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. Final Public Hearing on Pebble Takes Place in Anchorage
The 90-day public comment period on the Pebble Mine Draft Environmental Statement (DEIS) is half over, and the final public meeting took place last night in Anchorage. After a rally in front of the Dena’ina Center, many folks expressed dissatisfaction with the scientific basis for the DEIS.
Environmental geochemist Kendra Zamzow was one of the skeptical people who testified.
“Scientists either did not review this EIS or they did a very bad job,” Zamzow said. “The Army Corps should never have allowed such a slipshod document out for comment.”
If you haven’t made your voice heard yet, now is the time. The more anti-Pebble comments we can generate, the more pressure there will be on legislators to provide adequate oversight and stop this disaster-in-the-making.
2. Court Overturns Water Permit for Proposed Rock Creek Mine
In other mining news, a proposed copper-and-silver mine near Noxon, Montana, was dealt a blow when struck down a water permit issued by the Montana Department of natural Resources.
“The court’s rulings safeguards some of the purest waters in the lower 48 from the destructive impacts threatened by the Rock Creek Mine,” said Earthjustice attorney Katherine O’Brien. “The ruling also affirms that the state’s job is to protect Montana’s waters from the benefits of all Montanans — not to give those waters away to corporate interests without taking a hard look at the impacts.”
3. British Columbia Closes Chinook Fisheries
Declaring that Chinook-salmon stocks are “in a critical state,” the government of British Columbia has taken strong actions to protect the Frasier River populations.
“These new measures are difficult, but they are necessary to address Fraser River Chinook decline,” said Wilkinson.
“A continued decline would irrevocably harm species that depend on the survival of Chinook salmon, such as the Southern Resident killer whale. In addition, it would permanently affect the culture, heritage and livelihoods of Indigenous communities and permanently eliminate many jobs in the recreational and commercial fishing industries.”
The closures affect both commercial and recreational fisheries–closing some seasons, changing regulations, and reducing limits.