Proposed conservation plans could affect Pebble mine project

Anchorage Daily News

An agreement announced Tuesday between an Alaska Native village corporation and conservationists would restrict development on lands in the Bristol Bay region where a mine developer has proposed a road, a move that could create another obstacle for the proposed Pebble Mine.

The Conservation Fund said it has launched a fundraising campaign to buy the land easements on more than 44,000 acres from the Pedro Bay Corp. for $18.3 million. Terms call for the money to be raised by the end of 2022, said Ann Simonelli, a spokesperson for the Virginia-based conservation group.

The corporation would retain ownership of the land, and the easements would be managed by the Bristol Bay Heritage Land Trust, a group focused on preserving salmon and wildlife habitat in southwest Alaska’s Bristol Bay region. According to a statement announcing the agreement, terms of the deal would bar the execution of any right-of-way agreements with the mine project due to the easements’ restrictions on development. The planned easements cover part of a transportation route proposed by the Pebble Mine, the statement says.

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