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. Hurricane Dorian Hammers The Bahamas
Hurricane Dorian stalled over Abaco and Grand Bahama Islands from Sunday through yesterday, with sustained winds of 185 mph, causing massive destruction and flooding. We still do not know the full extent of the damage and may not for several days. The islands of the Bahamas are revered by fly fishers for their amazing flats and large populations of bonefish.
Oliver White of Abaco Lodge posted this to the lodge’s Facebook page:
Abaco Island in the Bahamas has been devastated by Hurricane Dorian. We are still waiting to hear from all our family, friends, and staff at Abaco Lodge to make sure everyone is unharmed. We haven’t had a report on the status of the lodge yet, but we anticipate major if not catastrophic news. While the lodge has insurance and can be repaired or rebuilt, that is not the case for our family, friends, and staff on the island. The few people we have spoken to have lost everything. This community will need our help to rebuild their lives, so we are asking for help on their behalf.
Orvis is in contact with all our partners in the islands and are currently assessing how we can do the most good. We will be asking for your help, as well, in the upcoming days.
In the meantime, you can help by donating to the gofundme set up for the employees of Abaco Lodge by clicking here.
2. Op-Ed Argues That Alaska Can Be Pro-Business While Protecting Bristol Bay
In the Alaska Journal of Commerce, co-founder of Northline Seafoods Benjamin Blakely argues that “anti-Pebble” does not mean “anti-business.” In fact, he says, his own business is what’s threatened by the mine.
The biggest threat to the success of my business and my family’s future is the proposed Pebble mine project. Worse than the threat of the mine itself is its current permit process, which is being increasingly compromised by politics and lacks the scientific rigor and transparency that Alaskans have been promised for years.
It’s a fascinating read, and counters the argument that folks only oppose the mine because they hate mine or businesses or whatever.
Click here to read the article.
3. President Trump Wants to Re-Open Alaska’s Tongass National Forest to Logging
Since 2001, the nation’s largest national forest has been protected from logging by the Roadless Area Conservation Rule, which limits road construction and its accompanying environmental impact on huge swaths of public land. This rule has also limited access to old-growth forests, which has kept them from being logged. That may all be about to change, as Alaska’s Governor Dunleavy and Senator Murkowski seem to have persuaded the Trump administration to roll back the Roadless Rule.
This is despite the fact that ” A 90-day comment period last fall received over 144,000 comments, and the majority expressed opposition to rolling back protections,” according to Alaska’s KTOO News.
Writing in the Jackson Hole News and Guide, Brendan Jones explains why this is a bad idea:
Southeast Alaska’s economy cannot afford this return to the timber bonanza days. While logging once thrived here, the largest mill in Southeast today employs just a few dozen people. Meanwhile, the tourist industry creates 10,000 jobs, adding more than $1 billion a year to Alaska’s economy, while fishing brings in another $1 billion.