Welcome to the latest installment of the Wednesday Wake-Up Call, a 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. Progress at the EAA Reservoir
Almost four years ago, then-Gov. Rick Scott of Florida signed the bill that authorized the creation of the Everglades Agricultural Area Reservoir, which would help store water south of Lake Okeechobee and restore the flow of fresh water through the Everglades. More than a year later, Orvis took out a full-page ad in the Miami Herald, urging lawmakers to get cracking on the construction on the project. The pace of project has seemed glacial over the past four years, but there are signs of life:
Now, thanks to those united efforts [among conservationists and the administration of Gov. Ron DeSantis], the land from that lease is bustling with progress—heavy equipment, explosions, and boots on the ground are working to expedite the critical restoration project.
For more coverage of Everglades restoration and South Florida water issues, check out these stories from around the Web:
- Meet the founders of Captains for Clean Water at fly fisherman.com.
- “Climate change puts new pressures on already-degraded Florida Everglades,” on Yale Climate Connections.
- Everglades Advocates To Biden: Increase Spending To $2.9 Billion on wusf Public Media.
- Guest Commentary: Fix the Flow in the Pine Island Eagle.
- Marco Rubio, Brian Mast, Darren Soto Bring Back Bill Targeting Algal Blooms from floridadaily.com.
2. Applications Being Accepted for Bristol Bay Guide Ambassador Program
In 2020, Bristol Bay hunting and fishing guides were instrumental in ensuring that the key federal permit for the proposed Pebble mine wad denied. In 2021, Save Bristol Bay Guide Ambassadors will support efforts to advance permanent protections for the region so that Pebble, or other mining companies, cannot come back in the future. Trout Unlimited-Alaska is asking fishing, hunting and bear viewing guides in Bristol Bay to join Trout Unlimited’s strategic efforts to achieve durable and community- based protections for the region.
As an Ambassador, participants will serve as experts to help educate staff and visitors about the history of the proposed Pebble mine, and support ongoing advocacy efforts to permanently protect the region.
For more coverage of Bristol Bay conservation, check out these stories from around the Web:
- Pebble Mine debates resume as the company behind the project appeals federal permit denial on alaskasnewssource.com.
- Governor’s Pebble appeal ignores the law, science and voices of Alaskans on Alaska Daily News.
3. Trout Unlimited: What’s in Store for 2021
Will Poston of Fly Lords sits down with Trout Unlimited President and CEO Chris Wood to talk about the challenges of 202 and what lies ahead. Obviously, Pebble Mine dominated the narrative for the end of last year, but there’s still work to be done all around the country:
Much has changed over the last year, but removing the four lower Snake River dams and restoring the Clean Water Act’s protections remain atop TU’s agenda. The vastly different political landscape of 2021 upends what was previously thought of as a long shot and gives promise to what can be accomplished. TU’s three primary priorities this year are: rolling back the rollbacks; removing the four lower Snake River dams through a collaborative agreement; and, advancing common sense climate measures that protect people, communities, and natural resources.
4. Further reading on U.S. Conservation Issues
- Sensible Mining: Balancing Habitat and Industry, on Backcountry Hunters & Angler website.
- Developer appeals conservation district decision related to proposed glampground near Gallatin Gateway, on Bozeman Daily Chronicle.
- ‘Hunters and Anglers for CORE’ Cheer Reintroduction of Colorado Public Lands Legislation on tu.org.
- Trout Unlimited and Fly Fishers International formalize conservation partnership, on tu.org.