Archive for the ‘Subsistence’ Category

Alaska IS Growing… More of Our Own Food!!

September 17, 2011

Tomatoes grown in Bristol Bay

Gardening or farming in Bristol Bay seems to be taking off again with gusto! If you ask around  you find   almost everyone gardened until relatively recently. Many things point to the high salmon prices of the 80’s as the main mover but sometime, somehow, the desire and then the skill went away.

 Growing your own food has taken off again for a variety of reasons, amongst them high cost  and generally low  quality of produce which has to be shipped in,  coupled with lots of new ideas about how-to-grow from the lower 48 figure prominently.

A variety of projects are assisting the effort from grants to help pay for high tunnels, to a ‘growers school’, to tours and cooking classes. In Dillingham, for the second year, a Gardening Symposium will be held later this week. Everything from canning to helping figure out what ails your plants will be covered.

All summer all over Alaska many have been taking part in Alaska Growers School in variety of ways. From study at your own pace, conference calls , and  webinars people have been learning the basics of gardening from botany to how-to specifics for growing in the various part of Alaska. The first group of students then gathered in Fairbanks for some hands-on skill building. Over 40 of us from 26 different villages, a number in the Bristol Bay area, ended up with a wealth of knowledge backed up by great handouts and links to keep us going.

Ugashik's Community Greenhouse

Some villages, like Igiugig, have community greenhouses and outside garden plots to help residents get into the mood to grow more of their own food. Some residents and villages have those who grow for personal use but some are also looking at supplying near-by lodges with produce.

Learning about venting! This is easy to do in Alaska in early spring!

In touring and talking to a number of participants it’s obvious there is a learning curve. Many community operations are ‘staffed’ by volunteers and a number of issues have arisen, from learning how quickly the houses can warm up in the spring,  easily over 100 degrees as early as May, to the onset of gray mold or botrytis in those with circulation issues.  Hopefully, as these issues have come up, they are identified and solutions have been worked out so the efforts of many can be built upon.

In the past, weeds and the spreading of those darn things, has caused some villagers to give up after a few years of trying but hopefully as more people learn how to deal with these issues they will give producing their own food a try again.

Locally grown strawberries

Everyone should be able to enjoy a fresh bowl of greens, berries or veggies from their backyards if they so desire.

Open Letter…

June 4, 2011

to  the Yankee Fishermen’s Cooperative in Seabrook, NH :

Imagine our personal and collective surprise here in Alaska upon finding  Sarah Palin stopped by to boost morale there :

“Palin: Well, commercial fishing is near and dear to my heart of course, you know having fished for so many years. And I understand fish politics… Biology needs to dictate decisions in a fishery.”



Oh, for heaven’s sake!

We  are as worried as you are as to what this catch share program will do to you.

We have many communities  which have suffered enormously under the experimental catch share program here but please do not mistake Ms Palin’s assertion that she understands fish politics or thinks biology should be the decisive factor in fish policy as the truth.

Examples abound of her lack of knowledge and  understanding of fish politics  and downright refusal to accept  biology before, during, and after her bizarrely truncated stint as our Governor. She has a long history here of avoiding answering direct questions with comprehensive and coherent responses and fish politics are/were no exception.

We’ll skip right on by her relying-on-biology routine over our polar bears here, but please keep it in mind should you ever feel a real itch to accept that she really does care for unbiased science winning out when big development is at stake.

Those little slogans about individuals’ entrepreneurial spirit, getting government out of the way, and so on which  she brings up repeatedly, are just that  -slogans.

As our Governor she cleared the decks  for government and big business to run right up over the top of the everyday person on more than one one occasion.

She also turned her back  , multiple times, on the very people she wooed into supporting her with all those slogans and suchlike.

You can see in the responses here , at the Alaska Dispatch, that news of Ms Palin dropping in to lift your morale and claiming to understand fish politics met almost universal Pffft!s no matter what side of the catch share issue one is on.  It is perhaps a sign of her greatly diminished influence here that the comments rapidly moved to arguing about catch shares themselves after folks weighed in on the ex-Gov’s fish knowledge base. We would urge you to do the same.

It’s hard for us to picture the short 13 mile coastline and small fishing fleet of New Hampshire  in relation to our coastline which exceeds those of all other states combined and fisheries which provide 78,500 jobs but it is not hard for us to understand the fears and concerns you have there about the change in your fishery management.

The catch share philosophy , while embraced by many , has had far reaching consequences here, many of which are not good.

We stand with you in your concern as this change comes to your shores.

The Alaska Dispatch story, Palin disses fishing quotas at N.H. tour stop, linked to a very good overview of  catch share information and philosophy per the status quo.

We would invite all who visit here to also look carefully at criticisms and recommendations for real change to the philosophy as well.

The concerns that these shares, granted free, granted in perpetuity, and treated like property to be traded or sold, is completely askew are real.

The concerns that these shares have tended to consolidate access with fewer and fewer and bigger and bigger businesses are real.

The law and policy which governs this should always be open to review and revision.

Everyday Americans need to stand together, not as individuals fighting the system, but rather as people striving to make a system which works for themselves.

This is not simple, easy stuff to follow but since it affects so many real, live people we think it is worth folks educating themselves some to be able to make better decisions when they vote  or align themselves towards or against policy.

We don’t speak up much here at Anonymous Bloggers about  things outside Alaska but this issue affects every ocean fishery in America and Alaska has been the “beta-tester” for the method.

Alaska Pi and Ugavic


More important than any of the boy-are-we-tired-of-whatzername’s-lies  links above-

Further reading and criticism of catch share ‘stuff’ can be found at :

Rethinking Fisheries Policy in Alaska : Options for the Future

by Daniel W Bromley and Seth Macinko

Abdicating Responsibility:The Deceits of Fisheries Policy

by Daniel W Bromley and


 by Seth Macinko

And we are hoping  Mr Whittier’s full length film comes to fruit.

Predators, Not An Easy Answer!

March 31, 2011

(Editor Note: This is the third in a series of posts concerning predators in at least one part of rural Alaska. The first was Buckled Ice….” which covered some of the difficulties of traveling to an area Advisory Committee, the second A Rogue Grizzly, What It Cost us!”covers the Christmas Eve event that gave one family still more motivation to be involved in ‘the process’ of game management in Alaska. )

The Alaska Peninsula

In the days and weeks following the brutal attack in our yard by the ‘rogue’ Brown Bear we struggled to try to figure out why this unusual event happened. If  it had happened any other time but during a lengthy cold spell, with good snow cover and  in the winter, it would have been tragic but maybe not as alarming. Occasionally, we  have sightings of bears in the winter but they usually have been driven out by warm/wet weather and are looking only to den up again and stay away from villages. Any starving bears  would most likely not denned up to start. Bears as a whole, even out here in the ‘bush’, prefer to stay away from humans. They do not come into town, as has been known in larger cities, as there are no garbage cans or food left out for the easy pickings. They will venture nearer village areas when human activity is low to pull fish out of nets in the summer, but usually they avoid direct contact with human and even dog encounters. As a whole they avoid dogs like the plague because of the barking and nipping dogs tend to do.

At Christmas Eve  dinner the evening of the attack with the rest of our small village we, of course,  discussed the totally out-of-character, brutal attack on our dog by this bear. We talked about how one resident had been ‘mock’ charged by bears twice this past summer, once from behind. In every bear encounter we in the village  had, were either ones the bear made moves to get away, or allowed the human to get out-of-the-way.  None of us felt we were stalked for the sake of killing outright, as did the bear that killed our dog.

We came to find out a few days later that a bear had been spotted south of our village, surrounded by wolves. This drew concern as we wonder if the wolves that were lately being driven away from villages had taken to looking for bears in dens, as a food source. If they were successful this would happen more. There was also concern about if this bear had some illness like rabies. ( A quick internet search showed that although it happens, in Brown/Grizzly it is rare) We still had to wonder why he was not just looking to re-den up, or head  south where there were easier and more plentiful game to be had.  He had an adequate fat layer and coat that lead all of us to believe he had been denned up.

The state of Alaska admits it does not have good ‘numbers’ on a variety of fronts in regards to game and one of those is how many nuisance bears are killed each season. They are aware that the vast majority, many figure roughly 90%, of nuisance killings are not reported. Most have to agree that the regulation that requires whomever kills the bear to skin it and along with the skull ship it to the Fish & Game office.  NO one has time or the inclination to do this  time-consuming job especially when they are pushing to put up their food stores for the winter or make the majority of yearly income in a few short weeks. (Most nuisance bears happen in the spring and summer, with very few in the fall.)

Not doing this task of skinning  will usually result in a ticket issued, and a large fine. It is considered wanton waste of an animal by the state, and thus the penalties.

Presently what happens most often with nuisance bears is either they are shot badly enough to go off and die somewhere, usually a gut shot, or they are killed outright and disposed of in a river or pulled out into the bush. This leads to the added burden of orphaned cubs that either starve to death or  are killed by other bears in the area. They also many times must also be killed by a resident as they become an issue unto themselves.

People in the villages stay quiet about this as a whole. All of this leads to virtually no reporting of the issue to troopers and Fish & Game.  This is one of the missing factors in good management, a lack of good numbers. A change/modification in the regulation for skinning appears to be a good start.

Two orphaned cubs left to starve after the mother 'disappeared'

On top of this issue you have increased populations of wolves that are starving. There is plenty of evidence from sightings, trappers and those who hunt them and of course the death of the teacher from a starving pack. (Update: from recent discussions with trappers the general population seems to have taken a good hit this winter and we are seeing  less wolves overall. Also those trapped have not shown drastic signs of starving, as was seen the last few years)

Wolves in this area have been gaining not only numbers to the best of everyone’s understanding but at the same time our caribou herds have crashed and more pressure is being put on our dwindling moose population. We had the horrific death last year of a local school teacher by wolves. The pack that attacked her was starving, chased her down and killed her. (In the past we had a healthy trapping group that used airplanes to access hard to reach areas. That is no longer, thus the numbers of wolves have slowly increased)

Our area, the Alaska Peninsula, has been managed for years for outside hunters, and for trophy sized bears. This is an issue that has been in the making for YEARS and is going to take some time to get back into balance.

In the view of many, and which has happened in many areas of Alaska, all this ‘management’ for hunters has caused populations to become greatly out of balance.

There is evidence that the caribou herds grew so large they overgrazed the area, and then a number of added factors lead to the numbers crashing in the last 10 years.  Then through a variety of policies the area had little to no way to reduce the Brown Bear population, which is usually through being easily able to get rid of the bears that hung around villages. At the same time outside hunters were coming in and killing the largest bears. (Large male bears, boars, are some of the best birth control as they kill cubs and younger weaker bears helping greatly to keep the population in a better balance).

For some time now the Lower Bristol Bay Advisory committee, our local arm of access to the Game Board, has been working to make suggestions on either hunting restrictions, a predator program or changes in the regulations to get in front of the issue of game being in a better ‘balance’.

This year the state actually submitted a proposal to allow for any ‘nuisance bear’  to be killed within 5 miles of a village with the hopes of reducing those bears that cause issues. Amendments have been offered to modify the skinning requirement. There are a number of other proposals to change dates of and/or lengthen bear hunts to hopefully result in a better number taken. 

Various wolf programs have been already taken on in small ways to reduce those populations. (Since the death of the teacher monies have been ‘found’ to offer trapping workshops so local trappers can learn to be more efficient and humane while reducing numbers)

Our hope is that during this time we had before the Game Board the subject was listened to and the changes that were agreed upon by the board can be implemented.

It also appears that residents, local hunters, game managers, lodge owners and guides need to come together to draft at least area suggestions/plans of how best to understand and manage the game we all rely on.  Resources can be managed more efficiently, locals can help with numbers and spotting of animals, once trained and we can be creative in how best to accomplish balanced goals. It is so much easier to just complain of lack of budgets, no one listening, or a variety of other whines but harder to find common ground to work toward solutions.

There are a number of entities, from the federal and state governments, tribes/cities to residents that need to find a way to coordinate research, animal surveys, reporting and other input needed to accomplish the goals worked out with the needs of all.

We should hear in the coming weeks how all the changes that were agreed to by the board will be implemented and if they will have any impact.

Buckled Ice, Overflow, and Other Obstacles

February 16, 2011

Heading across overflow

Feb 16, 2011

One of the things that most Alaskans feel is a positive about our state is the ability for its citizens to get involved in the ‘politics’ of the state and stand the chance of actually having an impact if so desired.

Predator controls, aerial wolf shooting , a teacher killed by wolves, bear maulings, coupled with subsistence issues have all made the headlines in the past. All of these issues get dealt with, or ignored, by our state Board of Game, part of the state’s Department of Fish and Game. The Board members are appointed, once they voice an interest, by the Governor and then confirmed by the legislature for terms that  expire on a rotating basis.

There are a number of Advisory Committees, each dedicated to a specific geographical area and serve as a place for local residents and villages to address issues that come before the Board of Game.  Anyone can make proposals for changes in statues of how game units are run.  Every three years each area comes before the Board for those proposals to be reviewed and dealt with.

The Alaska Peninsula, that long skinny part of the state that stretches out to where the Aleutian Islands begins is up before the Board in March. Proposals have all been submitted months ago by a variety of local residents, village and city councils, guides, concerned citizens and of course the Department of Fish and Game.

Our Advisory Board, that deals with a small portion of that area, met this about three weeks in Pilot Point.

Due to a horrific event on Christmas Eve that happened in our yard the interest from this household was even more peaked than normal.  This interest comes on top of heightened interest due to an area teacher being attacked and killed by wolves last year, a continued issue with nuisance Brown bears and diminished opportunities for hunting game meat.

To make it to that meeting those of us in the villages near Pilot Point had one option of traveling over the frozen swamps, lakes and river to get there.

While making this trip under mostly blue skies, low winds and temperatures hovering around 0 degrees, not counting windchill it came to mind that many would have no idea what that entailed.

This distance between the two villages is only about 7 miles by way of the crow flying but overland in the winter it turns into about a 10-12 mile trek.  Snowmobiles and 4-wheelers traversus a frozen river, a number of creeks both frozen and not, frozen lakes, and a swamp that can frozen but again can have spots where it is not. (the thing to remember is we are near active volcanoes and this means there is activity that keeps some things from freezing solid all winter)

There has been some good snowfall in the week beforehand that I had heard caused a few places in the trail to need shoveling to clear. Also the trail is not marked except by tracks from traffic which can disappear from either more heavy snowfall or thawing that erase them.

We have to deal with things like ‘overflow’ which is where the tide as it moved up and down seeps up into low areas where the ice is cracked.

Overflow...where water seeps up through the ice when it rises.

We must also move through areas where the ice has not frozen smooth. These types of areas can have parts where it is just a little heave…..

Buckled ice on the edge of the river

….or these heave areas can go on for some time and be higher or rougher than you can transverse with a snowmobile or 4-wheeler.

Trying to find a safe way off or onto the river.

There is also the issue of getting on and off the actual river. Think of it this way….if all the ‘beach’ is taken up and all you have are the high banks of the river…how do you get up and over it?

Of course we have the normal issue of things like fog.  I have literally seen fog move fast enough to overtake a speeding skiff!! Just the other day I watched the fog roll in ……

Looking north toward our village, watching fog move in.....

…….and cover more than 8 miles in less than 5 minutes!

Still looking north but less than 5 minutes later!!!

So,  given all these issues sometimes getting to a meeting to lend your voice to an issue needs a little extra ‘consideration’  than just jumping in a car for the short 7 mile ride!!

Tomorrow’s Fish Market Choices: Halibut? Trout? Wild Salmon? How ‘bout a Nice Fillet of Genetically Engineered AquaAdvantage®?

June 30, 2010

Jun 30, 2010

Many of us would agree that the science unit about salmon life cycles in elementary school was pretty intriguing.

We were struggling to understand life, death and where babies come from then, and here’s a creature that knows just when it’s supposed to leave the freshwater home of its birth and swim away to experience life in the big ocean, then struggle to swim back home, make babies and die. Cool.

We learned in later lessons that this homing instinct can be traced to the prehistoric-looking fish’s relatives in the Salmonidae family whose fossil “fin prints” can be traced to Driftwood Creek, British Columbia, during the Eocine epoch, about 45 million years ago. Hardy creatures!

Fast forward a few million years, and salmon are still swimming upstream. Humans have now evolved and are harvesting salmon from the streams in summer to sustain them through the winter. This continues for thousands of years.

Fast forward again. In the second half of the 20th century, people get greedy. The “take what you need and leave the rest” philosophy of the first peoples was replaced with a “take all the fish you can sell for the most money out of a big net and leave everything else in your catch to die” approach.

Today, huge floating pollock processing factory ships trawl the Bering Sea and leave a trail of dying salmon in their wake.

Bycatch combined with natural causes has seriously affected Alaska’s salmon fishery.  People dependent upon a healthy salmon fishery, both subsistence and commercial,  increasingly face limited fishing openings .

That’s the salmon story in Alaska today.  In the lower 48 states, rivers were over-fished or streams dammed, preventing fish from returning to their spawning grounds. Currently, many salmon fisheries are suffering.

What do we do? Do we implement sound environmental and biological science to stop the damage to the salmon fisheries and restore healthy levels of salmon returns to the natural habitats?

Not quite. We do a salmon makeover…


Genetically Altered Salmon Get Closer to the Table

The Food and Drug Administration is seriously considering whether to approve the first genetically engineered animal that people would eat — salmon that can grow at twice the normal rate.

In other words, we are considering allowing a profit-making company to alter the genetics of a species that’s done pretty well all by itself, evolving through the eons, so it can be profitably farmed in pens.

Here’s the mission that Aqua Bounty, the biotech company poised to bring “muscle salmon” to our tables, has embarked on:

Our mission is to play a significant part in “The Blue Revolution” – bringing together biological sciences and molecular technology to enable an aquaculture industry capable of large-scale, efficient, and environmentally sustainable production of high quality seafood. Increased growth rates, enhanced resistance to disease, better food-conversion rates, manageable breeding cycles, and more efficient use of aquatic production systems are all important components of sustainable aquaculture industry of the future.

These genetically modified salmon will have no freedom to swim in the ocean until instinct calls and no final journey to native breeding grounds. They will be soulless, genetic, material on our plate. Tasteless.

And what if genetically modified salmon escape and run amuck in the natural habitats as has often happened in aquaculture?

According to an excerpt from an article in The Economist, that’s not a problem:

Aqua Bounty is addressing such concerns by subjecting developing eggs to high pressures. This alters their complement of chromosomes, giving them three sets per cell instead of the usual two. Such “triploid” fish are perfectly viable, but they are sterile.

If you believe that these genetically modified fish might escape from aquaculture pens and NOT have a negative impact on the resident native fish population, here’s the skinny from Scientific American.

The study, published online today by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, involved growth hormone (GH) transgenic coho salmon, which have greater appetites and can grow up to seven times bigger than wild cohos. Robert H. Devlin of Fisheries and Oceans Canada and his colleagues divided their fish into three separate groups containing either all GH animals, all nontransgenic ones, or an equal mixture of the two. To examine the competition between the two types, the researchers varied the amount of food supplied to the fish.

The team found that all the salmon thrived as long as there was enough food to go around. Faced with food shortages, however, GH individuals in the mixed group outcompeted their wild tankmates, growing larger than both those fish and the ones living in GH-only groups; and the wild salmon in the mixed group exhibited reduced growth as compared to members of the wild salmon-only group. Furthermore, survival rates were significantly reduced in those tanks holding GH salmon–sometimes to the point of extinction. Some of the dead fish appeared to have died from attacks by other fish, and there were several instances of cannibalism. The fish that survived in these tanks were usually the most aggressive GH fish. Individuals in the wild salmon-only groups fared far better, experiencing a constant increase in population biomass over the 14-week period of low rations.

This blog was started to bring awareness to a food vs. fuel crisis facing rural Alaskans in 2009.  However, today our scope has broadened. The health of the salmon fishery in rural Alaska is now another important topic of our interest. Contributor Victoria, a commercial fisher of Alaskan Wild Salmon and a concerned Alaskan, has attended North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC) meetings and spoken out for lower bycatch numbers. We are all now beginning to understand some of the issues of the bycatch problem.

Besides the food/fuel crisis of the recent past, and the lower bycatch/overfishing issues of the present, the proposal of future genetic modification of salmon adds a new, even more disturbing, layer of concern for the salmon industry, as well as the public at large.  A company located far from Alaska is proposing to introduce a new product to the global market that will compete with commercial wild salmon fisheries in far-ranging areas, including the independent commercial fishermen of rural Alaska, and replace their natural, wild caught salmon with laboratory-enhanced seafood.

A threat exists and has not been disproven that escaped genetically modified salmon will endanger native species.We’re not yet at the point where oil and toxic dispersants similar to the ones resulting from the Deepwater Horizon Spill in the Gulf of Mexico have polluted the world’s oceans beyond repair, thus making necessary a land-based aquaculture infrastructure to replace fresh seafood as a means of survival.

This is just another corporate grab at doing something bigger and faster than nature intended. Additionally, it will impact traditional fisheries by driving down demand for wild salmon and potentially harming the genetic structure of a fish that has been evolving for 45 million years. Aqua Bounty claims the chance that fertile salmon might escape and damage salmon stock is remote.

Only a small, sequestered breeding stock is allowed to remain diploid.

BP assured government agencies that every precaution would be taken to prevent oil spills from its deepwater wells and that any accidental spill could be contained using fail-safe measures.  BP also promised that any potential offshore leak would be never make it to the shore.

Let’s hope the Food and Drug administration does more than take Aqua Bounty’s word as fact.

Alaskan Natives favor subsistence lifestyle; just 8 percent support Pebble Mine, new poll finds

September 22, 2009

Sep 22, 2009

* * *

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Contacts: Bobby Andrew, Nunamta Aulukestai, (907) 842-5983
Lydia Olympic, member of local Alaska Delegation to the U.K., (907) 301-1873
Jean Craciun, president and CEO, Craciun Research, (907) 279-3982

Poll Finds Bristol Bay Residents Favor Subsistence Over Pebble Mine
Groundbreaking research finds 79 percent believe mine would damage salmon fishery; Native leaders and fishermen ask Anglo American CEO to honor promise.

Anchorage, Alaska – A new poll released today finds an overwhelming majority of Bristol Bay residents strongly prefer their subsistence lifestyle to the promise of jobs at the pr oposed Pebble Mine.

The poll, which is the most in-depth survey of local Alaska Natives’ opinion on the Pebble Mine, found that 79 percent of respondents believe the mine, located in the headwaters of two of the region’s largest salmon-spawning rivers, would damage Bristol Bay’s wild salmon fishery – a key resource that many residents depend on for income and food.

“What Anglo American’s CEO told us when we met in London earlier this year was that if local communities did not want Pebble mine, then Anglo American would not build it,” said Bobby Andrew, spokesperson for Nunamta Aulukestai, a coalition of eight village corporations that commissioned the survey. “A majority of local people know the mine will pollute and destroy subsistence, commercial and sport fishing and adamantly oppose it.

“We are asking Anglo American to honor its promise and withdraw from the Pebble project,” Andrew said.

Andrew and the three other local Alaskans who met with Anglo American executives and shareholders earlier this year in London sent a letter today to the company’s CEO, Cynthia Carroll, along with the survey results. They asked her to adhere to promises she made in a private meeting that the company would abandon the Pebble project if local communities rejected it.

The letter dated September 22, 2009, stated:  “Opposition to the mine is overwhelming and unwavering despite significant outreach efforts by Anglo American and Northern Dynasty over the years…. With that in mind, we ask you to keep your stated commitment to forego development of the Pebble mine given the ongoing community opposition.”

“We are not going to risk our subsistence way of life, which has sustained our families for generations, on the Pebble Mine,” said Lydia Olympic, an Igiugig native who joined the group that met with top company officials in London in April. “Mining is not the answer.

“Sustainable development can only be based on our wild salmon, clean water, and renewable energy – not on a mine that will pollute our land and water with toxic waste,” Olympic said.

The poll released today was conducted by Anchorage-based Craciun Research, which sampled 411 Bristol Bay residents from six parts of the Bristol Bay region between May 18, 2009 and June 2, 2009. It was statistically drawn to get an accurate assessment of opinion in each of those areas: Alaska Peninsula, Lake Iliamna/Lake Clark, Nushagak Bay, Nushagak River, Togiak, and Kwichak Bay. The margin of error was plus or minus 4.8 percent.

Among the survey’s main findings:

· The vast majority of residents favored renewable energy development (94 percent), value-added fish packing (89 percent), and tourism that Alaska Native communities could be involved (82 percent) in over mining.

· Survey respondents agreed almost unanimously (97 percent) that maintaining subsistence-lifestyle resources and their subsistence lifestyle is important.

· Seventy-two percent of those surveyed reported that a significant part of their diet came from fish, game, berries and other subsistence sources.

· Only 8 percent of survey respondents supported the Pebble mine project, less than the one-third the number that support oil and gas drilling.

· The strongest opposition to the mine was in the Nushagak Bay area, but even in Iliamna-Lake Clark area, where local businesses benefit more from current exploration activities, 73 percent of survey respondents oppose the mine.

· A majority (78 percent) thought Pebble mine would damage commercial, guided or subsistence fishing.

· A majority of respondents agreed that most jobs created by the mine would go to outsiders, not locals.

· Few respondents thought that mining could be done without harming the environment.

To download a copy of the survey report and the letter to Anglo American CEO Cynthia Carroll, go to: