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.

The Vanishing Salmon of California’s Bay-Delta Estuary


Written by: Phil Monahan

 

 

The San Francisco Bay Delta is formed where the San Joaquin and Sacramento Rivers join in Northern California. The delta is an important resource for both fisherman and farmers. However, as with many rivers systems, far more water has been diverted from these rivers for irrigation than is needed for the farming, and the fish populations are being devastated. In this compelling video by the NRDC, we learn that salmon populations dropped from 1.4 million to 39,000 between 2002 and 2009, a 90% collapse. But action is being taken, and awareness of the problem is being raised, in part by videos such as this one above.

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Authors Rick Bass and David James Duncan’s Book Helps Fight Mega-Trucking Corridor in the Rockies


Written by: Eric Rickstad

 

All Against the Haul is group organized to protest the construction of a permanent industrial corridor along rural roads in the Northwest and Northern Rockies, which oil companies will use for mega-trucking to get the Alberta tar sands. Renowned writers Rick Bass and David James Duncan collaborated on a book about this impact his proposed corridor could have on the region, and the world.

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Cleaning Up The Yellowstone River Oil Spill


Written by: Phil Monahan

yellowstone river

More than 240 miles of The Yellowstone River were affected by the spill
Fortunately for anglers, and small consolation for other folks,
 the spill did not affect trout fishing in its blue ribbon strecth

Did ExxonMobil understimate their initial claim of how much oil spilled into the Yellowstone River when a pipe ruptured back on July 1? They may well have, since they first claimed they stopped the leak in minutes, but regulators have since learned it actually took an hour to stop the leak. This according to an insightful update on the American Rivers newsroom blog by Scott Bosse.

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Yellowstone River Oil Spill Update


Written by: Eric Rickstad

yellowstone river

The Yellowstone River

The EPA updated its site yesterday regarding ExxonMobil’s clean-up plan for the oil spill on the Yellowstone River, which, though it did affect ranchers and other landowners, has NOT affected fishing. In part, the EPA stated:

“Over the weekend, ExxonMobil delivered a draft work plan to EPA. The work plan contains seven elements. EPA has determined three of those elements require further clarification and scope definition by the company. EPA has instructed ExxonMobil to provide a revised plan within the week. Those three areas that will be addressed are the oil recovery containment, source release area, and remediation sections of the plan.”

UPDATE: Jason Elkins of Orvis Travel notes that fly fishermen traveling to Montana have little to fear from the oil slick. “Although this is a serious issue, trout fishermen may be relieved to know that the spill is located far downstream from any trout habitat. Anglers planning to fish in Yellowstone Park or on the Yellowstone River this summer will not be impacted by the oil spill.”

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NRDC Puts Spotlight on Bristol Bay/Pebble Mine Issue


Written by: Eric Rickstad

lake
Lake Clark National Park, Bristol Bay, Alaska
photo by Matt Skoglund

 

The other day I got a letter from Robert Redford. No, he wasn’t solicting a film script from me. Instead, he was urging me, via his position at the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), to take action against the threat of Pebble Mine to Bristol Bay, Alaska. Even though I have written a great deal on the Pebble Mine issue and contributed in every way possible to help prevent the mine and to bring exposure to the threat, I was greatly encouraged to see the materials from the NRDC arrive by mail. It means that the level of exposure is growing, and more important players are becoming involved.

Shortly after that package arrived, a colleague here sent me a link to an NRDC blog about the issue. It was written by Matt Skolgund and has the personal angle to which many of us can relate. As Matt wrote:

If this nightmare known as the Pebble Mine is allowed to go forward, it will be – take a deep breath – a 2,000-foot-deep, two-mile-long gold and copper mine with gigantic earthen dams built to hold back some 10 billion tons of mining waste. Roads will be built, and the mine will be smack dab in the middle of a known earthquake zone.

Pebble Mine will inflict irreversible damage on Bristol Bay, including the permanent destruction of dozens of miles of wild salmon habitat. That’s why NRDC has joined Alaskan Natives, anglers, hunters and other conservation organizations to fight this wretched proposal.

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