Every day, we—my wife, my son and I—are infused with the blessings of public lands. And not in some vague, generalized, ambivalent sense; not in the way that some folks...
￼It’s easy to spot serious anglers. They fish hard, they throw tight loops, and they stay out late. Over the years we’ve added one more criteria to the list. To be a truly hardcore angler, you have to stand up and fight for your fishing. That means taking action on the biggest threat we face: climate change.
For over twenty years, American Rivers has produced their annual list of the most endangered rivers in our country. The list is the product of a partnership between American Rivers and grassroots river conservationists who work to identify rivers with high natural and cultural value that face significant threats, especially those which have major decisions pending where public input has the ability to help decide the river's fate.
If you're like me, the idea of large scale gold mines in Paradise Valley—the headwaters of the famed Yellowstone River—sounds like a terrible plan. In fact, it probably sounds that way even if you're not like me. It seems almost everyone agrees, from high-end real estate developers and resort owners to dirtbag fishermen and everyday bikers, hikers and other recreationists. Everyone seems to get it: putting large scale mines at the headwaters of the Yellowstone River is a colossally dumb idea. But mining companies have a way of getting what they want.
I get it. How you fish is not how I fish. And that's swell. Really, it is. I like to fish with a fly rod. You don't? That's fine. I prefer to chase wild fish instead of stocked fish but if you don't care you won't hear any complaints from me. I like to hike away from the parking lots and trailheads and find solitude on the river, but maybe you prefer cajoling with your buddies right by the put in with a cooler of beer. Sometimes, I do too. However you like to fish, by and large, that's how you should fish.
Anglers are obsessed with water. Freshwater, saltwater, moving water, still water; it matters not. We peer from car windows as we speed across bridges, staring down in wonder at even the most unimpressive of trickles. We yearn not only to see water, but to know and explore it, to discover what quarry swims in it. We’re compelled to protect and preserve it, to stand in the way of those that would harm or endanger it. And now more than perhaps any time in a generation, the waters of our United States, which so often preoccupy our minds, face a grave and serious threat.
Over the last few years, we’ve gone out of our way to introduce you to the Tongass National Forest, a rich, verdant rainforest that, due to its breadth, is essentially synonymous with ‘southeast Alaska’.
It’s hard to imagine that even a single one of Ducks Unlimited’s more than 750,000 members isn’t presently ashamed of their affiliation with an organization which has long been widely regarded as a well-respected and incredibly accomplished conservation organization. Over the years, Ducks Unlimited (DU) has built for itself a reputation of credibility based largely on its effective grassroots organization, efficient use of dollars and conservation of almost 14 million acres of North American waterfowl habitat.
Yesterday, The Cohen Group, which the Pebble Limited Partnership (PLP) and its supporters are lauding as an independent review firm, released a report that sharply criticized as unfair the EPA's process which led to a preliminary ruling that, if finalized, would prevent the so-called partnership — which now only contains Canadian firm Northern Dynasty Minerals, as all other former partner firms have long divested and distanced themselves from the ill-conceived project — from ever building the Pebble Mine.
Catching a bonefish or a tarpon is reward enough in itself. Both fish are elusive. Both are amongst the angling world's most impressive fighters. Both are beautiful specimens to behold. Should you, however, require additional motivation in order to land yourself on a sunny tropical flat or the bow of a skiff patrolling tarpon-friendly waters — then do it for the good of science.
Closer to Juneau than Vancouver, Terrace lies in the far northern reaches of British Columbia, not far from Ketchikan, Alaska. The storied Skeena River, known for producing some of the most wild and most beautiful steelhead in the world, flows right through town, with more than 75 miles to go before it dumps into the Pacific Ocean after coursing through BC's old growth forests and coastal mountains. Also nearby is the Kitimat which, though less well known than the Skeena, boasts amazing runs of spring steelhead.