This blog highlights conservation issues we feel are important to fly fishers and others who love outdoor sports, and we cover the latest and most pressing environmental issues affecting wildlife habitat and resource conservation. Orvis believes that, if we are to benefit from the use of our natural resources and environment, we must be willing to act to preserve them. Therefore, the company commits 5% of pre-tax profits to protecting nature.

Fracturing Our Watersheds

Written by: Eric Rickstad

Back in September, we posted about the dangers to trout habitat in the Northeast as the result of increased “hydrofracking” in the region. Here’s a video that offers some frightening anecdotes about damage already done, as well as a chilling vision of the future of Pennsylvania and New York. Unlike the Pebble Mine battle, this fight must be waged against multiple companies in multiple locations. The fact that these extraction operations offer cash payouts to landowners and good-paying. . .


Interview with TU’s Tim Bristol

Written by: Eric Rickstad

As director of Trout Unlimited’s Alaska Program, Tim Bristol has been on the front lines of the fight against the proposed Pebble Mine.

photo courtesy Tim Bristol

In light of last week’s decision by the EPA to assess the potential impacts of large-scale development on the Bristol Bay watershed, I asked Trout Unlimited’s Alaska Program director, Tim Bristol (no relation to the bay of the same name), if he wouldn’t mind answering a few question.

1. Can you give us a brief overview of where the Pebble Project right now? What is the Pebble Partnership doing?

Pebble is claiming to still be in the pre-permitting phase; they have yet to file for permits. At the same time, they continue to give presentations on the the
tremendous size of the ore body, with recent estimates saying Pebble could generate up to 9 billion tons of waste rock. So, at this time, . . .


Thanks for protecting Bristol Bay

Written by: Eric Rickstad

Last week, we let you know about the EPA’s plans to assess the Bristol Bay watershed in order to understand how future large-scale development like the proposed Pebble Mine may affect its water quality and the bay’s salmon fishery.

We also asked you to give the EPA your input through our easy Take Action page.

Boy did you.

Approximately 6,000 of you sent nearly 23,000 emails to over 550 representatives in DC and to the EPA telling them to use their authority to protect Bristol Bay. We thank you for that.

If you did not get the chance last week, we encourage you to go to the Take Action page now to let the EPA know this resource is too important and rare to risk having the world’s largest open pit mine situated at its headwaters.


Educate Yourself about Pebble Mine

Written by: Eric Rickstad


The largest run of wild sockeye salmon in the world is just one of the natural wonders threatened by the proposed Pebble Mine.

Ever since the Environmental Protection Agency announced that it would assess the Bristol Bay watershed to understand how future large-scale development may affect water quality and the bay’s salmon fishery, opponents of the proposed Pebble mine project have cranked up the pressure on elected officials to get behind the EPA’s effort. If you haven’t already, please take the time to send an email to your state’s members in Congress, asking them to support the effort.

For those who haven’t been following the Pebble Mine debate since it first entered the angling-public consciousness in 2007, here are some links to get you up to speed and to help. . .


Action Alert: The Time to Save Bristol Bay is Here!

Written by: Eric Rickstad

“Finally, the break we’ve been looking for is here!”— Perk Perkins, CEO, The Orvis Company

We’ve just learned the EPA plans to assess the Bristol Bay watershed to understand how future large-scale development may affect water quality and Bristol Bay’s salmon fishery. This is a pivotal step toward protecting this pristine region from the proposed Pebble Mine. Frankly, it’s a step that may not have happened if not for partners like TU and The Sportsman’s Alliance for Alaska, and sportsmen and women such as yourselves working non-stop to help protect the area.

Part of the EPA’s process is to get public input. We encourage you to send your input today to let the EPA know the value you place on the wild resources of this magnificent region.