The Moving Forward Act would mark a major win for clean water and healthy trout and salmon populations
This month in Congress, we have a remarkable opportunity that doesn’t come along very often—a chance to pass major legislation that would put Americans back to work while also promising cleaner water, healthier rivers and rebounding trout and salmon fisheries.
The Moving Forward Act, which cleared the House this week by a vote of 233-188, is the long-awaited “infrastructure bill,” and we here at Trout Unlimited have saved you the tedious work of reading its 2,309 pages about highways and rail systems and water projects.
There’s a lot of goodness in this bill for trout, salmon and those who love them.
TU is enthusiastically supporting this important legislation, as Chris Wood outlined in his letter to House leaders this week on behalf of our 370,000 members and supporters.
Why it matters to Trout Unlimited
Here are five things this bill would make possible:
- Cleaner streams and better fish habitat, thanks to Clean Water Act programs, sport fisheries restoration, and Chesapeake and Great Lakes conservation, all of which see continued and increasing levels of funding.
- Smarter drought policy the West, through new initiatives and investments in water infrastructure, water supply security, and watershed resiliency.
- Healthier public lands, courtesy of the bipartisan Public Land Renewable Energy Development Act, which balances the protection of fish and wildlife habitat with the need for new energy sources; and the U.S. Forest Service Legacy Roads and Trails program, which helps maintain roads and reconnect streams on national forest lands.
- New life for waters polluted by historic mining, with a 15-year extension of funding for abandoned mine cleanup work and new rules to make it simpler for “Good Samaritan” groups take on this work and make streams healthier and fishing better.
- More connected rivers and streams, via financing to address flood and wildfire risks before the next natural disaster.
All this is great news for the work TU does for trout and salmon.
It would help our field crews continue their watershed-scale projects to restore streams and reconnect habitat. It would help our Western water policy team keep water in the streams when trout and salmon need it. It would bolster TU’s long and successful partnership with the Forest Service, and support our abandoned mine work from Colorado to Pennsylvania.
We won’t get something this rare and ambitious through Congress without your help, so please reach out to your Senators today and explain why the provisions in H.R. 2 matter to anglers and conservationists like you.
Steve Moyer is Vice President for Government Affairs.