The retail company Orvis, which specializes in fly-fishing equipment and apparel, is pledging big money in the fight against the Pebble Mine. Orvis has stated a goal of raising $100,000 this year for Trout Unlimited and the "Stop Pebble Mine" campaign, citing the proposed mine's potential environmental hazards. KDLG's Dave Bendinger has more:
Partnering with Trout Unlimited, Orvis has pledged to match customer donations to it's "Stop Pebble Mine" campaign, up to $50,000. That makes it the Vermont-based company's top conservation effort this year.
"Well the permitting process is getting to a focal point, and the opposition seems to have built to a critical mass," says Orvis CEO Perk Perkins. "We think this is a year to push really hard for some decisions. I think it'll come down to what the EPA decides to do, and this is a good year to support the advocacy efforts and grassroots actions up in Alaska."
According to Orvis, the ecosystem and traditional way of life in Bristol Bay, and some 4,000 jobs supported by the commercial and sport fishing industries, could be threatened by the proposed mine. Perkins says lawmakers and regulators hear more about the jobs that will be added by mining than those that could be lost. He supports the EPA using it's 404c authority under the Clean Water Act to stop the mine.
"The Pebble mine, if developed, would certainly become one of the worst environmental risks on the planet and would permanently scar, if not destroy, one of America's most majestic natural resources," said Perkins. "We intend to lend our full weight to the campaign led by Trout Unlimited to convince the EPA, Congress, and the Administration in Washington to stop the Pebble mine."
According to their website, Orvis contributes 5% of its pre-tax profits to various conservation groups and efforts. Combined with customer donations taken at point-of-sale transactions and through their website, Perkins says Orvis may put more than $1-million behind various causes this year.