Trout Unlimited National Office
Rating: 5 stars 1 1 review 219
1777 North Kent Street No 100 Arlington VA 22209 USA
To conserve, protect, and restore north america's coldwater fisheries and their watersheds.
Protect:bristol bay in alaska remained tu's largest conservation priority in 2014, and the environmental protection agency's planned use of the clean water act's 404c provision to restrict mining in the region is of particular interest to the organization. The area is home to the most economically important salmon runs on the planet, and keeping the freshwater habitat intact for spawning and rearing is vital for the fishery and the 14,000 jobs that depend on healthy salmon returns every single year. Tu's members led the effort to submit comments on the epa's draft watershed assessment on bristol bay, and they asked specifically for the epa to restrict mining in bristol bay, using the 404c provisions under the clean water act to do that. In the summer of 2014, the epa's report on the watershed indicated it would use such provisions to keep habitat intact and protect the region's important fishery. Currently, we await a final ruling from the agency. In the east, tu compiled and released a report on "10 special places" that lie within the marcellus and utica shale formations that provide excellent fishing and hunting opportunities, but could face eventual threats from natural gas extraction. Tu worked with sportsmen and women throughout the region to ensure responsible energy development, part of which is identifying quality habitat for wild and native trout, important game habitat and, by extension, areas important to hunters and anglers. These 10 special places are of acute interest to sportsmen and women. The report and more details on 10 special places can be found online at www. Tu. Org/special-places. In the west, tu volunteers were successful in leading several public lands protection campaigns to keep intact vital habitat for fish and wildlife, and for the sportsmen and women who depend on this habitat for outdoor opportunity. In colorado, tu's longtime effort to protect the rare and native colorado river cutthroat trout atop the roan plateau was successful when a federal judge ruled that an existing natural gas leasing plan was not compatible with the uses atop the plateau. The leasing plan will begin anew, with provisions prohibiting drilling near sensitive trout waters. Also in colorado, tu helped protect the hermosa creek drainage, an important tributary to the animas river and home to native colorado river cutthroat trout. Working through a collaborative effort, tu's volunteers, along with cyclists, atv enthusiasts and local elected officials, agreed to protect new wilderness in the hermosa headwaters while allowing existing uses to continue along the hermosa creek trail. In nevada, local stakeholders worked with local, state and federal lawmakers to pass the pine forest wilderness act, which sets aside vital hunting and fishing grounds for sportsmen and women as wilderness and releases from wilderness study status some public lands that could not be restored due to that status. The renowned blue lakes area is also protected in the pine forest wilderness act, and several small drainages that have lahontan cutthroat trout recovery potential. In new mexico, tu volunteers helped protect the valles caldera and the columbine-hondo areas in perpetuity by working collaboratively with local, state and federal lawmakers to ensure opportunity exists for all interested parties, while protecting key habitat for native rio grande cutthroat trout. In montana, tu was instrumental in helping protect the headwaters of the flathead river, home to native westslope cutthroat trout and bull trout, from new oil and gas leasing. The area is of vital interest to sportsmen and women, and the agreement to protect these lands helped keep america's agreement with canada intact when it comes to protecting vital waters that flow across our international border. Reconnect:throughout the country, tu volunteers work to reconnect tributary streams to mainstem rivers, which allow wild and native fish to migrate into headwater streams to spawn. Our biggest effort on this front is with the orvis company, which helps tu with funding for culvert removal projects through the 1,000 miles campaign. The goal is to reconnect 1,000 miles of habitat throughout the country in 10 years. In 2014, we marked our third year of progress through this campaign, and we have reconnected over 300 miles of habitat ranging from oregon to maine. Reconnection efforts on timber creek, a tributary to the greybull river, included the removal of a decades old dam to allow for upstream passage for native yellowstone cutthroat trout to historical spawning and rearing habitat. In montana we are reconnecting wasson spring creek to nevada spring creek, and nevada spring creek to the blackfoot river to create new spawning and rearing habitat for mainstem fish. In the east, tu has been working with the monongahela national forest on the east fork and helped to open more than 20 miles of headwater forage, spawning and rearing habitat to free passage. Tu staff obliterated 15 miles of abandoned east fork logging roads to help restore drought flows. Tu also held the first-of-its-kind advanced aquatic organism passage workshop for 15 resource professionals. Restore:in the kettle creek watershed of pennsylvania, tu's longtime efforts to clean up long-abandoned coal mines is truly paying dividends in 2014, native brook trout were sampled in some waters of the drainage that were declared "dead" from the impacts of acid mine runoff. This effort has persisted for nearly 15 years, and to see native fish return to waters that were once sterile due to past mining is truly gratifying. Similar results are happening throughout the west, where tu and its volunteers are leading the effort to clean up after abandoned hard rock mines. In places like kerber creek in colorado, once dead streams are now habitable for wild and native trout. In watersheds like idaho's blackfoot river, restoration efforts that include putting once productive trout waters back into their original channels is working, thanks to collaborative efforts with agricultural interests and industry to return the vitality and functionality to these waters that are home to native yellowstone cutthroat trout. In the east, similar restoration efforts are paying dividends. In virginia's mossy creek, for example, rerouting the renowned spring creek to its original channel is improving water quality and habitat for large wild trout in the shenandoah valley, and opening up the very real possibility of reintroducing native brook trout to this cherished stream. In elkins, west virginia, tu hosted a professional "large wood workshop" that was attended by 75 people from across the nation. Tu also completed an assessment of 190 miles of stream habitat, and 200 miles of abandoned roads in the upper potomac for work in the coming decade. Tu completed its first comprehensive farm bill project, including 1,600 feet of habitat restoration on lower white thorn creek. West virginia fencing operations installed more than 120,000 feet of fencing in 2014, allowing streams and riparian habitat to heal from grazing impacts. In the driftless area, tu continued assisting landowners with implementing conservation practices, stabilizing steambanks with additional habitat for game and nongame species, and managing grazing with livestock producers. Approximately 12 miles of streams were restored, and over 22 grazing plans totaling 2,200 acres were developed.
sustain:throughout the country, tu is working to bring young people into conservation through our trout in the classroom and five rivers (college chapters) programs. These students are the next generation of tu leaders and american conservationists-giving them a firm understanding of tu's collaborative stewardship approach to protecting, reconnecting and restoring our nation's trout and salmon waters gives them the tools they'll need to make a difference in their local communities. Additionally, tu, through out veterans services partnership, helps wounded warrior discover the healing power of the water through fishing. Tu and its chapters sponsor fishing outings, fly tying events and social gatherings for veterans of combat so they may discover the peace and tranquility of time spent on the water.
government affairs:tu's government affairs staff worked diligently in the halls of the federal government to push important legislation, oppose bad policy, and support vital conservation funding from coast to coast. For example, tu's government affairs staff:-supported efforts by the epa and the u. S. Army corps of engineers to restore protections to headwater streams under the clean water act. -worked with lawmakers to ensure vital farm bill funding includes projects that restore and protect waters important to both the agricultural industry and to sportsmen and women. -worked with tu's alaska program on the epa's watershed assessment of bristol bay. -is fighting to ensure the federal land and water conservation fund remains intact and is funded for inland conservation work using royalties from offshore drilling efforts. -supported the public lands renewable energy act in hopes of achieving important conservation inclusions in the bill that would provide mitigation funds from lease royalties that can be used to protect, restore and reconnect important fish and game habitat.
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Today TU is a national organization with more than 140,000 volunteers organized into about 400 chapters from Maine to Montana to Alaska. This dedicated grassroots army is matched by a respected staff of lawyers, policy experts and scientists, who work out of more than 30 offices nationwide. These conservation professionals ensure that TU is at the forefront of fisheries restoration work at the local, state and national levels.
The organization remains committed to applying "the very best information and thinking available" in its conservation work and has developed cutting-edge tools such as the Conservation Success Index (CSI), a sophisticated framework for assessing the health of coldwater fish species throughout their native range. Whether this range encompasses a few hundred miles or multiple states, the CSI helps the organization target its efforts toward those populations most in need of protection or restoration.
The CSI also enables TU to measure its progress in achieving the bold goals laid out in its mission and vision. These goals require the organization to work at increasingly larger scales, and to collaborate with other conservation interests, local communities and state and federal partners to begin to rebuild the natural resiliency of watersheds. Such efforts are crucial if North America's trout and salmon are to survive climate change and the host of threats facing them at the start of the 21st century.
Nearly 50 years after its founding, no other conservation organization is as well placed as TU to make a difference for the nation's coldwater fisheries.
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