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You can't predict anything presented by Onex Hunt. Creators of the most comprehensive digital mapping system for hunters. Download the Hunt app from the iTunes or Google Play store. Know where you stand with Onex. Everybody, I don't want to discourage you from listening to this episode. It's about Pebble Mine in Alaska and everything you're going to hear is pertinent and relevant.
But here's here's the weird thing.
While we were recording this episode with Tim Bristol about Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay, Alaska, a big news story broke. In this episode, you're going to hear mention of a guy named Tim Collier who works on behalf of Pebble Mine. While we were recording the show, it came out that Tim Collier, who served a CEO role on the Pebble Mine project. Was secretly recorded. Saying some things that are speculated about in this coming episode, this will make more sense after you listen.
For instance, he acknowledges to some people who are posing as potential investors to the mind, we're going to be discussing today. He acknowledges not that this will be a 20 year project, but that phase one of this project would be a 180 to 200 year project. And he discusses certain politicians by name who he says, sure, they'll pay lip service to opponents of the mine and they'll act like they care about having this mine done right.
But at the end of the day, I'm friends with them. I know him, and they'll just rubber stamp the thing that's in essence, I'm paraphrasing them. That's an essence of what this guy says on these secretly recorded tapes. And Tim Collier, who are going to discuss quite a bit in the show. Had to promptly resign. So understand that this episode happened.
In the minutes before this major twist in the story occurred, so dig in and you will walk away a borderline expert on Pebble Mine and hopefully like me, you'll come to the decision that this is the wrong mine in the wrong place and we need to fix this problem once and for all. All right, we're joined by super special guest out of Homer, Alaska, Tim Bristol, how predictable is it that I bring up that, you know, you bring up, like, about your name?
Yeah. How'd that work out, either chance or fate, you know, take your pick. So what I'm getting at here is name is Tim Bristol. Yeah. You've dedicated how many years to. Fighting Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay, 15, did you change your name to Bristol? I did not.
Now it's born with that name at a point where you're like, wow, huh? You know, my name is the name of that place.
I think the best thing about it was when I started going out to these communities, these native villages, you know, a lot of us white people all the same, you know, kind of go out there and baseball hats and rain gear and, you know, have some kind of, you know, scruffy scruffy beard or some kind of Patagonia shirt.
They remembered me because they're like Tim Bristol. We remember your last name. It's so it's great.
So I worked out, you know, I worked out really well. It was advantageous. Yes. Can you.
Man, like explain to people. As though they're five years old. As though they're 20 years old. Explain to people like they're 20 years old. When someone says Pebble Mine. OK, what is? Pebble Mine, considering that it's at this point, it's nothing but what are we talking about when we talk about Pebble Mine?
Pebble Mine is a proposal to build. Either the second largest or the largest open pit, gold and copper mine in the world at the headwaters of the most productive wild salmon fishery left on the planet. And it's a choice for Alaska. You know, we're at a crossroads, we got to decide whether we're going to allow everything everywhere or are we just going to say some places are just too important for renewable resources, for thousands of American jobs, for America's, you know, natural heritage.
And we're not going to allow this to go forward.
The superlative largest or second largest, what does that hinge on?
Well, it's all about the habitat when you're talking about sockeye salmon production. Right.
So some of the mine sites like it would be the largest like I mean, there's there's varying proposals or like it's unclear how to measure them.
Well, there's there's this is where it gets really confusing for the public and incredibly irritating for us that are trying to, you know, punch through and tell the truth on this thing. It is the largest known gold resource and the second largest known copper resource in North America. And when the head of the company Pebble Limited Partnership, this guy named Ron Thiessen, goes and talks to investors at, you know, World Gold Forum and things like that. He talks in those terms, those superlatives that this is a, you know, world class resource, that we may be able to mine it for 100 years or more.
But then when Pebble comes back to the public, when Pebble gives a proposal to the Army Corps of Engineers, they say, oh, we're going to be there for 20 years and we're going to go away.
And, you know, there's really no way to sugarcoat it. It's a flat out lie. And the government right now is swallowing it hook, line and sinker. It makes it incredibly frustrating because I just you know, if you talk to people that don't have that, they don't have skin in the game that are experts in the mining world, they'll tell you that they're not going to make any money in the first 20 years. And there's no way they're going to stop after 20 years.
Their shareholders wouldn't let them. Everybody was part of the company would get sued and they would just put a whole new set of leadership in there and then apply for a little additional permit and just keep going.
Would it somehow make it better if they did stop after 20 years? Yeah.
Would that would that ease your mind? Not really now.
And the other damage will be done as far as like the all the infrastructure and the what it takes to open the mine. Yeah.
Yeah, I, I would I would point I would try to find, you know, a place in the world where that's happened, right. Where you spent billions on infrastructure, roads, a port, getting a natural gas pipeline out there and and then just quitting after 20 years. Right. When you you may have not turned a profit by that point.
So I just you know, that's not going to happen. And then you have a whole bunch of other mineral claims staked around the Pebble prospect. The thing that people don't realize is you're looking at a thousand square miles of mining claims at the headwaters of Bristol Bay, and that would make it one of the largest mining districts, if not the largest mining district in the world. And you start thinking about the implications for wild salmon production. And you look at wild salmon runs all the all throughout the Pacific Rim and you pretty much know how the story is going to hand.
You know, have you ever heard this, that all of the gold that's ever that's in existence above ground, so all of the gold that's ever been hauled out of the earth since the Egyptians?
Is there's only enough to fill three Olympic sized swimming pools, huh? Really, all of that gold. Now three more. Forbes estimates that Forbes estimates that it would take that all the gold since 2000 B.C., including the Egyptians, that all that gold would fill three point two, seven Olympic swimming pools. That's what's ever been dragged out of the Earth.
And that one die hard movie, they had so many shocks. Oh, you think there have been 10 pools, Olympic sized swimming pools? No joke, though, either. Yeah, it's a lot of volume.
The. OK, put your mining engineer hat on for a minute. I don't have one of those, but I'll try. OK, I mean, mining engineers are smart people.
We should have brought one to, like, explain this because it's the process, right? Part of it pisses people off about Pebble Mine. Like, it's not like it's not like a bunch of old dudes dressed up like Hatch Jack out there with gold pants.
Pull the nuggets, right? Yeah, like explain Leach, you know, cyanide, leach mining, yeah. So, you know, with Pebble to get back to the speaking to the 20 year old IT size type location.
Right. It's the it's the size of the mine we've already talked about. That'd be one of the biggest excavations in the history of mankind, really, when you include the pit and the infrastructure. So Pebble Pebble, if to go to full build out, would use more energy on a daily basis in the city of Anchorage. And you've been through there a bunch of times. It's not a small town. It's 260000 people. It would suck up that amount of electricity.
Yeah. And use their fuel and and water. It use more than twice as much water, but is used by a city of 260000 people on a daily basis. So me and, you know, I don't know if you've ever flown over the mine site area. There's nothing there. I mean, it's just it's just wilderness. Yeah. It's it's an amazing spot.
And it drains two ways towards two river systems up towards the Nushagak Mile Chatenay and then down down towards Lake Iliamna and the Chediak River. And those are the two major drivers of the of the salmon fishery that I think we'll probably talk about a little bit.
But so from an engineering standpoint, you're talking something, you know, the biggest development project in Alaska since they discovered oil on the North Slope and built the Trans Alaska pipeline and, you know, Deadhorse in Prudhoe Bay and all that kind of stuff. And then so, yeah, size. And then you have the type of mine. So there's a lot of gold and copper in the ground, but it's not a very rich ore body.
It sits at a and a big sulphide deposit. And you're basically so a friend of a friend of ours who's worked for a long time with us, who has some background in mining.
And he used to be the state Senate president guy named Rick Calford, a lifelong Republican, big game guy, retired big game guy.
He he calls it a sulfur mine with a gold and copper component. You have to get through a whole bunch of waste rock to get to the gold and the copper. And then the big problem, the engineering problem, the one that's chased away Anglo American and Rio Tinto and Mitsubishi and Quantum Minerals, some of the heavy hitters has been what the hell are they going to do with all that waste?
Because you have those are other mining companies you just name. Yeah.
And those are like the contractors. There's like the developer and the contractor.
There's there's that analogy not accurate.
There's a developer, the sort of the the hype machine, which is Pebble Limited partnership, the the snake oil salesmen. Yeah. If I may. And then there's the the majors who actually design and operate mines. And we should get to the fact that the pebble part, like the sort of brain, the sort of the brains behind this. I'd like to get to this and understand as well. They're having a hard time sort of finding the contractor.
Right. Like they're like, hey, here's this crazy house we're going to build and contractors keep coming in and be like, yeah, it's not for us.
I like that analogy. Yeah. So get Anglo American, Rio Tinto, Mitsubishi Quantum all walked away.
Angela walked away from a 570 million dollar investment, and I think it's you know, it really comes down to you and what we've heard through the grapevine and lots of experts that have just kind of been around the proposal throughout the years have said we just don't know how you're going to manage that kind of waste over time. It'll be like like a Berkely pit beyond comprehension. I think that's another piece from the 20 year old standpoint that needs to explain. When you're talking about that waste, about that sulpher, what what are we talking about specifically in terms of containment and the potential for if it gets out?
Are we being condescending to 20 year olds? Yes. But I mean, yeah, actually, we are, because my coworker, she's 22 and she's way smarter than me, way smarter. So we're going to talk about this later on, talking to a 46 year old.
Oh, yeah. I want to get like. Why? OK, let me just out real quick. We have a thing nearby where we're sitting right now, an hour and a half drive from here called Berkeley Pet. Right.
And at a time was the gold and copper mine. Yeah, it's in Butte, Montana. Yeah. I don't know what this means. You always hear it thrown out that like once upon a time you had per capita more millionaires than anywhere in the country.
But I'll stick it to too. If you had a community of 100 people and there happened to be a millionaire there, you would have more millionaires per capita. So I don't know that people like to throw that out there. Yeah.
There's a great history of beaute in the Berkeley pit, which is the article, there's all these books, but there's an article called Pennies from Hell, and it gets into like what exactly happened there in a tunnel? Mind it, right.
Just like pulling out chunks. But over time, technology's improved the quality, the or decrease in different areas. And they eventually got to this thing where they pull the shit out of the ground.
And the order contains what you're after. Copper, gold, silver. And you leech it out. By you pour acid on it, cyanide, cyanide, you pull it up, crush it up, dump a bunch of cyanide on it, and then it it dissolves cracked. Right. And there's some way that you then harvest it, but then you wind up with all of this contaminated liquid that then has to go live in a lake. In Berkeley, Pitt is a problem that will never go away, right?
It's an enormous amount of snow geese once landed her and died on the water.
In that pit. And it'll be a problem in the. You know, I don't want to over conflate Berkeley Pit with this, but I do want to talk like like what what they mean when they say because I think people think of mining and think you're going to dig a hole and also all the gold starts flying out of the hole and then you load it on airplanes and fly it somewhere, right? Yeah. They're talking 10 billion tons of waste associated with full build out of Pebble.
A percentage of that would be highly reactive sulphide bearing rock. And when that sulphide bearing rock is exposed to air and water, it creates dilute sulfuric acid, which has a half life of never. It just has to sit in a pit and be treated in perpetuity.
That's the part I didn't get. So that so it's like it's something that when you pull it up and allow it to oxidize or exposed water, then it creates the problem. Right. And you put that shit into a lake. That's right. And build a dam to keep it from going anywhere.
An earthen dam in an area that's one of the more seismically active places in the world. You know, it's on the Pacific Rim of Fire. They had an earthquake out there last year that really shook our house. It was high sevens. So, you know, and they talk about how we got Dam's design. Nothing can ever go wrong. But you're seeing more and more of that of these these modern mines. You know, that they have such huge amounts of waste that they have to contain that.
It becomes a real problem and Pebble makes, you know, Berkeley pit look like. You know, just a just a dot. It's way bigger. You know, you just mentioned the seven earthquake and the seventh. I was just reading this book about the what year did the big earthquake hit Anchorage 64. I read a book about the John Llewellyn, who's been on the show, just wrote a book called This is Chance, and it's about the 64 earthquake in Anchorage.
And Rechter. At the time was just developing his scale. And it's an exponential scale, so a seven is 10 times worse than a six, right? He was a nudist. Rechter. He was down in California listening to a he'd built the rig, he'd built the seismograph that he installed in his living room and drove his wife crazy. This giant seismograph and he was working on a scale and he was sitting in his living room listening to a concert.
With his wife on the 64 earthquake hit in Alaska. And he looked over at his seismograph and said that was a big one. And lo and behold, the biggest earthquake to ever strike the continent. Yeah. It could happen again, you know, it's not that long ago, no, no. Now, a lot of these people are still around, yeah, swallowed streets, right, 60 foot tsunami hit Kodiak. Yeah, yeah.
When people point out the seismic part of the area, I think people like, oh, you're just being alarmist. I mean, it's like it's an actual thing, man.
Right, I think, you know, we have a tough time grasping these timeframes, right? I mean, the acid mine waste doesn't go away. Someone's you have to store it and. You know, companies rise and fall and someone's going to have to pay for all that monitoring, if you were to, you know, take all these steps and actually build the thing. And over time, you never know who's going to get stuck with the bill.
Probably the people of Alaska and the people of the United States. Explain a little bit about what's to be.
What's to be lost like besides just the actual destruction, or you can take it both ways. The actual destruction of the footprint, which is not insignificant, but I think that that is something that people probably would become comfortable with, maybe. Yeah, like, OK, there's this like part of the earth that will. Ceased to function as of now, it will not be wildlife habitat anymore. It'll be the opposite. But then there's this sort of like ticking time bomb element, right?
That all the shit we're just downstream. Yeah. Like, what's that look like? Like like what is the resource? That would be the resource resources that could be compromised if the worst in the worst case scenario.
Yeah. And then I want to know to even the best case scenario, are there still compromises to the wildlife habitat. Yes.
So the third part size type and then location. So the pebble prospect sits in the saddle between the two largest salmon producing watersheds in Bristol Bay, which makes them two of the biggest salmon producing watersheds in the world because the Bristol Bay being the biggest salmon run. Right.
It's the biggest sockeye salmon run in the world. It's probably going to be close to 60 percent of the world's global sockeye salmon supply this year. Because you shit me. Really? Yeah.
So the total run this year is 57 million fish and the commercial fleet harvested about 40 million sockeye and all that. Again, 57 million was the total run and the harvest was 40 million. And, you know, that's amazing that you can harvest that level. And still get the return, salmon are incredible if you take care of habitat and you're really on it management wise, you know, Fish and Game can turn the run on and off like a like a faucet.
You know, they can they can take 2500, you know, hardcore gillnet and say you're done for the day and they all stop coming.
We did that kind of trim off on a deer population. Dude, did it take decades to recover? Yeah. Now they're incredible. So it's that location sitting in the saddle between the two rivers and, you know, up to the next them coming in.
Yeah, that's the fish coming in. That's the return. And that 17 million man cranks out enough returners to pull another 40 million fish out in the future for for human consumption. Yeah, we're probably at peak abundance right now.
Bristol Bay probably has more salmon coming back now than it ever has because they can go down in the bottom of these lakes and do these samples, you know, of just where the layers of decayed matter have settled in the bottom of the sediment of these lakes over time and kind of reconstruct runs from 100, 200 years ago. And they think. The researchers think that we're probably having productivity that is as strong or exceeds what you had before four white people showed up.
Hmm. So is this excessive?
Is that just because the habitats is in great shape? It's it's the theory overwhelmingly about super high quality habitat that hasn't been disturbed. And then, you know, pretty, pretty solid management by Alaska Fish and Game. So so, yeah, so that's that's so. Even if even if the mine never had something go wrong. You're still going to have a destruction of wetlands. You're going to have the elimination of, you know, several dozen miles of salmon stream and then people will point out, well, that's only like one.
Small percentage of the overall, you know, area of productive salmon habitat in the region. What's the problem then? You have to start looking at what happens if something does go wrong, if there's a catastrophic tailings dam failure. Let's visit that. Let's visit Janet's question for a minute.
So best case scenario is you lose several dozen miles. Of Salmon Stream, yeah. Yeah, it's more than that that gets into whether they're going to operate for 20 years, they're going to operate for 100, right. That gets back to the thing that drives us crazy, whether it's there's a bait and switch going on right now, that's all there is to it.
So if you at full build out, you you destroy hundreds of miles of salmon stream and you'd have this huge excavation.
And then you got to remember the pit serves as a swamp. So all the water in and around there that's charging all these these systems that have these very complex interchanges of surface and subsurface water, it all just sucks towards the pit that will be holding the the tailings. So how big is the pit? We don't know as of yet because we don't know what the you know, the proposal that's going to possibly get approved by the federal government is. But it would be.
1970 feet deep. And Folbigg, 1970 deep. And it's going to be a good episode of Deep Daedra boys, and then I'd have to you know, I can't remember exactly how many miles, but how many miles. But we're talking Miles. Huh, I've kind of lost some of the stuff he couldn't drink. No, no, no amount of like Stari Penne. Her. Let's let's let's cover off our worst case, yeah, so we hired an expert to look at what would happen if you had a tailings dam failure because the Army Corps of Engineers did not require people to do that during the easiest process, which seems that doesn't seem to be looking at all the things that could or could not happen.
Right. So we hired an expert and he showed if you know a tailings dam let go, you would have waste that would reach Bristol Bay. So the pebble prospect is a long way from Bristol Bay. It's about 100 miles upriver.
And up the watershed, an enormous watershed, it's like the size of Wisconsin, you know, so and, you know, he just he said, based on what I know and what I've seen in other places, you would have mine in ways that would reach all the way to the Pacific Ocean, the Bristol Bay itself, saltwater and would essentially wipe out. The whole system for a period of years and we started going to the public with this presentation, we were going to the commercial fishing fleet because, you know, you have to have the commercial fishing fleet on your side out there.
If you're going to if you could actually make a difference politically and start to do a presentation for all these all these guys before the and women. A matter of fact, one of my co-workers is a commercial fishing boat captain. So and people hated the information so much that they sued us. So there's there's a bunch of details there, but, yeah, they just wanted to kind of squelch public debate. They didn't want anybody covering this part of the issue because, you know, it's really problematic.
And they don't want to talk about the failure. Right. They don't want to of down and they want us to talk about it either.
So because it'll just sit there for thousands and thousands of years. Fine.
Or an earthen tailings dam collapses, you know, like happened.
And they're their argument would be like, no, it'll just always be there, but it'll always be fine. Yeah. Yeah, and, you know, the evidence is starting to really come in, right, so you had that catastrophe down in Brazil a couple of years ago or and that was a modern mine run by a modern company, you know, a well capitalized company that really knew what they're doing. And Tailings Dam Let Go went to destroy the river and killed people.
And then you had the case of the Mount Polley mine in British Columbia on a tributary of the Fraizer, which is a sockeye salmon producer in British Columbia. And they had a catastrophic tailings dam failure. And, you know, it's just it's a mess or five years later. And Productivity Acquisitional Lake, which the waste went out into, is is way down. And, you know, these things can fail.
In the recent years, I've read about mass fish die offs from things ranging from. A farmer. Putting a bunch of hog shit in a pile next to a trout stream. Yeah. Bourbon. Spilling out of a distillery during a fire. Milk. Killing Miles. Of fish out of a river. It's like these things happen all the time. Yeah, and we're talking about things that most of us regard as like fairly benign. Milk. Yeah, you can drink two of those things versus sulphuric acid.
It's like it's like it's like what's the big deal? It's like, well, I'll tell you the big deal. Ten miles of fish are dead. And when we're talking about where this is right, like going toward Iliamna, and this is one thing, just having guided in that area for years, primarily as as a trial guy, but also for salmon, that is one there's a reason why people spend tens of thousands of dollars to go there just to fish for a week or two there.
I don't know of a trout fishery like that Iliamna system that produces just massive, massive, super healthy rainbows.
And it's all based on the salmon. Right. Bringing the energy back up through that.
Everything about that, everything about that whole area, flora, fauna, everything is based on the nutrient return from the salmon coming from the ocean and dragging a hundred some odd miles upstream. None of that stuff would exist without that nutrient return. Yeah. And so if you're talking about losing this particular place and and, you know, when I was up there, I have to admit, I hated Sockeye guiding. Sockeye guiding is probably the most boring type of fishing you could imagine.
But so there's like the two levels of reasons why I opposed this. One is the super personal level, which is that I love the place and I love those trout probably as much as any fish I've ever fish for. But then the bigger picture of what the sockeye represent to the economy and to the whole area, like I may not have wanted to fish Warren personally, but what they do for Alaska and what they do for the planet is massive and to lose all that.
It's just it's it's not the same as like your backyard creek. Yeah, not to say you shouldn't love your backyard, backyard creek, but Lake Iliamna and that whole system and the New York, those places are incredible.
Yeah. Miles brings up a good point that people need to think about.
You talk about salmon is the. Well, first off, so when Sarki gets born, walk me through this tent like a Sarki gets. Batched, OK? He goes down in Spain, they drop down to a lake, correct, they usually spawn an inlet inlet streams coming into lakes. But there's a all these different genetic subgroups out in Bristol Bay that this really diverse portfolio of different salmon stocks. It's really amazing.
A beach spotter's and you have some lake spawners, but usually it's a it's a it's a smaller stream coming into a big lake. And then those juveniles hang out for how long in that a couple of years, a year, a year or two years, and then roughly how big when they finally go and hit the head like a finger, right?
Yeah. And then how big when they come back, probably averaging around five, six, seven pounds. So when Miles mentions this like this sort of like exchange, you have an area where you have an extraordinarily rich marine environment.
In a somewhat sterile land environment and just in terms of like. In terms of biodiversity, like it's stunning in the marine environment and in stunning but like limited in the land environment, meaning you don't have like you have a great wealth of like large land mammals that are very inspiring and stuff.
But when you get down like just like the species count relative to the marine environment, it's kind of low.
Right. So if you have 57 million Sakai's that are going to go up this river. And even if humans then consume 40 million of them, 17 million, five to six pound fish, basically transport. Marine resource. Back up into feed the land. That's right. Millions and millions of pounds of like carbon based life, right, go up and it gets eaten by everything and shat out by everything everywhere and decomposes and feeds the plants, feeds the fish, feeds the bears, the birds.
It's like that's where it's kind of like life comes from, it's right from caddis fly to brown bears. So everyone up like you talked if you talk about it. So the salmon are gone. You know, my kids always like to ask, like, why do we have mosquitoes?
Oh, my God. No, ma'am, I bet you in a weird way, if we didn't things that go to shit, you know. Yeah.
And you remove that, it's like you're removing more than it's not like, oh, 40 million people have to find a different thing for supper. This is different than that. Yeah. Yeah, I mean, they've even done studies in British Columbia now where where, you know, the salmon runs have been greatly diminished and the ecosystem is just not the same.
There isn't as much wildlife. There aren't as many insects. I mean, these these systems are just completely dependent on salmon. There wouldn't be anything in these rivers, really. Maybe some grayling, some small grayling.
Right. But you wouldn't have it. You wouldn't have the rainbow trout either, which we haven't talked about. You wouldn't have this incredibly huge, vicious rainbow trout fishery there. You know, everything's just keyed in on on the salmon lifecycle, my boy, Jimmy.
I went to my first Pebble Mine event. When he was an infant. He's 10 years old, but he has a baby, he's now 10. Yeah, it was an event in New York and it was being put on by. It was partially being put on by Tiffani's. The jewelry company. And Tiffany was saying even at that time, sure, we saw all kinds of gold and shit. But we're making a promise that we will not carry these people's gold, right?
How could. Why were we talking about it 10 years ago? We're still talking about it now. Like what was happening then, like how did it even come up to something like what? I'm not asking a very clear question. Let's start with this question. When did someone first say, holy shit, we should mine some gold out there?
Annuls rivers. Probably probably 20 years ago. And the name Pebble comes from a geologist, flew over the mine site and it reminded them of the Pebble Beach golf course.
So because of the water holes, you know, so the history is really, really where it comes from.
Yeah, yeah. I didn't know that either. I just never think to ask, like, why hasn't it. Yeah.
Yeah. The history is a little bit like smack that guy in the back.
I know what it should look like. A golf course, the opposite of a golf course.
But the history is a little bit tragic. Right. So you had all these lands that were set aside by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act in 1980. And there were all these lands are over selection and then they whittled it down.
Explain that. I never heard of that. You never heard of Anelka? Oh, yeah. Yeah. So Noka. Yeah.
And there was a there was a huge selection pool and then it got wind that was around like the Native Claims Settlement Act and there's the Settlement Act. And then they decided something needed to be done to set aside a bunch of Alaska's lands for the national interest for creating that Rangel saying last national park.
I don't know that that was I didn't know that that that that component of that era had a name. Yeah.
So had 100 million acres to the conservation system in the United States. So it was unbelievable.
Now it's part of this elaborate deal brokered around like what we're going to do with this new state. That's right.
And then how we're going to get away from the reservation system that we used in the US and how we're going to settle with native Alaskans. That was the first piece of legislation.
Then there was sort of land conservation legislation and there were more lands that were part of the selection pool that ended up in passing in the legislation. One piece was called the Iliamna Game Refuge, and it's the area that now includes the Pebble prospect. And if you look at the rest of the land use patterns, management partners out there, they're all set aside for salmon production and conservation. Right. You got Lake Clark National Park, you have Katmai National Park, and then you have the biggest state park in the United States would tick check.
That's two million acre state park. And all of them have huge salmon production. All these, you know, low gradient streams and these big lakes that are really productive. And then this Iliamna game refuge would have been the last piece of the wild salmon puzzle right out there.
You would have the greatest. Salmon production zone in the world, and it would all be safeguarded in perpetuity and I mean, I think that's something to be really proud of as an American citizen.
And, you know, the state actually managed that area for a long time for fish and Game, mostly for salmon production, but also for Cariboo. There's a little chat inhered out there and and moose and. In 2005, we had a governor and a chief of staff who decided that they wanted to take Alaska in a different direction. There had been all these rumors that there was a huge gold and copper deposit out there.
There was all this breathless talk of one of the world's great claims. And they took a management plan that was based on, you know, renewable resources and been deeply vetted with the local people out there. And they almost overnight turned it into this area that was going to be open, a mineral claims staking. And that's when you start to see, you know, big mining companies and junior mining companies all start to take a hard look at, you know, can we make a ton of money out here?
And we've been fighting it ever since. You know, I I was working for Trout Unlimited and we were working on some watershed restoration projects and some forest conservation work in Southeast Alaska Pacific Salmon Treaty. And I got a call from this lodge owner, guy named Bryan Kraft, who has two lodges out there. And he said, hey, you're the you're the trout guy. And I'm like, yeah, because I've got a I got an issue for you.
And the rest has been history. That's seriously. Yeah. In 2005. And he had two two guys at his lodge from Newmont Gold, and he showed them the preliminary propaganda from from Pebble. And Brian was like, hey, that's going to be more people out here. You know, it'll be good for my lodge. No, be more customers. And these new guys, there are two experts that were getting close to retirement, they said flies over the mine site.
And so he did. And they came back and they looked at what was proposed and they said, you can't let this happen. There's so much water here. There's so much habitat that's going to be destroyed. There's no way you can do this and have it be successful. You know, with, you know, from a from a balance standpoint.
Yeah, you could you could do it. But you're going to destroy this place if you allow it to happen. And that put the fear of God. And Brian and Brian started calling me and I've been lucky enough to have a whole bunch of great people I've worked with throughout the years. And, you know, we spent a lot of time out in the region with the people who live there, who hate the idea of the mine at a town of about 85 percent opposition.
So it's been it's been a long grind. We're still in it. Get back to your question from a long time ago. We're still in it because politics, right.
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You mentioned the locals there. It's predominately native Alaska, about 85 percent, Alaska native. And what's that was their take, I mean, just for full clarity here, we had arranged to have a colleague of yours. Yes, a native Alaskan colleague years come down. But just because of the landscape with covid and everything, she wasn't able to come down.
Yeah, but what's, um, what's what has been that communities in the history of this thing since 2005. What has been that community's.
Just asking you to step in and articulate, you know, as much as you're comfortable articulating their viewpoint on it, what has been that community's response to this?
Yeah, I mean, they've led the effort from the beginning. You know, even before Brian called me, there are a lot of local people, some of the elders out there. And so some of the younger people that just said this is we don't want this. You know, this is this goes contrary to everything we believe in and everything that we've, you know, our entire culture. So there's been a bunch of polling done by the regional native corporation out there, and about 85 percent of their shareholders oppose development of the mine.
And that's pretty exceptional. Alaska, usually the closer you get to a development project, the more support you have for it. You know, it's still a rural place. We're still heavily dependent on natural resource development for for income and. You know, wealth and. Paying for state government and. The locals hate the idea, and they've been the leader since the beginning, you know, I think one of the things that's been unique is we showed up.
We had a lot of ideas and a lot of opinions as to how a campaign should work. And we realized pretty quickly that we needed to go to these communities. We needed to go talk to locals and. Kind of let them display leadership, and I think that's why we've been so successful of holding back mine development for so long, you know, you're talking to one of the richest gold copper deposits in the world and you've had politics that to a certain degree have been in favor of doing that, that kind of stuff.
But having that local opposition has just been amazing. It's too bad. It's too bad. A lot of Whurley couldn't come down and and join us. She's just she's been she's been working on Pebble her entire adult life and started working on when she was in high school before she was like grade school.
So that's coming from the perspective of someone who's family and community members live a subsistence lifestyle. Yeah, it's kind of a base on the resource.
Yeah, it's kind of a blend out there. You know, you have you have a lot of Alaska Natives who are commercial fishermen as well. So they. They Gillnet and Trout Unlimited had this amazing program for the last 10 years now where they're trying to build up a stable of local guides, getting more Alaska native kids from the region to become sport fishing guides and the regional native corporation out there, Bristol Bay Native Corporation, just bought one of the big large concessions and they run three lodges.
Now, they've got kept my land and they have they have Mission Lodge and they're trying to get more there. There are people working at the lodge. So I think, you know, I think you're going to see more local ownership and operation of the sport fishing industry as well.
Yeah. So which is good. I mean, in terms of, like, the diversified revenue, you know. Yeah. What what has been some of the I think there's like an issue fatigue that takes place. Yeah, with Pablo, tell me about it, because like I was saying.
I haven't mapped every twist and turn, but. Being here about this thing all the time, and I've been alarmed about it and concerned about it. All along and rise, you know, off being invited to talk about it, and it's always like this is the turning point.
But it was a turning point a decade ago, like why why are there so many? You know, I remember thinking, you know, even Paul Wolfowitz remember someone saying like. You could. Put a wooden stake in Paul Wolfowitz, his heart. And he would turn up in the next administration. Being like, why is it that? It won't go away, but it always seems like this is the turning point. How many turning points are there early?
Tell me about some turning. I mean, I don't know. I mean, you know, I stopped what would be politics? You can't predict it anymore, right? So big turning points. Give me a turning point from a decade ago. Yeah, so when when, when, so when Rio Tinto and Anglo American, the two of the largest mining companies in the world, decided to walk away from the Pebble prospect. That was huge. And honestly, I wish we would have had a little bigger party.
You know, we kind of we knew that the saga wasn't over. But to see two of the major mining companies in the world walk away from a, you know, half a billion dollar investment, that was really significant for those of us that were just kind of working day in and day out.
I think we we didn't really totally understand the significance of that. Right.
I mean, you know, and what do they publicly say and where does the rumour mill about why they walked publicly?
I think they said that they were it was during you know, they were coming we're coming up on the on the big, you know, global economic downturn. And they decided to focus their their work on on mines that were closer to operation, closer to coming to fruition. And they still knew they had a big permitting process and huge infrastructure costs. So they were like, we're going to we're going to shrink a little bit here and focus on a few other prospects in other places around the world.
Yeah, that's what they said publicly. And then we heard internally that there's a there's a real tug of war between the two companies that, you know, one wanted to try to do it in a way that wouldn't have the huge negative impacts that we've been talking about. And the other one said there's no way you can make any money doing that because the ore great, the ore body is a low grade and you need a massive excavation to get to the point where you're going to make any money.
So. That tug of war, you know, they just they walked away and then then First Quantum was the next big operator that came in and they walked away. And those are really significant events.
The other really big significant event was when at the tail end of the Obama administration, they use Clean Water Act authority to say essentially that we're not going to grant you the dredge and fill permit, the 404 permit, because we have looked at. The proposed mine, and it's going to have negative, serious negative impacts on well into waterways of the United States and we got really close to. To a. A victory, I think through that process, it was in you know, it went into the courts, people challenged it in the courts, and it kind of languished in the courts for a couple of years.
And then the Trump administration came in and they settled the outstanding lawsuits with Pebble Limited partnership to the favor of Pebble Limited Partnership and started kind of restarted the the permanent clock again. So that's where we're at.
Who actually owns the land where the. Whose land it is or the actual thing is the state of Alaska. But it becomes federal because there's just implications for all the stuff. Yeah, because there's federal waters. So the Clean Water Act comes into play in the Army Corps of Engineers is the permit of record. What is? What's the state's general groove about this, the governor, the current governor? He's gung ho, he likes yeah, he like what you like about it.
I you know. I think he sees it as the next big thing right now, where we're getting a lot less money for oil, there's less oil going through the Alaska pipeline. So lots of people talking about how we're going to be using less oil in the future. I'm not sure I believe it yet.
But so I think that this governor is looking for the next big resource development play that's going to, you know, fill the Alaskan coffers again, because we don't pay any state income tax or any state sales tax and we're heavily dependent on oil revenue for all our budget.
Yeah, you're also heavily there's some interesting things about Alaska's economy that people should understand is that. One, it's a federal spending little bit of a sink. Federal was, yeah, meaning the federal government spends far more in Alaska. Then they get in tax revenue, yeah, way more than the states that people love to hate. I think New Jersey PAZIN better than any like like the feds pull more money out of New Jersey than they put in. And I think that's the strongest performing state.
Right. The last is one of the weakest. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
I want to change our license plate from last frontier to give me my money and leave me alone.
So then instead of paying state taxes in Alaska, the state pays you. Right. So they have a thing called the Permanent Fund and they take the state has all these lucrative oil leases on state land. They generate so much money that they cut you a check and this and the check that you get cut as a citizen of Alaska and your members of your household isn't tied directly to the price of oil. It's tied to the health of the fund. But the health of the fund is definitely influenced by the price of oil.
Right. So you could go up there, let's say you're particularly for Cound individual. You and your wife can move up there and produce six, seven, eight, nine, 10 kids. And make quite a tidy little sum. One of the goals the fund was to fund what the fund last year, you know, was only like a thousand bucks last year. So it's actually, you know, we're coming to the end of the road of, you know, but it's a little bit high.
So, yeah, it's like three grand. Yeah. Yeah. So you could go up there and have like two people, go out there, have six kids and pull twenty four K just in payments.
It's been known to happen and I guess I got to be a resident for a year. Yeah. I've got friends who view it as blood money and I got somebody who he every year takes his check and puts it into his kids college fund because he thinks, he thinks it's blood money.
I mean, it's actually a really cool concept, but it gets to the fact that, you know, oil is not going to happen again. You know, the amount we get per barrel produced is way higher than you get from mineral's. It's like 12 percent. You know, on each on each barrel of oil and for minerals, our royalties regime is the same as on federal lands. Right. It's like less than one percent return. So it's not going to do what our governor Donlevy wants it to do.
Yeah, let me I forgot the point about the economy there is that. When oil goes south. Everything goes south, everything goes south, school education goes south like university spending, public school spending like they get hit man.
Yeah, and they're kind of living in a separate like just because there's something could happen in the lower 48, like whatever housing thing or whatever, like different blips there live in a different reality, like their shit is driven by a completely different set of factors.
So you could see like if oil is going the way you're saying, you could see that someone who's charged by voters with looking at the long term financial prospects for his state could be excused for thinking like.
We got you something. Yeah, yeah, and we have other minds, you know, and you don't you don't see the big, huge controversy around some of these other minds, whether there's Fort Knox or Red Dog, you know, some of the some of the bigger operating mines, the United States.
And it's definitely a part of the economy. And we all, you know, use. All these materials that are coming out of the ground for, you know, our modern lifestyle, so we're not saying that this is an anti mining campaign, but size type location again. And then you look at what's at stake and, you know, you have about 10000 American jobs that are depending on dependent on that fishery.
So, you know, in a good year, this was not a good year because a covid salmon prices were in the toilet and, you know, the export market was nonexistent.
But if you know you're a good gillnet captain in a good year, you can make 100000 bucks in six weeks. And you have a whole whole host of sport fishing lodges out there that are charging upwards of 12 grand a week and you have guides and you have pilots and. All kinds of, you know, different segments of that economy are based on on that fishery and the things renewable salmon prices were low this year. Yeah, they were way down the you know.
Yeah. Attributed to covid.
Yeah. Demand was down a guy, you know, and then there was the trade stuff with China because the Chinese buy a lot of Bristol Bay sockeye, so.
Oh, do they. Yeah. Huh.
Yeah, I know that Chinese stuff's messing with some of the logging projects to.
I think that the point you bring up is one that I've dealt with, having written in the past a lot about mining issues and Pebble, among others, primarily for fishing focused publications, I've definitely taken some scrutiny saying, well, you're just anti mining.
And and, you know, to be fair to some of those points, my interests lie in the fish, right? I don't make my living off of mines, but I don't I try to be as I look at these issues as as objective as I can be. And when you talk about Pebble Mine, you talk about some of the other sulphide type mines. And as I learned more about this in doing some of that reporting and understood like the process by which the these byproducts come about in these mines and how toxic they can be and when they're located right next to a waterway that I personally think is important.
I think that you have to I personally think you should be drawing lines on. Well, this is a place we shouldn't have this type of mine and this not to say we can't have sulfide mines elsewhere where there will still be risk, but it's not located right next to a place that I really want to go fishing and a lot of other people want to make their living off of.
I don't think it's bad necessarily to come out and claim like your personal stake on something. You know, it's like it's better than the opposite and it's is there you know, it's better than when people.
Don't lay out. There's sort of like personal investment in an issue and act like they're just acting like completely altruistically. Yeah, it drives me nuts.
I would be like, I support these policies and I'll be frank with you.
It's good for me financially. Yeah. Yeah, I like I like it.
I like it aesthetically. I like it financially or whatever. So to be like, you know, I just try to like, clear up that all the time by saying my view in terms of when I pursue like my sort of like professional work and the media products that I produce and things like I try to be that I won't belabor you with my. Opinions about things that don't impact, like the world of like sort of like what's good for hunters and anglers.
Yeah, right. And I think this is just. Really shitty for hunters and anglers, but I think people minds like shitty for hunters and anglers. So I'll come out and say, like we're where I'm coming from on it. And I also just think it's I also think that it's.
I don't like the country to make big mistakes where you confused short term, where like you pursue short term gain and do things that later we will sit and look in 100 years when we're being analyzed by that generation, it will be like, what?
Idiots. Yeah. I mean, we talk about a sulfide mine, much smaller, but some of this in the third episode of Downspout, right. And it's the same principle and it's about deciding like this particular kind of mine right next to this watershed could be problematic for those of us who really like these fish and maybe depend on them. I do think, though, like once again, going back to the writing that I was doing, I felt like I had a responsibility, not just to be honest about my inclinations, but also to say, like, I don't think I'm just anti mining.
I'm not I don't have this pie in the sky vision where we can survive a modern society without mining for minerals. It's just deciding which places we can do that and then figuring out how to price them accordingly.
That's good. That's a good point. And so that's going to cost you more. It's going to cost you more if we if we find less of it, things are going to be more expensive. Right. And and I recognize that that that is a sacrifice that I am able to make and willing to make and other people don't agree on. But to me, losing these fisheries just isn't worth it.
Can we get a new minute, like who are these dudes like who are the constant dudes here? I know that we have sort of the big mining companies that actually come in and. Come in and do the work right.
They come in and do the work, they got the capital, like who who's the constant presence through this idea, this northern dynasty minerals there out of Vancouver.
And the Pebble Limited Partnership is the subsidiary from from Northern Dynasty.
And what's their story? There are there are there are minor you know, they are there are non majors. So they're kind of the set up people, right?
They they go out and they do the exploration. They provide all the background on the geology and the and the and the mineralization. And then they try to attract a major that would come in and invest billions of dollars and actually operate the mine.
How many people we talked about this this outfit, you know, I don't know at this point. Maybe now I wouldn't know. There's been a couple of figures that have been prominent throughout the years. There's a guy named Bruce Jenkins, you know, that was profiled by Travis Remmel and Ben Knight and Red Gold. And that guy was great. He was like right out of central casting. I mean, everybody hated him immediately.
And then and then there's a guy named John Shively who used to work for the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, and he had to resign under a veil of disgrace years ago. And, you know, he just kind of like old Alaska. And it's like, trust me, you know, I would never do anything that wouldn't be for the benefit of the public. And he sold a couple hundred thousand dollars of pebble stock just a couple of months ago and then, like, dumped or sold.
He sold it. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
It was you know, it was in a moment when. It, you know, probably look like their stock was going to go down. Yeah, I should I should explain the reference you just dropped for folks. Red Gold was a film was 2007, I believe. Yeah.
That was profile that movie really early on in Anchorage. Yeah. I was guiding when it came out. And it's worth if you want to get some historical perspective on how this is looked and how long it's been going on, you should check that one out. What year was that? 2007. Oh, so I went to my first event waveform, my kid was born. Because I've already been to a pebble vent. Way before red gold. Huh?
Yeah, I mean, it was it was two thousand five was when I first heard it, but I was guiding up there then and that was like everybody was talking about this proposal, sort of lines were getting drawn at that point at. Um. Someone told me recently is that someone at the northern is a northern dynasty that was gone.
Yeah, it's almost like a name that you pick to be like it's like a name you pick to be an asshole, to be the bad guy, the villain, or totally in order.
Sorry, I've dealt with these guys for too long.
I heard a rumor recently that someone involved there, someone if they can get this thing across the finish line. They get some absurd amount of money. Yeah, a guy named Tom Collier and he worked for the Department of Interior under Clinton and he took this on and he's good at what he does. You know, he's a he's a Washington, D.C. insider. And what's the carrot in front of his nose? Well, you know, if this thing gets to gets to operation, he gets 12 and a half million bucks.
I'll get the guy up in the morning.
Yeah, yeah. I think if they get a record of decision signed, it's four and a half million bucks. So, yeah, we actually ran a little website for a while there called Cash Grab Colyer and it was pretty fun.
So that's why he's got to do like he's he's motivated. Like he gets like. Yeah. Yeah.
And if you look at look at some of the some of the handicappers out there that really understand the mining industry in that world, you know, they think that this is there's a lot of incentive for the executives of Pebble Limited Partnership to just continue to hype this thing for as long as they possibly can, because as long as people are willing to give them money, willing to invest in their company, they can skim off profits for themselves. Whether they get any closer to a minor or not doesn't really matter.
I think to some of them. Some. There's incentivize along the way to keep bumping. Yeah, yeah, and they've spent so much money on lobbyists for the last few years that they have actually spent more money on lobbyists in Washington, D.C. than any other mining company. And that includes, you know, mining companies that are actually. Running minus. Five years ago, five or six years ago, I bet my sister in law, a thousand dollars I heard about was a 10 year bet.
She lives in Alaska, there's a 10 year bet where if they hadn't, we framed it this way if a decade went by. And they hadn't. Begun to pull mineral's. Out of the ground in production, we framed it up in some way, like it's more than just, you know, testing and stuff like in full production, like Megan Gold, she's got to give me a thousand bucks. What did you make the bet? Five or six years ago.
You're going to win. Sweet. That's all that's one reason that's one reason we're sitting here right now. I don't care what your motivation is, it takes an army.
What is God? OK, we just sit like a knew there was a new let's get let's get real detail now.
Let's get real granular about what's happened over the last month. There was some Army Corps shit, there are some EPA shit like what was happening over the last month or two, so we saw the final environmental impact statement for the Pebble Mine made by the Army Corps of Engineers.
But why is it their deal? They are the.
They are the. They are the the permit agency, they are the agency that issues the permit and then they go into a consultation with the Environmental Protection Agency about anything that has to do with excavating wetlands and impacting waterways.
So it makes it the Army Corps of Engineers business because it involves digging stuff and making dams and whatnot. Yes, because you always hear Army Corps of Engineers around like the big dams. Exactly. On the snake, you know. Yeah. OK, so it's their deal because it's engineering. Yeah. So they they did a final environmental impact statement, which we thought was terrible.
You know, it was just filled with holes or all these scientific gaps. There's, you know, we spent a huge amount of time and energy just analyzing what they put out there. And it was it's terrible.
But were you motivated to think it was terrible because it didn't come up with the answer you wanted, or was it, like legitimately poorly done?
Well, we hired a bunch of people way smarter than me that would stake their reputations on the fact that it was one of the worst, if not the worst environmental impact statement I've ever seen.
So why was it shoddy? It's done really quickly. Come on. And it didn't look at all these, you know, projected impacts out of out over the time horizon. Like then look at catastrophic tailings dam failure in this. They they were talking about a wastewater treatment facility that had never been operated before. They. They were trying to figure out how to build the port out there on the west side of Cook Inlet, which is not a not an easy place to build a port, and they were just huge gaps, as you know, it was just like we're going to we say we're going to do this.
And then there would just be a big gap as to how they were going to actually achieve that and then build a port.
Yeah. Right, because he's got land, all his equipment and build roads to get it there. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And, you know, you're dealing with Cook Inlet, which is the second highest tide fluctuation in the world. And starting about now, the weather really gets bad. Yeah, on a very consistent basis.
So lots of gaps, lots of holes, lots of technical details that we think needed to be figured out. Well, someone leaning on them to get it done in a hurry. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Because there just driving toward resolution. Yeah, yeah, so massive development projects, you know, scale and scope is unprecedented in Alaska since they discovered oil in the North Slope.
And you're going to get this done in two years.
So we're the final environmental impact statement came out and then they have to wait 30 days before they can issue a record of decision.
Who does? The Army Corps. So there's like this 30 day waiting period after the environmental impact statement comes out and we are expecting to see it pretty quickly. And then we started to see concern expressed by Donald Trump Jr. and Nick Ayers, who was the chief of staff, to back up confused. The Army Corps of Engineers does like the assessment.
Here's what's going to look like here's risks up and then they deliver the final environmental impact statement to the public. And then there's a 30 day period.
Between the issuance of that final and what's called the record of decision, that's the M. The record of decision is made by the Corps of Engineers. So they make the report right. Then they wait 30 days and pretend to not know what the decision is. But I don't get like, because they're making room for public input. There's no more public input. I don't really know what that 30 day period is about.
You'd have to ask a lawyer, is it like you lay out all the pages, then you got one that you don't flip and you're like, and I'll flip this one in 30 days.
Yeah, sort of like that. At least that's what it felt like to us. You know, this thing seemed rigged.
Is it the part of the core is doing putting together that that report. And then there are other oversight committees or bodies within the corps that are looking at that.
Yeah, well, there's usually probably a little bit a little bit of a paperwork exercise between that that final and the record of the session. There's probably something they have to craft that justifies the record of decision. Right. And then then it would go to the Army Corps for this consultation about whether they were going to issue or whether the whether the Army Corps was going to give a thumbs up or thumbs down to that dredge and fill permit.
And we thought it felt like a fait accompli that the record, a decision was going to hit the streets, that the that the Environmental Protection Agency was just going to, you know, not really weigh in one way or another or they would say it was fine and then we're going to be going into court because this thing is like whatever the Army Corps now we're getting into future alternate reality.
But the Army Corps does this to do the record a decision. They say, like we're on. This is good.
No problem. At that point, if no one challenged it at that point, would they like it's off to the races we're making of mind? If no one if there is no one around to say no, yeah, yeah, that would be like that's the last hurdle.
If the Environmental Protection Agency decided not to weigh in via the Clean Water Act, go. And no one sued. Challenging the record of decision? Yeah, that would be. Does not like the other person you got to go ask permission from, right. Because the states on board, well, then the state, there are a bunch of state permits, but perfectly honest, they're pretty. That that those gears are greased. I mean, it's the it's the it's the 404 dredge and fill permit, which is the permit and that's the one that's been the source of this tug of war for.
You know, back to the last presidential administration, like, that's the big one. That's that's that's that's the prize.
OK, so so they finish the report and issue the report. You look at the report you like. This report is kind of shoddy. And then. Also, everywhere in the news is. People weighing in on yeah, including, you know, folks, we didn't expect to weigh in, you know, Donald Trump Jr. and Nick Harris, he was chief of staff to Vice President Pence and Tucker Carlson on his show. And what these guys grow up with it?
Well, I think, you know, from what I understand, both Trump Jr. and Ayres have been out there quite a few times. And, you know, it's it's a one of a kind place.
They're just like, yeah, yeah. That's my sense was like, you know, the kind of the slogan. Of. Wrong, mine, wrong place. Yeah, yeah, seems to have been like it was just as clean as that, I think so, you know, and I think for them they probably heard about it for years because it does attract a lot of hunters and anglers and, you know, people that don't self identify as, you know, lefty environmentalists.
You know, it's it's it's a source of a bunch of jobs and it's just great hunting and fishing destination. It's it's one of those things that actually brings people together. And I think they just identified it. One, I think they actually really care and think they saw it as, you know, good politics.
So and so then what? So then what happened? I mean, now we're talking like within the last few weeks. Yeah, so then the Army Corps of Engineers came back and said, you know what? We're not going to sign the record of decision right now because we need people to go back and provide some more detail about how they're going to mitigate the destruction of wetlands associated with the development. So that's where we're at right now.
They they're saying that they will have that mitigation plan done within a month.
Oh, really? Yeah. And that could go sorry.
I was going to say that I think that's where I personally got sucked into thinking we had another one of those moments of, like, turning point.
I did a whole thing on unbent about the saying, like, hey, look at this great decision that came through and I got flooded with emails from folks who know more than me and said like, no, no, no, no, hold on. The permit, as written, was kicked back. This is this is going to keep going. There will be a revision and another process. This is this is not at all over.
And I think a lot of a lot of folks had a moment like, hey, we got it.
Oh, I had one of those about 30 seconds. And then I saw that people like it's just another punt. Yeah. And and I got sucked into it and had to then make a slight retraction on the next episode.
Say, I didn't get all the all the facts straight on this one. Does the president have authority to just kill it? Yeah, but what mechanism, because they know you don't run around, like ending things and enemies like you do things through processes, right?
It would be telling the head of the EPA region that in charge of Alaska saying, like, you're allowed to use your authority under the Clean Water Act to reject the dredge and fill permit to use your veto authority. And that's what the last administrator did under Obama. So, yeah, because you see how things work like that.
Like, I was amused recently to see that. That like Attorney General Bar, right, like in a call with attorneys general. Gives kind of like guidance, like we would like to see. You know, we would like to see action taken in these areas. Yeah, and then people are like, oh, OK, so cool. Yeah, I can do that. So I can imagine there could be a presidential sort of. You know, even him just saying it's not going to happen, it will never let it happen, right.
If you were to say that it would require like steps. Right. You know, it's not like you can't it's like, you know, say that on Twitter and have that be the end of it. Right. It would have to be that. It would flow that way. Right. Yeah. And and, you know, and then some some of our cohorts think that short of using that EPA veto, the the Army Corps could just reject the permit.
That doesn't reject it forever. Right. And it kind of kicks the can down the road. But it would be significant, there's no doubt.
But now there's been another tweet that came from the president. Where he very hard, very hard to interpret. Yeah, he borrowed directly from an ad that was running on television that evening that had been put up by the Pebble Limited Partnership, saying keep politics out of this. And then they flashed your picture of Barack Obama in a tan suit, just like, you know.
So Obama didn't like the mine.
Obama, Obama's EPA, you know, said we will we won't permit it. I mean, Obama went to he went to Dillingham, he went to Bristol Bay. Near the end of his his term, so so they're keeping politics out of it. But I don't know, I read like I read and analyze that tweet, but I don't know what that tweet meant. No, that's the thing is no one knows now. Right.
And for those of us who've been working on it for so long and I've seen all these twists and he said like, oh, Alaska's a beautiful place. Great place. Yeah. We'll keep politics out of it. Yeah. I guess it depends on whose politics, right? And I keep I don't know how anyone could promise to keep politics like what politics is the means by which the public's voice is heard.
Like, I don't know when people say that, like, keep politics, it's like it's annoying is when people say follow the science. Yeah. I was like, hey, who science. Right? The ones that say the sweet dam or the ones this greatest dam ever made, you know, are the ones that say your dad won't work. It's like, right. It's like a non looking people say that. Keep politics out of it. Like a non statement.
Yeah. I mean, it's like it's like it's empty air. I never understand what that means. Then my opinion in that I vote like I don't, I don't yeah, so I don't know what the hell that meant. I mean, to your point from earlier, Steve, if you like, were to plot out a timeline on this. Right. There was some major moments of the big, big mining companies pulling out of and say it's not worth it.
It looked like it was going great. And then there was the moment when the EPA under the last administration said we're not going to permit this, OK, it's done.
And it just it's like the zombie issue. Yeah, right. And then there was that a couple of weeks ago when people like me who got sucked in momentum and thought, oh, and they we made another.
Now we haven't made another step forward.
We're just stuck in the same limbo.
I thought the watershed moment was when you had a rare circumstance where. Hippies. Native Alaskans, commercial fishermen in brown bear guides all agreed on something. Yeah, I was like, dude, no way that didn't happen. Let's make a bet. I'll bet you a thousand dollars. Well, that's still going on, right?
You know, the opposition is as high as it's ever been. We actually did a poll not that long ago. And on a development issue in Alaska, 62 percent of the population opposes Pebble and like. I don't remember, like a quarter of the population supports it. That never happens, you know, whether you're talking about drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and I don't know where we are and like logging in the Tongass anymore, you know, I think that that's kind of moved more towards opposition than support.
But Pebble Alaskans don't want Pebble. And the closer you get to the Pebble prospect, other than a couple of small communities that have a huge pebble presence, they don't want it.
Yeah, when you get guys like I would like to have permission to kill any marine mammal that comes near my salmon. Oh, and stop Pebble Mine. Yeah.
Like that's how you feels like, you know, it feels like they'll never be able to say, yeah, I want to shoot sea lions and I hate Pebble.
So what is there any. There's no real death for this, like there's no way like you can't yeah, because they tried the state referendum and didn't work. You remember this one? There was a state vote to to like basically took it to the voters through something that kind of would have been deafly to Pebble sort of, but it was too far reaching right away because you couldn't get on board. People couldn't get on board with it because it was had uncertain implications for the future.
There's two things. So there was a referendum that passed and it passed in every precinct in Alaska. And that was bankrolled by the late, great Bob Gillham, who is the the rich guy who actually went to Wharton with Donald Trump. And it essentially said that the state legislature would have final say over the permitting of Pebble if it ever got to the point where they got to the final state permit, then the legislature would have to vote up or down on it.
And Pebble claims it's unconstitutional. And they said they'll sue at a later date if need be. But that doesn't stop it because under our state constitution, the public can't appropriate land.
So you had to do this, like, bureaucratic thing. Then there was another initiative that would have updated safeguards for, you know, development salmon habitat. And I was a big part of that. And we just got outspent and like 10 or 12 to one. And, you know, it was it was not an easy read for the public. And and we went down to defeat. What could happen as. The right thing is done through the federal government, via the Clean Water Act.
Pebble decides to walk away, and then the state of Alaska does not allow another mining company to come in and, you know, top file on those claims. Mm hmm. And then, you know, ultimately you would have to get a governor. And a legislature and public will in Alaska to say that we're going to take this land and we're going to put it in a protected status, and we could we could do that. That's the way you'd seal the coffin.
That's right. And, you know, probably going be another 15 years, but. If that's what it takes, yeah, you ever hear of this thing called the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge? Yeah, I know giving someone a cool name doesn't necessarily know. Now, you know, but but, you know, I have a lot of friends, people I've known for a long time. I've worked on that issue. But Pebble is different because so many people use it, so many people depend upon it for their livelihood.
And, you know, even by Alaska standards, it's on a pedestal. Right. Very few people are lucky enough to go to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, but a lot of people go to Bristol Bay, like where I live in Homer. There's a whole fleet, you know, every every June. They get their gillnet head across Cook Inlet, check the road over to Lake Iliamna and the coast Jack to go fish, and then him eight weeks later and tell me how shitty their season was.
But they all seem to have nice houses and nice trucks and things like that.
So when I made my bet with my sister in law. I also told her that. There would be. Resistance, there would be. What's it called? You know, like not not vigilante, but social disobedience that the term. Lafitte's. The people got chained themselves, the bulldozers and shit like that. When I change my daughter to or another. Landing strip or something. Civil disobedience, civil disobedience, as I think probably civil disobedience. Because it means so much to people.
You know, you got a handful of people that, like you got to handle people, they're going to make a bunch of money, but then you got a bunch of people spend a decade, a decade of a decade's worth of emotion. Being like, you can't just. There's some things you can't shit up like there's some things that are too precious and beautiful and you just have to be comfortable leaving it. And I feel like that some people are so impassioned about that, that in the end when all the legal stuff was done, there'd be like one last push where people got nasty.
Monkey wrench gang, yeah, I would never advocate for something like that, but but I'm not saying that you need to advocate for violence, don't you imagine?
You know, I have heard, you know, people. Kind of looking at this issue from not, you know, the perspective, the narrow, too close perspective, too close to the screen perspective of me saying, like, yeah, this you could see how this if everything went wrong from the regulatory and legal framework, you know, you could see this being like Keystone XL, you know, where you have people.
Laying down in front of things and, you know, you start thinking about the people in that region, how long they've been fighting against this thing, they can trace their history back there 10000 years and they really don't want it.
That's what I'm getting at. Yeah, yeah.
There's that whole concept of social licence and the and developed in the development industry, in mining in particular. And there's people does not have social licence. I don't think they'll ever, ever get it, no matter how much money they spend, how much propaganda they put out there. It's just never going to happen. Where is it going to sit with if if sale Biden wins? Anybody flying a Biden flag or if Biden wins? I don't imagine it's going to Pebble's going to move for four years now or however long now he did he didn't read on it or if, you know, he was elected president, Pebble doesn't move forward.
That's for those four years. Yeah, that doesn't that doesn't kill anything, that just means it would probably just stall out, right. Then you'd get a future administration.
I mean, back up. Do you think that they would actually like do you think that Biden's team.
Would just be like not cooperative. Know, just be quiet or do you think Biden's team would come in, like try to like, wrap it up? We would. We would, you know, we would try to convince them to do that, to to do some things that would make it extra hard for the next people. Yeah. Try to find honestly, you know, we're going to try and some of our cohorts are going to try no matter who's the president.
So. But Biden, Biden did tweet. Saying that pebble is a non-starter if he's president, also in a conversation one time with the people close to the current administration and I was like, man. I don't see like, why not just take a why not just take a conservation win? That is it going to cost you. You guys aren't going to lose, you're not going to lose Alaska. How many how many delegates is Alaska have? Well, we've got one rep, you know, and our our electoral votes don't matter.
Yeah, sorry. Not you're the electoral the Electoral College. Like, you're not going to lose Alaska. No. If you did lose Alaska, it's like you're not gonna lose it anyway. No, they won't like Trump's. I could lose Alaska. We did lose Alaska's. Not that many electoral votes.
It's like you're going to piss off Alaska's governor who's under recall these cylindrical now. OK, that's rather OK. Yeah, you're pissed off Alaska like, OK, that got kicked down the road, but. Oh, OK.
You're going to piss off their governor, but you're still going to carry the state, right. It's like I don't see. The mining company isn't even a U.S. company. I don't see why not, just like. Why not just take the conservation win? Yeah, it's a big, high profile thing. You can then go and, you know, certainly they'll do all the things they're going to piss off hunters and anglers in other places. And it's just like part of life.
They might even do it. A cynic might be like, oh, yeah, they could kill Pebble. And it'll be it'll provide air cover to be able to do more work in ANWR.
There's all these like, you know, there's all these, like, cynical perspectives.
But why not just take the win? And and then whatever you do down in the future, you can look and be like, but but we helped you guys out on Pebbles. Shut up. What was the response that you got to that? They weren't like, OK, we're on it was like that was the conversation. Yeah. I agree with you, it seems like just a way to, if nothing else, man does accept it as cover for cover for what you got to do down the road.
Yeah. No one's going to punish, you know, no one's going to punish you, you know, maybe like the American Mining Association, but they'll get over it. I mean, there's there's all kinds of talk even when the mining industry that this is you know, this drags us all down.
You know, the optics around it, the human rights issue, the fishery, the economics, it makes us all look bad. Yeah. They'd be like, next time we do something, just keep your mouth shut. Yeah. You know, I just keep going. I keep.
Yeah, exactly. I just keep coming back to the quality of the environmental impact statement. Right.
That it's so bad. It's just going to it's just going to make people take a harder look at every other environmental impact statement for every other mine elsewhere in the United States. It's like, is this the new standard? This is new standards. It's going to be in court forever.
That's what I just keep trying to, you know, pound away, it's like this is a the size type and location of pebble and the diversity of opinion against it, the economic concerns that are, you know, pushing, you know, back just do the right thing. It's one place you would be an interesting activity in the future. Would be to come in and take a look at how far how much money was spent on lawyers through this process.
Lawyers like that industry. That's really I don't care what they decide in the end, but this has been quite good for us. Yeah, I mean, lawyers, you know, public relations firms advertising things like that, I don't know.
I was like an now it's like like debating. Pebble is an economic driver. Yeah.
You know, it's funny because you hear that it's like, well, you know, you I work on this team because, you know, it makes your money like you can. I would get rich as shit.
You know, I would I would love if tomorrow.
Do you have to talk about this to get four million dollars when they when they're not going. Exactly. Yeah. I guess that I am not getting a four and a half million dollars in order to 11 1/2 million dollar bonus. It's not happening. Yeah, I would love to have no other role to play in this. Then to go visit some friends and go catch some trout. You know, we haven't we haven't talked about what you're like, what boner you fly under, so the name of the outfit I am sort of in control of in charge of is called Salmon St.
The the. The whole idea of we want to make sure that Alaska remains a place where salmon thrive and, you know, Alaska is kind of the last remaining salmon state and we're where we promote laws and policies and and practices that ensure Alaska remains the home of the greatest. Wild salmon resource on the planet and the source of food and income and culture for people across the political spectrum. My brother had a good point. We're talking about we're talking about the conservation movement in the lower 48, and what I was saying to him is I was complaining to him about.
Um, Alaskans and their conservation battles are always. Coming to the lower forty eight. Right through, I like you, like people down there need to hear about this issue we have now, right? But it's a one way flow, like, how come I never get Hucker people in Alaska, I never fired up about the conservation. Battles that are being waged down here, like I know all kinds of people that live in Michigan, Utah, Montana, right?
And we're fired up about you guys issues were fired up about Pebble Mine. We'd like to protect ANWR, but I never hear from you sons of bitches on anything we're doing down here.
Yeah, I think, you know, well, with, like, you know, say like Tongass National Forest or the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Those are federal lands. So they're owned by every American. So there's always that, you know, that concept of, you know, you're just as important to the debate as someone who lives in Fairbanks. And that's true.
This conversation brought up an observation, though. It led to an observation where. We were trying to say, like, why is it different? And he was saying that. Conservation in the lower 48. A lot about recovery. And it's a lot about land management. Conservation in Alaska is a lot of is more about wildlife management. Meaning that they're not trying to repair habitat, right? Like down here, I trying to fix everything, right? How do we fix the Columbia River?
Right. How do we fix the Meadowlands in New Jersey, like what could ever be like it's ruined or mostly ruined. Like what could we do to hang on to some vestige and make things a little better? The conversation there is like, dude sitting pretty. Things look solid. And it's just kind of like it's a different fight. Yeah, it's different, so it's like holding on to perfect things. Yeah. Can we just keep the perfect things perfect?
Yeah, it's not like these elaborate plans to try to fix a massive mistake we made 100 years ago.
Right. And those things are really hard to do and they're really expensive. I mean, that's Samin in a nutshell. Right.
And that's sort of the premise for why why we're doing what we're doing at Salmon State is you just look at recovery efforts all around the Pacific Northwest and in British Columbia when it comes to wild salmon. And that's not working.
You know what is too complicated? Yeah, there's no way like even if you had. All the money and all the willpower. Right. Yeah, it's still like there's still like a sort of component to recovering salmon in the Columbia River, there's still like a component of just like. Brain power and thought that isn't there are like engineering, you know, I mean, it's too hard. Even with all kinds of money, it's hard. Yeah, there's too many parts to it.
Yeah, there's a lot of money, but some like Pebbly, like it's already perfect. Yeah. It's so easy. Don't ruin it. Yeah, and I think girls should be sitting there talking about the one hundred years. How are we going to fix it and people like you can't, you know, in the lower 48? A lot of us, there's still the mythology of Alaska and I think that there's an investment for for us down here just knowing that it's there.
Right. Like there's there's a different relationship that we have with the idea of Alaska and wanting to get there. I know that was the case for me as a kid, having read all the stories that I read and magazine articles and everything else like that was a place I wanted to go. That was my goal. And just just the value of knowing that it exists in the form that it does brings, I think, those of us in the lower 48 significant.
Positive feelings, yeah, I would sign a deal. I would sign a deal if someone said, OK, we'll kill Pebble Mine, but here's the deal. You can't step ever again in your life within 200 miles of the epicenter of that mine. Or anything that that water flows into or any of the streams, you can't go there, I mean, like, OK, that's fine, that's fine.
That bummed about it, but I mean, like. All right, sure. But I'd take that deal. It's like it's not like I need, you know. Like, never go back again, but I know it stays protected. Yeah, that's cool. Now, how do you even sign away my kids ability to go after you or your children forever?
Yeah. No, seriously, no, I'll take that. Not only you, your children and your children's children cannot fish those rivers. You know, but that's the thing about that pebble is a little bit different than, say, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, where you're talking about, you know, that is like that is out there and you're they're going to develop it or it's just going to be left alone for Cariboo and mosquitoes and a few intrepid people.
Right. I mean, Bristol Bay is highly utilized.
It just works. You know, you have tens of thousands of people make their make their living off that resource. And it's proven that it's sustainable and it's renewable.
So it's been that it's a good it's a good distinction. Yeah. I don't think you should I don't think you're trying to sell all that. You're trying to sell ANWR. Sure. But it's a result is definitely not you know, it's not like it's not elitist.
Yeah. Yeah. Whether it's it's not a museum, you know, it's not a park. I mean, there are parks. Yeah.
But those can have a history. Yeah they do. Well by the lodges, you know, it's a place that works. It shows that there's actually something between you can't go there at all and you have to destroy it, that there's something in between. And I think that's kind of what. You know, your stuff is all about right. I mean, getting out there and doing things just don't ruin it.
That's why I wish that, you know, I came to Alaska in 91 and worked in a on a sailboat in an a cannery and.
Oh, you did?
Yeah, I was miserable, but I just was captivated, you know, I just like I got to go back because of what it represented. You know, I lived in Southeast for a long time. And, you know, you worked on a cannery and Ketchikan.
Yeah. How many fingers you. I got on my fingers. Yeah. You must not stay long. Yeah. Yeah.
So but you know, that whole idea I've just been able to you know. Go out and all these public lands and essentially do whatever you want except screw it up. Now, it's amazing how well how well it works and how heavily it's utilized like that. That is still mind blowing. When you talk about the number of salmon that are taken out of that system, it's still self-perpetuating. The number of lodges and boats and planes, you know, you feel like you're out the middle of nowhere.
But when you're on those rivers, you're not by yourself. They're fishing all around you. And yet it still maintains that character of wilderness incredibly well. It's it's a really resilient space to as long as you don't do anything overtly terrible. Right. Those fish keep coming back to work. The bears are there. The moose are there. It's it's holding on. It's a good point. I hadn't considered man. I think there are there are those places working alone, but it's a working landscape.
Miles, you good, I have one other one that maybe maybe it's just my own personal desire and I know you're not a soccer expert now, but maybe you have the answers, maybe you don't. I was told when I was working up there and I took this as gospel without digging into it. Sarki only reproduce in systems with lakes, correct? Pretty much, yeah. Yeah. Is it true that they are therefore like micro invertebrate feeders only and they do not eat other fish or creatures?
As far as I know, they do not.
OK, but you're not you're not coming out as like the solid definitive expert on this, because I do feel the same way.
I know it's a weird thing too, but yeah, my broadband's that one. But the other day we were.
Float in a river up there and and there were, well, colored fish, but my God, they just aggressively chased down spoons and spinners only when they're there, though.
So here's the thing. And that is why I hated guiding for them, because you want to get them when they're fresh and they don't. Unlike the other species of Pacific salmon, they do not attack generally your offerings. They just swim right by it. So 95, 99 percent of that you catch that are fresh. If you're doing a rod and real, you're snagging them in the face. You're floss and you're just flotsam. Right. And I was always told that the reason they don't attack lures or spinners or flies or anything is because they're not accustomed to hunting down prey like krill and things like feltlike open mouth feeding.
Yeah, exactly. That was my understanding is all played out, have spawned out. Did they attack anything weird like pist.
Yeah. Like a big angry male. Yeah. Yeah. You catch predatory males and they're pissed.
Yeah. Defending the spawning grounds. But my guess, yeah, we had some of the guys we work, some of our crew guys that just can't fish, like now's your chance to shine. You go. I bet you catch one. One of these guys, he caught five when he cast Johnny that he'd cast in his cast.
And he goes like far overhead and kind of lays his toes. I was like, well, like Ansary doing, but he cast in, like, point the rod skyward. The thing is sort of go up and kind of land by his feet, but the sarcasm over and grab it doesn't matter where you put it, you're going to find it.
Was like, dude, is your time. He wanted a picture to show his kids they're cool looking fish when they get on color. They're pretty cool.
They're real pretty. All right. Well, I kind of exactly ended up where I started thinking that was the case. But I'd love to, like, get a definitive answer. Yeah. If I was if I'm right about what?
I'll find out for sure. It's in thanks for making the trip down. Yeah, it's my pleasure to go back to where he came from now. Yeah. Appreciate. Yeah, yes, keep slugging away, man, we will, but we should ask the question, what can people do if they if they're interested in helping you continue?
Stop the. I got two more questions, though, for that one.
Do you get death threats and stuff like that?
I haven't in a long time. You know, I think I think other people have, you know, taken on leadership roles and I'm kind of kind of faded into the background a little bit. So that's that's nice. You know, like like Alana, who would have been great to get down here.
She just can't, you know, with with everything going on in her community. But, you know, she's just people are in her face all the time. I mean, the people in those communities in Alaska, native people in those communities, they're they're super tough and really brave. But, you know, we've all had our moments where we've been harassed by the mayor, by the powers that be, you know. Yeah. And everybody's question.
Right now, it's just sit and wait or or some people should be doing well, you know, you can always weigh in with your elected officials, right? You know, because I think there could be a congressional play at some point.
You know, there's there's been talk of, well, the House of Representatives actually passed a spending bill, Jared Huffman out of California, that no money can be spent on the processing of the Pebble Project, Environmental Impact Statement and fiscal year 2021. And the Senate will take up of, you know, a companion spending bill and then they'll do some sausage making in theory before the year's out and, you know, right into the right. And your senators asking them to, you know, support efforts not to fund the year.
Look, no matter where you are on the issue, you know, there's a lot of debate out there about the quality of this thing and maybe we just take a time out for you. So that's one thing you could do in the immediate term.
And then and then we've got we've got a website that's a consortium of a lot of different groups. Now, stop Pebble Mine now, Gheorghe. And it's got a ton of good information and ways you can weigh in. I'm working on a.
Philosophy, a political philosophy. It's called environmental nationalism. Part of this would be this. If it really is the biggest pile of gold. In the world, isn't it sweet that we own it? It's just sitting there waiting for us. Right. Yeah, let everybody else copper, let everybody else screw their area up, it's not going anywhere. It's been there for millions of years, maybe billions of years. Let's leave it there. Yeah. It's not like is that like strike now or we'll never be able to get it?
Well, that's how it really comes down to something where like America will end. Like America will end, will all die, and the American dream will be over, the American experiment will collapse if we can't get some gold.
There it is. Yeah, and there's nothing to say that in 50 or 100 years, we won't have the mining technology to take it out of there without scarring the surface and possibly killing.
Yeah, probably not. No.
So do the crazy witch and Rod, and it just sucks gold out of the ground. I mean, that's the problem with Pebble, right? There's a lot of it there, but it's low grade.
It's a huge excavation if you're saying that we're not smart enough to eventually figure out how to get it out. Well, I.
I'm hoping that we're smart enough that we realize we don't really need gold for anything. You know, like a majority of it goes to jewelry at Wal-Mart and to dowries and, you know, for like marriages and other cultures and countries, it's not like it's not like it's a critical mineral copper. It's a totally different story. But who knows what we'll figure out as far as renewables go in the future. And as far as there's this rare earth, minerals are too.
Right. And they talk about that. We're going to need that for the for the renewable economy.
But, you know, the thing that always stops these guys dead in their tracks is kind of just the exact opposite. That's like, OK, this is in the national interest because, you know, the Chinese have all these rare earth minerals. Are you telling me you're never going to sell any of the material that comes out of Pebble on the international market? And that just stops the conversation right there. It's just like oil now.
There is no there is no like national market for oil. It's all traded on the on the global market. That's how commodities work.
Yeah, I know, but I like that, you know, and I've heard that from a lot of people. It's like, why wouldn't we just, you know, invest against the fact that we actually have this resource in the ground, you know, speculate on it. It's a different kind of speculation, but it's one that you have to get. You have your cake and eat it, too. You have wild salmon run and you get to, you know, do weird shit with the stock market that most people don't understand.
When I first went on a date with my wife, I bet my body a hundred bucks. That I'd end up marrying her after our first date is like bullshit, we bet a hundred dollars and I had two years to do it. And he sent me my hundred bucks and we also wrote our Battleborn little contract we were drinking. And so I framed the 100 bucks in the contract, right, is not lost on me that there could be a situation in which I would bust that glass and get the 100 bucks out.
It would take a lot. We're not there yet, we haven't been there in the last 10 years, is there a way in which some way I would break the glass and get the hundred bucks out?
No rivers so long, that is not a band, right, like, I don't know. But right now, I like it where it is, I don't wanna break the glass, so do a lot of people and that's the thing. They all depend on it. Hopefully never, but I'm just saying, think about it like it's not going anywhere. There's not like a thing where it's like if you it's not like get it now or it's gone.
We can afford not like we're rich enough and lucky enough as a country, I don't say rich and lucky because it might be like we're fortunate enough and we've done enough things right as a country that we can have pristine places.
It is a tremendous not a lot, not like a luxury, like we just fell on to it. We've people have done things. We have made sacrifices to have places that we can afford to leave.
And have cities and have a great economy and do all this and have perfect places, perfect places like like God put them there so. We should be jumping up and down with joy. We can pull it off, we can have 100 bucks in a picture frame hanging on our wall. Well, I'm I'm going to work really hard to make sure you get your thousand bucks. I want what to be two for two hundred dollars. You know, frame up ten of them.
I'm not cravenness thousand man is thousands going into the family pile.
But thank you. All right. Thanks for coming down, man. My pleasure. Good luck. Thanks. You know, not for your own sake before. Good luck for everybody. They're going to say good luck to someone in Star Wars. Right. Right. For the force. That's right. Thank you. Thank you.