Welcome to the latest installment of the Wednesday Wake-Up Call, a weekly roundup of the most pressing conservation issues important to anglers. Working with our friends at Trout Unlimited, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, The Everglades Foundation, Captains for Clean Water, Bullsugar.org, and Conservation Hawks (among others), we’ll make sure you’ve got the information you need to understand the issues and form solid opinions.
If you know of an important issue–whether it’s national or local–that anglers should be paying attention to, comment below, and we’ll check it out!
1. Everglades Summit Takes Over Washington, DC
2. Recovering Idaho’s Native and Wild Species
TU president/CEO Chris Wood writes about how long-serving conservationists in Idaho have accomplished much by forging “relationships and trust developing among irrigators, ranchers and farmers, utilities, power and mining companies and conservationists in places such as the South Fork, the Yankee Fork, the Owyhee, the Upper Salmon and the Blackfoot.”
Matt Woodard has led Trout Unlimited’s work in eastern Idaho for 17 years, and these relationships have allowed him to reconnect spawning and rearing tributaries of the South Fork of the Snake, giving native Yellowstone cutthroat trout a better chance at surviving floods, fire, drought, and the encroachment of non-native species.
3. Keeping Bristol Bay, AK “Salmon Country”
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been holding public-comment meeting around Alaska, and Jenny Weis, Communications Director for Trout Unlimited’s Alaska Program, offers a look at how those meetings went:
Over the past two weeks, I watched from afar as residents of rural villages dotting the region have packed tiny community centers and school gyms to tell the Army Corps of Engineers, the agency in charge of reviewing one of Pebble’s most critical permits, their concerns about the proposed Pebble Mine. Seated in mish-mashed accumulations of folding chairs, Native Elders stood and spoke about how the mine would impact their clean water and traditional fishing and subsistence hunting and gathering practices that have been passed down for generations. It was sometimes hard to discern their testimony through thick Yup’ik accents, grainy cell phone videos due to poor connection, or tears. Commercial fishermen feared that any impacts would destroy the fishery and thus, their livelihoods and the trade they planned to pass onto their children. They were visibly frustrated — after dozens of hearings and meetings, why’d they have to say this all over again?.
But there was no public testimony in places such as Anchorage, Dillingham, or Homer, where voices of opposition would have been even louder.
4. Celebrating a Lifetime of Montana Conservation
One of the real heroes of Montana conservation, Jim Posewitz, has penned a memoir entitled My Best Shot: Discovering and Living the Montana Conservation Ethic, which shows how determined individuals can and must protect America s democracy of the wild.
During his 32-year career with the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Posewitz created and led the ground-breaking Ecological Services Division that helped protect the Rocky Mountain Front and many other vitally important lands and waters. In one of his major conservation successes, Posewitz joined the growing list of Montanans who, through the years, stepped up on behalf of Montana s free-flowing Yellowstone River. See the video at the top of the page for an excellent news report on “Poz.”
5. Orvis CEO Argues that Conservation is Good for Business
Earlier this month, Orvis CEO Perk Perkins wrote an op-ed for Entrepreneur in which he argued that “If your company depends on abundant natural resources, supporting environmental causes is smart business–but it’s also so much more”:
Anonymously throwing money at a cause isn’t enough. It’s time for us to make a more meaningful investment to protect the environment and safeguard the resources that so many depend on. We embrace this position at Orvis, and we’re not alone. Companies such as Patagonia and Costa also have gone beyond writing checks. They’re engaging in advocacy for causes including removing river-choking dams and reducing companies’ use of plastic.
We all understand we literally can’t grow our businesses unless we defend the natural resources on which they depend. But we need help. Any industry that relies on the outdoors — from tourism to sporting goods or food production — must step up and be heard. Here are three strategies we’ve found helpful to ensure the success of Orvis’ initiatives.