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Bristol Bay's history

Bristol Bay's history
Laura Willson, right, and Andrew Holstrom haul in red salmon caught in the Naknek River, which empties into an arm of Bristol Bay. (Al Grillo / Associated Press)

Federal protection for Alaska's Bristol Bay has ebbed and flowed over the years, usually in sync with the party in the White House. 

1986: U.S. opens Bristol Bay to oil and gas exploration and development during President Reagan's tenure.

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1989: After the devastating Exxon Valdez oil spill, Congress adds Bristol Bay to a virtually nationwide moratorium on new offshore oil and gas development on the Outer Continental Shelf.

1995: U.S. agrees to buy back $95 million in oil leases to protect Bristol Bay during President Clinton's tenure.

1998: President Clinton withdraws the area from leasing until June 30,  2012.

2003: Congress removes the area from the moratorium on oil and gas development in the Outer Continental Shelf during President George W. Bush's tenure.

2007: President George W. Bush shortens the time Bristol Bay will be protected to 2007, and the U.S. says it will hold a lease sale as early as 2011.

2010: President Obama extends Bristol Bay's protection until 2017.

2014: President Obama extends Bristol Bay's protection indefinitely.

Source: Pew Charitable Trusts

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