The brook trout is the only native trout species native to Pennsylvania and its future has been looking bleak for the past several years. There is one exception in the Michaux State Forest section in Adams County.
In The News
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This interview with Trout Unlimited President and CEO Chris Wood is part of OutdoorHub’s Leaders of Conservation series, in which we sit down with leaders of the North American conservation movement to learn more about the stories behind their organizations and people.
On a warm July night in 1959, 16 men gathered at the home of George Griffith on the shores of Michigan’s Au Sable River. Griffith, a hosiery salesman and avid conservationist, had invited over 60 for the inaugural event. Despite the low turnout, it was there that an organization called Trout Unlimited (TU) was born. More than half a century later, Trout Unlimited now stands as one of the largest conservation organizations in the world, with more than 400 chapters across North America and a mailing list of over 150,000 registered members. Trout Unlimited President and CEO Chris Wood told me that the organization’s key goals have changed little since its founding.
Chris Wood, president of Trout Unlimited, called the EPA's announcement “hugely significant” and noted that digging a mine the size of those described by the company in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission would require “industrializing a landscape that is today one of the most pristine places on Earth.”
But to some mining industry officials, the EPA's proposal amounts to a veto of excavation in the region. Pebble is a potential source of millions of dollars' worth of minerals, and mining could bring hundreds of jobs to the struggling area.
Environmentalists cheered EPA's action. "For 10 years, the proposed Pebble Mine has cast a cloud of uncertainty on Bristol Bay. Today's announcement provides hope that we are nearing the finish line to protecting the world's most prolific salmon fishery," said Chris Wood, president and CEO of Trout Unlimited, in a statement.
The Kvichak River, part of the Bristol Bay watershed in southwest Alaska, produces more sockeye salmon than any other river in the world, according to the EPA. The fisheries in the region produce hundreds of millions of dollars in economic development a year, the agency said.
As a result, “the closer you are to the mine site, the greater the opposition to the project, because you have a healthy industry based on salmon,” said Tim Bristol, director of Trout Unlimited’s Alaska program. Bristol is fighting the project, and says EPA’s decision today puts critics closer to victory. “But there is a long way to go.”