The McNeil River Needs Our Help!

Photo by Bob Hallinen.

With headwaters in the Aleutians, the McNeil River provides sustenance to a vast array of wildlife, most notably salmon and brown bears. It was designated as a wildlife sanctuary in 1967 to protect what is currently the world’s largest congregation of wild brown bears. As many as 144 bears have been observed at McNeil River over a summer, and in recent years as many as 80 bears been in view at a time.


The McNeil River State Game Sanctuary and the bears that live there need our help. The construction of Pebble Mine and its infrastructure (a deep water port and a two lane road) poses a huge threat to nearby McNeil River State Game Sanctuary and the world’s largest seasonal congregation of brown bears. In fact, the construction would be a direct violation of the mandate legislating the Game Sanctuary, which states its purpose as: “The permanent protection of brown bear and other fish and wildlife populations and their habitats for scientific, aesthetic, and educational purposes” and “To manage human use and activities in a way that is compatible with that purpose and to maintain and enhance unique bear viewing opportunities in the sanctuary”.


So, what can you do? Visit the McNeil River Alliance’s website below, and submit your public comment in support of the bears and wildlife of the sanctuary. Comments are due May 31, 2019!

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