In early May, Alannah Hurley, Executive Director of the United Tribes of Bristol Bay, stepped to a lectern centered in the White House Rose Garden and spoke Yupik words into the microphone, and an incredible sense of joy and validation washed over the crowd.
She was there to introduce President Joe Biden, kicking off his administration’s celebration of using a Clean Water Act veto to stop the proposed Pebble Mine and marking an important milestone in her incredible journey. Alannah grew up in the remote Bristol Bay community of Clarks Point. She first engaged in the fight against the Pebble Mine as a high school student. Nearly two decades later, she stood alongside the highest authority in the land to celebrate its defeat.
These moments remind us at True Blue Strategies of why we do what we do, as we have worked on the Stop Pebble Mine campaign for years. Alannah has been a pivotal voice and leader in this fight and it’s been an amazing honor to fight alongside her and the entire coalition.
Sam Snyder, our Campaign Director, knows this fight well. He has worn many hats within the campaign dating back to 2009, from providing campaign support to offering critical communications strategy. Sam, like many others, was honored to join the celebration at the White House — a gathering not only significant for the communities of Bristol Bay, but also an incredible moment shared with old friends and battle-tested allies.
We are delighted to have been able to play a role in bringing attention to this amazing story over the years. But we’re not finished. Bristol Bay is still vulnerable. While President Biden and the EPA stopped the Pebble Mine, work remains to ensure larger, watershed-wide protections keep mining interests blocked indefinitely. So we’re wasting no time moving into the next phase of the campaign: protecting Bristol Bay forever.