Some of America’s wildest lands should staty that way if a legal decision last month in Washington has any staying power. The U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia threw out the state of Alaska’s last-ditch effort to undermine the 2001 Roadless Rule, which protects some 50 million acres of public lands, including Alaska’s Tongass National Forest, the nation’s largest and, I would argue, fishiest.
The court decision could well be the last legal hurdle the Roadless Rule needs to clear—in every court challenge over the last 16 years, American public opinion and the steadfast will of conservation groups across the country (including TU) have prevailed. It’s a big public lands victory during a time when public lands are continuously under threat from special interests and state and federal lawmakers. One factor has remained consistent, however: American love their public lands, and they’re not afraid to let lawmakers know.
Here’s what else is happening in fishing and conservation:
- A 33-percent cut to the EPA could have a drastic impact on federal watershed health funding in Montana.
- Don’t think salmon reproduction is that big of a deal? Well… salmon sex can move mountains. Literally.
- After hundreds of thousands of farmed Atlantic salmon escaped into Puget Sound this summer, Canada’s First Nations are calling for a ban on salmon farming.
- A Catholic priest in Butte, Mont., had most of his fishing gear that was stolen from his vehicle returned to him. To celebrate, he went fishing.
- How a horrible food fish (but a great fly rod fish) might find itself in big trouble thanks to desperate fish markets.
- Legendary redfish fly fisher Pete Cooper died this month. Many credit Cooper for shining light on the fall redfish run near Venice, La. Godspeed, Pete.