Check out this great video, “Everglades Dreaming,” in which Carter Andrews and young contest winner, Jagger Nickel, experience the best of the Everglades with Capt. Benny Blanco. Hosted by the Everglades Foundation.
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, VoteWater.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. TU’s Snake Week is All About Dam Removal to Save Steelhead and Salmon
As part of Trout Unlimited’s “Snake Week,” Orvis president Simon Perkins joined TU’s Tom Reed, Greg McReynolds and Kirk Deeter to discuss salmon, fly fishing, bird dogs and why Orvis is so committed to restoring the Snake River basin and recovering salmon and steelhead.
Snake River restoration is an opportunity to upgrade an antiquated electric grid, replace outdated infrastructure and restore 140 miles of free flowing River. The Snake River basin contains more than 50 percent of coldwater habitat for Pacific salmon and steelhead in the lower 48. That number is expected to climb to over 60 percent as climate change impacts lower elevation habitat.
The proposal by Idaho’s Sen. Mike Simpson also outlines a new 14,000 acre National Conservation Area in the lands that will reappear after the dams are breached. This new NCA, lining the banks of the Snake River, is likely to create some excellent upland bird habitat.
The four lower Snake River dams must be removed to restore abundant, healthy and harvestable wild Snake River salmon and steelhead. Dam removal is an urgent need supported by sound science and broad regional buy-in for the need to restore healthy and harvestable populations of salmon and steelhead in the Snake River basin.
2. Check Out the Winners of the 2021 TU/Orvis Youth Essay Contest
In 2012, TU decided it was high time to celebrate and promote the voices of our youngest supporters. Over the years, a host of talented teen writers have entered the contest, and we have published their creative work in the pages of TROUT magazine. For this year’s contest, TU partnered with Orvis to elevate these youth voices and fostering future conservation leaders.
“The health of our planet depends on the next generation creating a special connection with nature and understanding the importance of restoring and recovering rivers, streams and other vital habitat,” said Charley Perkins, an Orvis product strategist who also serves on TU’s Headwaters Youth Program board. “By far the best way to rally the generation is to amplify the voices of their conservation-minded peers.”
The 2021 contest prompted teens with this question: Public lands and green spaces are those places where we can go to walk a greenway and listen to the birds, sit in the shade of a tree to escape the summer heat, camp, fish, hike, and explore. Why are these places an important part of your life?
3. Bullsugar Merges with VoteWater.org
Bullsugar.org–an organization that has been at the forefront of Everglades restoration and the drive to improve water quality across Florida–has merged with VoteWater.org to “represent one unified mission; to serve as the voice and conscience of 22 million Floridians who recognize the importance of clean water to marine life, human life, and economic vitality.” They will produce voter guides to help Floridians make choices at the polls that will result in positive changes to water quality.