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. Donations to TU’s Embrace A Stream Program are Multiplied This Week!
Since 1975, TU’s Embrace A Stream program has awarded more than $4.9 million in grants to over 1,100 local chapter projects that bring TU’s mission to the local level. This week, through Nov. 14, you can help TU chapters that you support – working to protect and restore rivers you love to fish – by going to www.embraceastream.org and donating $10 or more. Every dollar donated goes directly to that TU chapter project, and Orvis and TU are matching every dollar raised up to $1,000! help Orvis give back to the rivers and the sport of fly fishing that we all care so deeply about.
2. Bipartisan Infrastructure Package Boosts Conservation Efforts
Last week, the House of Representatives passed the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021, a $1.2 trillion package that contains some important funding for trout and salmon conservation, as well as for other programs that will benefit land and water. Chris Wood, TU’s president and CEO, said:
“This legislation is potentially transformational. It reflects the understanding—which TU has championed for years—that our natural landscapes and waterways are the most important part of the infrastructure that sustains us. And it directly tackles some of the biggest challenges to our infrastructure posed by climate change.”
Steve Kline, chief policy officer of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, weighed in, as well:
“The bipartisan infrastructure bill passed by the House tonight has not had the most straightforward path to completion, but the conservation provisions included in this package are a clear victory for American hunters and anglers, and they should be recognized and widely celebrated.”
3. Everglades Foundation CEO Says NOW is the Time for Everglades Restoration
The largest wetland restoration project on the planet is two-thirds of the way to the finish line (in theory at least), and now is the time to put pressure on politicians and decisions makers. According to Eric Eikenberg, CEO of the Everglades Foundation,
“[I]n our view, we’re in the last decade to get this restoration done. This is the last decade to get the restoration before you pivot to perpetual protection. Because there are forces out there that are going to slow you down and ensure there is foot-dragging. And whatever progress is being made, they may be out in the hinterlands trying to figure out a way to thwart the progress. So you have to be vigilant and operate with sense of immediacy.”
4. Protections for Bristol Bay are Back on Track
On Friday, October 29, the U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska overturned the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) 2019 decision to withdraw the Bristol Bay 404(c) Proposed Determination, reinstating important protections for the headwaters of Bristol Bay. This victory concludes a two-year-long lawsuit by Trout Unlimited (TU) and comes in the wake of a recent ruling in favor of TU by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
According to Austin Williams, Alaska legal and policy director for Trout Unlimited,
“Today’s decision gets us back on track to finalizing protections for Bristol Bay’s headwaters and its world-class fisheries. As the science has shown time and time again, large-scale mining in the Bristol Bay headwaters would be catastrophic to the region’s fisheries, its economy, and its vibrant cultures. We look forward to working with the EPA to finalize these protections that are so critical to so many people.