Born and raised in Dillingham, Alaska, Kat spends weeks in the summer chasing sockeye aboard her driftnetter, the F/V Sea Hawk. She spends the rest of the year defending Bristol Bay from the proposed Pebble Mine in her role as executive director of Commercial Fishermen for Bristol Bay. A full-time Bristol Bay resident, she attests to the collective determination and exhaustive commitment to protecting they bay, the fish and everyone who depends on them.
Melanie Brown shares stories of learning to pick sockeye out of a set net with her great grandfather, teaching her children to fish, and speaking out against the proposed Pebble Mine. An organizer for SalmonState, Melanie is engaging and endearingly honest talking about the magic of growing up with her indigenous culture and the challenges and persistence of fighting the mine. Stay tuned for her song, "My Baby Drinks Water" at the end of the podcast.
Eighteen years after venturing to Bristol Bay, Alaska on a whim, Capt. Steve Kurian commercially fishes out of Naknek in Bristol Bay for wild sockeye for Wild for Salmon, the retail and wholesale business he and wife Jen run from their home town of Bloomsburg, PA. Hear what life onboard the F/V Ava Jane is like during the season, what brings Steve back every year, and why he's so passionate about fighting against the proposed Pebble Mine.
"Right now, we’re in a fight for our lives." Nanci Morris Lyon and husband Heath own Bear Trail Lodge in King Salmon on the Naknek River in Bristol Bay, Alaska. Like many around the bay, she, her employees, and the business depend on the pristine watershed that supports the world's largest intact wild salmon run. She's opposed the Pebble Mine almost since her daughter Rylie, now a fishing guide, was born 21 years ago. She describes what's at stake and the toll of fighting the battle.
Norm Van Vactor moved to Dillingham, Alaska after graduating high school in the Philippines and got a job as a deckhand on a tender. He spent much of his life on deck or in processing plants, eventually becoming president and CEO of the Bristol Bay Economic Development Corporation. His is a story of a job search turned 40-year love affair with the place, the people and the salmon, which explains his fierce determination to protect what he loves.
Gayla Hoseth is a force of Nature. She is Second Chief of the Curyung Tribal Council and Director of Natural Resources with Bristol Bay Native Association. She describes growing up with the indigenous traditions that bind her and her people to the salmon, the water and the land of Bristol Bay. It's the force of those bonds that compel her and many others to stand up to the proposed Pebble Mine and the unconscionable threat it poses to the resource and her people’s subsistence way of life.