Trout Unlimited has crafted its own legacy of protection

A angler fishes Hermosa Creek in Colorado.

Legacy. It’s a small word, but it emotes big energy. It means someone — or a group of someones — has left behind a lasting footprint that guides a discipline years, even decades, later.

That’s what Trout Unlimited has done. It created a legacy and blazed a trail for others to follow when it comes to protecting the fish and wildlife habitat that is treasured by anglers and hunters all over the country. 

Nearly two decades ago, TU embarked on a path to  the last best places to fish and hunt on public lands in the West. We examined the threats to America’s common treasure — the lands that, by law and decree, belong to every single American, both native and naturalized — and crafted plans to protect them. We both stared down and worked with the oil and gas industry and insisted that our public lands be leased and drilled responsibly. We enlisted bona fide anglers and hunters to organize their peers and got them off the bench and into the conservation game. We collaborated with federal agencies, lobbied lawmakers and showed the world what was at stake. 

And in the process, we embarked on a journey that would protect millions of acres of vital fish and game habitat, safeguard angling and hunting opportunity and change the way conservation is done all over the country. 

We built our legacy. And we’re not done yet. You can see for yourself how our volume of work has kept our public lands intact, from coast to coast in TU’s new Legacy of Protection report. And, while it’s great to celebrate our achievements — and they are many — it’s good to know that this legacy is but a foundation for the work to come. Many iconic landscapes around the West and across the nation face threats that come with the times. We’re working to apply TU’s unique brand of conservation to modern-day challenges that threaten our nation’s own unique public lands legacy.

We hope you’ll join us, both in paying homage to the work we’ve done and the progress we claim, and in our future efforts to ensure that what’s wild and sacred in America remains so. 

Our legacy is just our beginning.

By Chris Hunt.