two most famous river drainages in Alaska, the Mulchatna/ Nushagak River drainage and the Newhalen / Kvichak River drainage, both of which feed into Bristol Bay. This is the premier fishing and wildlife area in all of Alaska and toxic by-products are an inevitable result of open pit mines.

These spawning waters are the source of the most productive commercial and sport salmon fisheries in the world. The land is the home ground for the 120,000 plus Mulchatna caribou herd, plus numerous moose, bear and other animals. Local opposition to the proposed open pit Pebble Mine, and the proposed 1000 square mile mining district around it, is strong and growing stronger.

Here are some other websites dealing with this:

Stop Pebble Mine

Wildlife Forever

Save Bristol Bay

Stop Pebble Mine Blog

Moldy Chum

I'm sure there are tons and tons of additional sites about this, this is just a sampling to give you an idea or the uproar that this issue has caused in Alaska and in the fly fishing community.

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