Every angler remembers when he or she began to care about the natural world around them. It happened for me on the New Jersey shore when I was 8 years old. A couple of lifeguards were tormenting a small sand shark a few yards from the surf. I pushed between their legs, and carried that fish back to the water. To this day, I think my Newark- tough Dad was disappointed that the lifeguards simply watched in silence.
All of us have personal stories that help explain why we believe in the work of Trout Unlimited (TU). The great conservationist, Aldo Leopold, once said that the penalty of being a conservationist is that “one lives alone in a world of wounds.” As anglers, we intuitively get what Leopold says, but as TU members we refuse to give in to defeatism. Instead, like volunteer Phil Cameron, featured here, we help educate kids so the next generation will make better decisions about the lands and waters that sustain us all. Or, we are motivated by the relentless optimism of partners such as Bart Gammet, a Forest Service biologist in Idaho, who is helping TU to recover rare mountain whitefish on the Little Lost River.
In the foreword to the must-read classic, Sand County Almanac, Leopold wrote, “There are some who can live without wild things and some who cannot. These essays are the delights and dilemmas of one who cannot.” Those words describe and affirm the work of the Maine Council, TU staffer Jeff Reardon, and other conservationists who helped negotiate a deal that will help to re-open 1,000—1,000!—miles of the Penobscot River previously blocked by dams to migratory fish such as imperiled Atlantic salmon, striped bass, and shad.
So, here’s to Phil Cameron, Bart Gammet, Jeff Reardon, and all the rest of you that cannot live without wild things. Thanks to all of you for what you do for TU. Please stay in touch.
Chris Wood, Trout Unlimited, Chief Operating Officer
email@example.com | direct line: 703-284-9403
Conservation Highlight—Protect, Reconnect, Restore, Sustain
RECONNECT: Idaho's Upper Big Lost River Habitat
Thanks to TU's Idaho Water Project, a rare strain of native whitefish is poised for recovery in the upper Big Lost River. In October, three existing dam diversions were retrofitted with fish passage structures. By reducing habitat fragmentation, fish ladders and bypass channels allow whitefish to move out of uninhabitable stream segments and help them to complete life-cycle migrations. »read more
RESTORE: Things Are Looking Up For Atlantic Salmon
In Maine, things are looking up a bit for Atlantic salmon. On November 7, the Penobscot River Restoration Trust filed its state and federal permit applications for the Penobscot River Restoration Project, which proposes to remove the two lowest dams on the Penobscot River and construct a fish bypass around a third dam at the mouth of a major tributary. The project will improve access to nearly 1,000 stream miles containing salmon habitat. »read more
2009 is shaping up to surely be an exciting year. We are looking at the change in administration and a new Congress with hope that they will provide new opportunities to move our conservation policy and program funding agendas forward. President-elect Obama has supported several of our sportsmen’s proposals including movement on climate change, protection of backcountry fishing and hunting, promoting responsible energy development and providing incentives to conserve private lands. While much work remains to be done, times are tough and money is tight. This means that we cannot be overly ambitious in seeking new programs and federal funding for important projects on the ground. But we will continue to work with members and staff to prioritize projects that are important to us and are in need of funding, and we will work with our champions in Congress to move favorable legislation. »TU's online action center
UPCOMING TU EVENTS
Council Chair Call
Embrace-a-Stream Grants Due
TU turns 50
Evening at Hamersley's Bistro – Boston, MA
Evening at Hook – Washington, DC
San Francisco Gala – San Francisco, CA
Spring Dinner in New York – New York City, NY
TU’s 50th Anniversary – Traverse City, MI
Want to suggest an event for our next newsletter? »Submit a calendar event suggestion online