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Tags: Donald Trump | Trump Administration | Donald Trump Jr. | pebble mine | salmon | fishery | alaska

Trump Jr., Former Pence Aide Ask Trump to Block Mine to Save Salmon

bristol bay in southwest alaska
The site of the proposed Pebble Mine at the headwaters of Bristol Bay in southwest Alaska is shown on September 4, 2019. (Alex Milan Tracy/AP Photo)

By    |   Wednesday, 05 August 2020 01:26 PM

President Donald Trump’s son and a former aide to Vice President Mike Pence are imploring the president to stop a gold and copper mine from being constructed near a sockeye salmon fishery in Alaska, The Washington Post reports.

Pence’s former chief of staff Nick Ayers tweeted about plans a Canadian firm has to build Pebble Mine near Bristol Bay.

“Like millions of conservationists and sportsmen, I am hoping @realDonaldTrump will direct @EPA to block the Pebble mine in Bristol Bay. A Canadian company will unnecessarily mine the USA’s greatest fishery at a severe cost. This should be stopped and I believe @POTUS will do so!” Ayers tweeted on Tuesday.

The former staffer’s tweet was then retweeted by Donald Trump Jr. The president’s son added: “As a sportsman who has spent plenty of time in the area I agree 100%. The headwaters of Bristol Bay and the surrounding fishery are too unique and fragile to take any chances with. #PebbleMine”

Last month, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers signed off on plans for the mine to be built. The Army Corp issued a report that said the project wouldn’t harm the watershed.

But the president’s son and Ayers say the mine should be blocked.

“One of my greatest memories as a child was with my father either fishing or hunting and I think one of the things that every outdoorsman and hunter and fisherman thinks about is how he could leave that to their kids or grandkids,” Ayers told the newspaper.

He called Alaska’s salmon fishing grounds “truly one of the greatest places on the planet.”

“It would be unspeakable to let a foreign company mine an ecosystem important for the food supply chain,” he said.

He added that if the project moves forward, it would be a “tragedy and travesty.”

A person familiar with Trump Jr.’s thoughts said his tweet reflected his own views as a sportsman. Trump Jr. has vacationed and fished in Alaska’s Bristol Bay for years and has been following the debate over building the gold and copper mine, the source told the newspaper.

The source said Trump Jr. raised the topic with his father during the presidential transition but does not know if they have discussed the matter recently.

The Canadian mining company behind the project Pebble Partnership referenced the Army Corps' report when asked about Trump Jr.’s tweet.

A company spokesperson told the newspaper that the report “shows that both Donald Trump, Jr., and Nick Ayers are wrong.”

“The EIS concludes that the Pebble Mine will not harm the Bristol Bay salmon fishery,” the spokesperson said. “We remain confident that the [Army Corps] will issue a [record of decision] in the next few months. We do not believe that the President will interfere with this statutory process.”

The company is planning to construct a mine that will span more than 13 miles and require the construction of a 270-megawatt power plant, a natural gas pipeline, an 82-mile double-lane road, elaborate storage facilities and the dredging of a port at Iliamna Bay, according to the Post.

Whether the plans will go through will be up to the president.

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Politics
President Donald Trump's son and a former aide to Vice President Mike Pence are imploring the president to stop a gold and copper mine from being constructed near a sockeye salmon fishery in Alaska, The Washington Post reports. Pence's former chief of staff Nick Ayers tweeted about...
Donald Trump Jr., pebble mine, salmon, fishery, alaska, conservation
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2020-26-05
Wednesday, 05 August 2020 01:26 PM
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