National Geographic : 2010 Dec
the sockeye season, ompson earns enough money to support himself and his daughter; during the off-season, he hunts moose, cari- bou, and other wild game to supplement their diet. e Boukers own an air-taxi service and a construction company, but they use some of the income from shing for their children's college fund. Bristol Bay watershed can rely on biological abundance to stave o hardship. Near the Pebble deposit, far from the sheries on the bay, fuel and food are pain- fully expensive, and stable employment scarce. Myrtle Anelon, a 68-year-old Alaska native who owns a bed and breakfast in Iliamna, says the Pebble Partnership is the rst outside economic business to take an interest in her community's welfare. " e others make money in our back- yard," she says, referring to seasonal residents who own lodges that cater to high-end sport shers, "but they don't hire locals, they don't buy from us." Anelon's daughter, Lisa Reimers, who heads the Iliamna Development Corporation, is con- cerned. "Outsiders want us to go back to the old ways," she says, explaining that some mine oppo- nents promote a self-serving, sentimental view that ignores what it actually takes to survive. To be sure, those who live in the Iliamna Lake area do still practice subsistence fishing---Anelon tends to a family setnet just outside town---and they treasure the wild habitat that supports it. But they also have truck payments, mortgages, and medical bills to pay. ey want to send their kids to college. ey need cash. "What's their plan for us?" Reimers asks of those who condemn her and others like her for welcoming mining jobs. "Without Pebble, what do we do?" ese are the people John Shively, CEO of the Pebble Partnership, has in mind when he touts the bene ts of prolonged, large-scale mining at the headwaters of an incomparable sockeye shery. Having arrived in Alaska as a VISTA volunteer more than 40 years ago, Shively has held high-level state government positions, In Bristol Bay a tired but determined crew (below) hauls in a thousand pounds of sockeye before dawn. Fishing boats jockey for position (le ) during ood tide, when returning salmon pour into the bay. "If you live in the area, you're somehow tied to shing," says Everett ompson, of Naknek.