Where Water is Gold, Part Four

Where Water is Gold, Part Four

A project to tell the Bristol Bay story

Part four of a four-part blog post entitled “Where Water is Gold: Bristol Bay and the Pebble Mine”

What is it about the Bristol Bay region, its history and its people that has led to such an opposition to development of the Pebble Mine?  For most people, though, the answer to this question is spread out among a tangling web of websites, articles, opinion pieces, editorials, and smothered by the drowning deluge of angry, bitter commercials.  I want to answer it in a way that is accessible, meaningful, and comprehensive.   As an Alaskan, I want that story to highlight the many amazing aspects of Alaskan rural life that this issue represents.  The end result will be a book published by The Mountaineers Books/Braided Rivers, scheduled for release in the fall of 2013.

I am currently conducting fieldwork to photograph the scenery, the wildlife and the people and to conduct interviews.  From aerial photography to visiting villages, from pack rafting the Nushagak watershed to visiting sport fishing lodges, I am covering the region in a way that comprehensively gets to the heart of the Bristol Bay/Pebble Mine controversy.  Photos and essays will cover commercial fishing, sport fishing and hunting, the subsistence way of life through all seasons, the history of the Pebble exploration, a glimpse of what sort of mine it will likely be, and an examination of the fears at the heart of the issue.

So with my book, tentatively titled “Where Water is Gold: Bristol Bay and the Pebble Mine,” I, along with other writers, will craft essays to explore the many issues behind the tension of conservation and development present in the Bristol Bay region and the development of the Pebble Mine.  Through stories about individuals, families, scientists, these essays, along with my photography, will help create a vision of the Bristol Bay region and the people who live there.  And, along the way, you will come to understand why they hold this land, and its amazing waters, sacred.

I have tremendous partners working with me on messaging and providing me valuable resources such as material support and connections to people in the area; partners such as Ground Truth Trekking, Trout Unlimited, and the Alaska Wilderness League.  I also have a media sponsor, BuzzBizz Studios, which is making in-kind donations of videography, video editing and web design services.  And who knows, I may even get some material support from the Pebble Partnership directly; at least, it seems possible after a productive meeting with PR staff from Pebble and Anglo American back in December (I am still waiting to hear from them).

To learn the specific details on how I plan to approach this project and its current budget, read my Project Proposal.  You will find links to various aspects of this project on the Projects page on my website.  This project is being funded purely through grassroots efforts, so please visit my USA Projects page to see an introductory video about the project and make a tax deductible contribution.

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