Voices From Bristol Bay: Kate Taylor
We're preparing to welcome the EPA to Anchorage and then the Bristol Bay region next week, and are encouraged to see comments rolling in across the country in order to protect wild salmon from large-scale mining. If you have not yet done so, please tell the EPA to issue protections for Bristol Bay, Alaska by clicking here.
In the meantime, here is the next of our, "Voices from Bristol Bay" series to show you just how magical of a place this is.
Name: Kate Taylor
Why do you love Bristol Bay? Bristol Bay had me at endless wilderness, completely untouched headwaters, pure clean water, massive runs of sockeye, and aggressive hungry rainbow trout. Beyond its epic ecosystem, I'm continually amazed by the resilience of the people who live and work here and our ability to unite together to protect it.
What is your fondest fishing memory in Bristol Bay? As a float plane roars overhead, we hike across squishy tundra attempting to avoid small wildflowers, then descend into a pristine creek through thick alders to arrive at spot that feels like we are the first and only ones to visit while oversized red colored sockeye, kings, and chum salmon scurry through the icy cold water. If you peer closely, you'll see rainbows, char, and grayling chasing around beneath the clear water's surface. A brown bear shuffles along the opposite bank peering down as well. These days are my favorite.
If Pebble Mine were built, what impact of the mine do you most fear? I would fear that we have and never will learn our lesson. I fear that we would lose a final frontier of untouched headwaters, healthy rivers, and strong runs of salmon. I'm afraid that I would lose hope in our ability to protect things that are sacred and wild. I am fearful for the many people whose jobs, livelihood, and winter food source depend on the healthy run of salmon and how devastating it would be to their families and their life to lose it over the extraction of copper and gold.
What do you want someone who has never been to Bristol Bay to know about the region? I would love if every person could visit Bristol Bay and experience a wilderness so vast, booming with healthy runs of sockeye, clean water, and wildlife. I hope that folks outside of here can imagine the importance of our last stronghold of sockeye salmon and they understand the significance of maintaining and protecting our salmon and the wilderness they call home. I want people to understand that their voice is important to future generations who will thank us for choosing well.