In fall 2013, Juliet Eilperin of the Washington Post tabbed a fight in Alaska over the proposed Pebble Mine as "the most important environmental decision you've never heard of."1 Shortly after that, she ranked the issue as one of the top items facing Gina McCarthy, the incoming director of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.2 In a time period where the bulk of our attention is focused on more globally recognizable debates such as climate change or hydraulic fracturing, mining development tends to get glossed over by academia and popular media alike. However, the debate over Pebble Mine not only demands our attention for its potential impacts to the world's largest sockeye salmon fishery, but it is a case study that brings new light to old debates in environmental studies and sciences.
Samuel Snyder received his doctorate from the University of Florida, where he studied the dynamics of community collaboration amongst multiple stakeholders in fisheries conservation and restoration. He has worked in Alaska, devoting all of his time to conservation of Bristol Bay's wild salmon ecosystems and working with Alaska Native groups, commercial fishermen, and sportsmen.