The National Wildlife Federation has worked with hunters and anglers since 1936 to tackle the biggest natural resource challenges. The NWF Outdoors Podcast explores the most important conservation issues and the people who do the hard work to safeguard our fish, wildlife, lands, and waters. Hosted by Aaron Kindle, director of sporting advocacy at NWF.
Thursday Jun 09, 2022
Thursday Jun 09, 2022
Aaron and Bill sit down with the 2021 Orvis Conservationists of the Year, owner of Alaska Sportsmen’s Lodge, and renowned Bristol Bay conservationist Brian Kraft. Brian has spent nearly 20 years working to stop the Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay from ever becoming a reality. The EPA recently announced another comment period regarding prohibiting discharge of dredge or fill materials. If the latest effort is successful, the Pebble Mine would again be halted. We talk to Brian about how he got into the lodge operating and fishing guide service, the incredible fishing and wildlife resources of Bristol Bay including 30” rainbow trout, how he first learned of the proposed mine, and his work to keep the mine away from the area that produces nearly half of all the planet’s salmon. And last, we pivot to permanent protection and how we can end the threats of large-scale mining in Bristol Bay once and for all.
EPA link to comment portal
EPA link describing comment process
Video of Brain and his family talking about the values in Bristol Bay
Video announcing Brian as Orvis Conservationist of the Year
Conservation Organization Resources on Bristol Bay and the Pebble Mine
Brian’s lodge website
3:58 – A little background on Brian.
5:35 – Brian, Aaron and Bill share what they have been doing outside recently.
9:20 - Brian provides a brief overview of the scale and scope of Bristol Bay and the surrounding area… The “breadbasket of fisheries” the bounty there is mindboggling! 47% of the world’s salmon comes from here!
16:50 - Brian talks about how he got into running fishing lodges in Bristol Bay without any prior experience.
25:55 - Brian takes us through a day on the water with his clients in Alaska… they’re catching 22-26” rainbow trout on the fly!
30:38 - What is the average size range of the rainbow trout up there?
32:53 – Short break for a message from our partner podcast, Artemis Sportswomen. For more great content, be sure to follow NWF Outdoors on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!
34:45 - Brain shares a little background on how we got to where we are at now regarding the threat of the Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay. This has been a team battle!
56:29 – How do we get permanent protection? Where would the relief money come from that would be used for the Federal Government to purchase land that is now part of the state of Alaska? What are other options including land swaps, etc.
59:19 - What should folks be telling the EPA right now and how can we help with the permanent solution? “This is the wrong place for this type of development. Salmon runs are irreplaceable and provide food for the world. Let’s not replace one resource with another.”
1:04:07 – Parting words from Brian, Bill and Aaron.
“I didn’t inherit this land and these fisheries from my ancestors. I’m borrowing it from my children. It’s my responsibility to make sure that it’s in better shape for them to use and enjoy. We need to do the right thing. There are right places to do things like this and wrong places – and this is definitely the wrong place.” –Brian Kraft.