TU celebrates its 49th birthday this week at our annual meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah. The story goes that we were born on the banks of the Au Sable River in Michigan to a group of anglers who believed if we “took care of the fish, the fishing would take care of itself.” Nearly 50 years later, that adage still holds true. And how we take care of the fish is the reason we became TU members.
Energy development, growing population pressures, the effects of climate change, and many other factors can all negatively affect trout and salmon fisheries. Addressing those challenges is the focus of the strategic plan that TU has worked on for the past two years. Two years is a long time, but that time allowed the volunteers, chapters, councils, and National Leadership Council to help shape the strategy. The result is a nice mix of common sense and conservation science. Protect the most important habitats. Reconnect them to downstream areas by removing obsolete dams, improving instream flows, and ensuring that culverts pass fish. Restore the habitats that will yield the biggest benefit to fish for the least cost. Sustain the effort over time by focusing on kids and the capacity of our volunteers so that our work will endure over time.
This more integrated approach is vital to taking care of the fish. It will help local chapters connect their habitat improvement projects to the state council’s efforts to secure better instream flows to the National staff’s work to protect the headwaters. Thomas Edison, the holder of over 1,200 patents, was once asked why he had a team of 20 assistants. He replied, “If I could solve all the problems myself, I would.” The problems confronting trout and salmon are too large for local chapters, state councils, or national staff to overcome alone.
Only by working together, and enlisting others to our cause, can we hope to achieve the TU vision of ensuring that robust populations of native and wild coldwater fish once again thrive within their North American range, so that our children can enjoy healthy fisheries in their home waters.
Thanks for all you do, and 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
PROTECT: Water and Wine: Partners in Wine Country Stewardship
Leading Sonoma County vineyard owners and Trout Unlimited are working together to develop common sense solutions to water supply and stream flow problems in California. Participating landowners will work with TU, the Sonoma County Winegrape Commission, and the Sotoyome Resource Conservation District to come up with a coordinated approach to water management that will improve water supply reliability and stream flows. Steelhead Wine from Quivira Vineyards, proud supporters of TU's Water and Wine program in California, is now available for purchase on their website, www.steelheadwines.com . A portion of the proceeds are donated to TU to help enhance stream flow and improve water supply reliability in Sonoma County. »read more
RESTORE: Penobscot Dam Removal One Step Closer to Reality
In August, Trout Unlimited and its Penobscot River Restoration Trust partners announced that $25 million needed to purchase three dams on Maine's Penobscot River has been raised, bringing restoration of the Penobscot River one step closer to reality. Through one of the most innovative river restoration projects in the nation, access to nearly 1,000 miles of river and stream habitat will be improved for Atlantic salmon. The project is considered the last best chance for wild Atlantic salmon recovery in the country. »read more
Before Congress left for recess in August, things on the Hill weren’t going so well. Energy issues, especially how to bring down the price of gasoline, dominated any floor debate and stalled movement of pending legislation. Congress is returning in September and will likely be in session for three weeks before adjourning for the elections. We expect energy legislation to be back on the floor when they return and we anticipate any legislation to focus on lifting the outer continental shelf drilling ban, an issue in which TU has not been actively engaged.
We are still hopeful that an omnibus public lands package (of 93 bills) will be on the floor for a vote in September. This package includes a number of TU-supported bills, including the 1.2 million acre Wyoming Range oil and gas withdrawal; the Copper-Salmon Wilderness bill in Oregon; the West Virginia Wilderness Bill; the statutory recognition of the National Landscape Conservation System for the Bureau of Land Management; the Idaho Owyhee Wilderness Bill; and the California San Joaquin River Settlement Act. If this package passes the Senate, it will move to the House for its approval. »TU's online action center
UPCOMING TU EVENTS
Trout Unlimited's On the Rise is currently traveling around the country, filming and fishing for the 2009 season. The show recently visited the Musconetcong in New Jersey, saw TU's efforts on Big Run in West Virginia as well as the West Branch of the Susquehanna in Pennsylvania. In August, the show traveled to Missoula, Montana to document the effects of a historic dam removal on the Clark Fork River. Upcoming filming will take place in Wyoming, California, Wisconsin and Michigan. »Trout Unlimited: On the Rise
12 - 14 Annual Meeting - Snowbird Resort near Salt Lake City, Utah www.tu.org/annualmeeting
3 - 4 TU-Sponsored McKenzie River Two-Fly Tournament - Eugene, Oregon
18 Chesapeake Cold Water Symposium - Hagerstown, Maryland
5 Save Wild Steelhead Festival - Bozeman, Montana
10 Embrace-a-Stream grants due
TU’s 50th Anniversary – Traverse City, Michigan
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