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. Voices Getting Louder During Public Comment Period on Draft Pebble EIS
Two weeks into the 90-day period during which the public can comment on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed Pebble Mine, anti-Pebble forces are speaking out in the media.
- An important op-ed in the Alaska Daily News by a group of anti-Pebble activists from the sport-fishing community–including Orvis-endorsed lodge owners Brian Kraft and Dan Michels–points out the many inadequacies of the draft Environmental Impact Statement. They also argue that the mining company behind the project is not being honest: “Northern Dynasty’s statements to Outside industry contacts prove the current plan is simply a ploy, one regularly used by large conglomerates, to hoodwink locals and gain access. ”
- Writing on Mashable, Mark Kaufman makes an important case for what’s at stake. Kaufman quotes some big names in opposition to the Pebble Project.
- In the Bellingham Herald, an article by Julianna Rennie contrasts anti-Pebble voices with that of Tom Collier, CEO of the Pebble Limited Partnership.
If you have not yet commented on the Draft EIS, please do so soon. The folks at Save Bristol Bay have made it incredibly easy for you to submit your comment by creating a form you can fill in.
2. Help Stop a New Rule That Would Remove Clean-Water Protections for Small Streams
The Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency recently proposed to significantly narrow the scope of protections for many small streams, especially the so-called ephemeral streams that flow after rainfall or snowmelt. These streams play an important role in fly fishing and in recreational fishing across America. They provide spawning, brood-rearing and feeding habitats crucial to many fish populations.
The proposal would replace a positive, 2015 rule (the Clean Water Rule) designed to clarify the scope of Clean Water Act protections, which includes protections for headwaters, intermittent and ephemeral streams, and wetlands. The new proposal (Replacement Rule) would substantially weaken the Clean Water Act, one of the Nation’s most effective natural resource laws. Our friends at Trout Unlimited are leading the charge to protect these habitats.
Please join us in writing to tell the Agencies that the Clean Water Act needs to be improved, not weakened. The proposed Replacement Rule should be rejected.