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.

Bringing back New England’s salter brook trout

Last month, at the American Fisheries Society meeting in Seattle, I sat down with Dr. Andy Danylchuk, assistant professor of fish conservation in the department of Environmental Conservation at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Andy is one of those professors with his hands in a lot of really cool research projects all over the world—from bonefish in. . .

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Art Project Threatens the Arkansas River

Christo Arkansas River

The proposed Over the River project would suspend fabric eight to
twenty feet over Colorado’s scenic Arkansas River.

AP Photo/Christo

The artist Christo Javacheff, creator of The Gates project in Central Park, has proposed a massive industrial-scale art project for Colorado’s Arkansas River. First envisioned in 1992, Over the River would suspend translucent fabric panels above 5.8 miles of the river in several segments along the 45 miles of Bighorn Sheep Canyon. While the artist’s vision may seem compelling, the nuts and bolts of making it happen are quite another matter. The recently released Final Environmental Impact Statement, published by the US Bureau of Land Management, notes threats to. . .

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More evidence that Pebble Mine will be a disaster for Alaska’s sockeye salmon


Written by: Phil Monahan

A host of conservation organizations–including Trout Unlimited, Sportsman’s Alliance for Alaska, and Orvis–has been working for years to stop construction of the Pebble Mine project, which would see the construction of the world’s largest copper and gold mine at the headwaters of the last great wild salmon run in the Bristol Bay region of Alaska. Throughout the debate, the Pebble Limited Partnership has claimed that our fears are unfounded because technological advances will allow them to build this monstrous extraction operation without affecting nearby streams and lakes, which are the spawning grounds for millions of sockeye salmon. This recently released video shows what happens when you fact-check some of these claims. The results are disturbing at best and cast doubt on the viability of the whole operation. To help stop Pebble Mine, visit the Orvis Take Action page.

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Live from the TRCP Media Summit, Day 3


Written by: Phil Monahan

K-T Brown 2

A fine brown taken on the last cast of the day at K-T Ranch in Meeker, Colorado.

photo by Buzz Cox

The final day of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership Western Media Summit continued the run of ridiculously gorgeous weather we’d been on, and I chose to spend it with a small group at the K-T Ranch (pronounced kay-bar-tee) about two hours away in the town of Meeker. A satellite property of The High Lonesome Ranch, the K-T sits on the White River and contains two spring creeks, as well. I fished with Todd Tanner, senior editor at Sporting Classics magazine, and. . .

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Live from the TRCP Media Summit, Day 2


Written by: Phil Monahan

Bill Klyn and Bob Marshall

Bill Klyn (left) and Bob Marshall prepare to wade into the brush to chase pheasants, quail, and chukar.

photo by Phil Monahan

The second day of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership Western Media Summit dawned as gorgeous as the first, and participants had the option of fishing for trout or hunting for pheasants, quail, and chukar. I spent the afternoon in the field with Bill Klyn, of Patagonia, and Bob Marshall, outdoors columnist for both the New Orleans Times-Picayune and Field & Stream, along with our guide, Willy, and his three Labrador retrievers. We walked pretty hard for just a few birds, but. . .

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Live from the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership Media Summit, Day 1


Written by: Phil Monahan

Dawn at the High Lonesome Ranch

Dawn at The High Lonesome Ranch on Day 1 of the TRCP Western Media Summit.

photo by Phil Monahan

For the next two days, I’ll blogging from The High Lonesome Ranch in De Beque, Colorado, where the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership (TRCP) is holding its 8th annual Western Media Summit. The event brings together outdoor journalists from around the country to discuss the most pressing conservation issues of the day. Orvis is one of the sponsors of the summit, so I’m out here with Orvis vice chair Dave Perkins, Rod & Tackle marketing manager Tom Rosenbauer, and hunting product developer Brett Ference to help advance the causes that are part of the Orvis Commitment. We’re joined by media representatives from Field & Stream, Sporting Classics, The Drake, the Salt Lake Tribune, and many others.

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The Greatest Graffito of All Time?


Written by: Phil Monahan

Graffiti is often a blight, but this ingenious artwork is a peaceful demonstration against the continued presence of a California dam that serves no purpose, yet keeps the Ventura River from flowing free and blocks the migration of anadromous fishes. This passage from the website of the Matilija Coalition explains the problem: . . .

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Hurricane Irene Destroys Vermont Fish Hatchery and up to 80,000 Trout


Written by: Phil Monahan

The destruction to homes, bridges and roads across Vermont in the wake of Hurricane Irene has been extreme. (You can see video of the famed Battenkill flooding its banks in a video by our own Phil Monahan here).

On GoFishn, I just read that up to 80,000 trout were lost at theThe Vermont State Fish Hatchery in Roxbury, Vermont. These were fish set to be released into the state’s rivers and streams  in 2012.

From the Times Argus:

As Whalen [supervisor of the hatchery station] walked through the debris-filled, seven-acre area, he pointed to where there had been five ponds and drainage brooks used to raise brook and rainbow trout, which would have been used to stock many of Vermont’s rivers and streams in 2012.

“The buildings are old and tough and didn’t really sustain much damage,” Whalen said.

“I’m sure some of (the fish) made their way to the Third Branch,” Whalen said, referring to the branch of the White River.

Whalen said he and the two other full-time staff were able to capture as many as 10,000 fish and contain them in one of the ponds that had a section of open water, but many of the fish were left to die as the water receded and small pools the fish were in dried up.

Read the rest of the story here.

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