TU in Action: Defending public lands

The Salmon River and the fabled Sawtooth Mountains of central Idaho. Photo by Chris Hunt.

Trout Unlimited members in the West have a message for state legislatures that want to keep trying to “transfer” American public lands to the states: Keep your damn hands off our birthright. As noted in this great High Country News piece that appeared in the Jackson Hole News and Guide, western sportsmen and women live where they live because the land in shared American ownership suits their lifestyles—and those lifestyles involve hunting and fishing. You’ll recognize Jerry and Terry Myers, TU volunteers who fought like the devil during the 2018 election cycle to ensure that both parties’ candidates for Idaho’s open governor’s position opposed stripping ownership of Idaho’s public lands from the American citizenry and reassigning that ownership to the state. 

The fight continues in state legislatures around the West. As TU’s Michael Gibson put it:

“The overarching thing that every sportsman can agree on is public-lands defense,” said Michael Gibson of Trout Unlimited. “Over beers or at meetings, we might argue about regulations or season length. But whether the season is a week or a month, or you keep two fish or four fish, you have to have access to them.”

Here’s what else is happening in the TU universe:

  • TU volunteers in Maryland are helping veterans get into fly fishing as a way of coping with the stresses of war and injuries. Across the country, hundreds of chapters are involved with TU’s Veteran Services Partnership.
  • Last fall, TU volunteers helped restock Arizona trout streams with native Apache trout.
  • An editorial in the Appeal-Democrat in central California applauds the Yuba River Accord as the right way to collaborate for the common good. TU is a vital partner in that accord. 
  • TU volunteers in Payson, Ariz., work regularly to keep a local lake clean. Cleanups like this are common all over America thanks to TU chapters. 
  • Speaking of protecting our public lands … in Nevada, TU is part of a coalition of conservation groups hoping to protect the Ruby Mountains, which offer the best opportunities for restoring native lahontan cutthroat trout. 

— Chris Hunt

TU and our staff and volunteers are in the news every single day. That’s because we work every single day to do whatever it takes to make fishing better in America.


By Chris Hunt.