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Trump is attacking trout streams on multiple fronts

By Troutnut on January 24th, 2017, 1:33 pm
I would love nothing more than to be able to keep this website apolitical and stick to fishing.

Unfortunately, a sizable minority of our population voted for Donald Trump, and now those of us who care about the environment are in for the fight of our lives. All of us with a platform to reach the public now have an obligation to call attention to what he's doing and why it's wrong.

The Pebble Mine

One key battle concerns the proposed Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay, Alaska. If built, it would be the world's largest open-pit gold and copper mine. I do not categorically oppose all mining, because we need materials to build things, and there are many places to extract minerals without major long-term risks to the environment. However, the Pebble Mine might be in the single worst location on the entire planet for this type of mine. Even the late Republican Senator Ted Stevens, an ardent supporter of resource development if ever there was one, called Pebble, "the wrong mine in the wrong place."

As an ore mine that would use chemical leaching processes to extract minerals, the Pebble Mine would store a massive reservoir of toxic chemicals behind the world's largest earthen tailings dam in a very seismically active area. Worse yet, it straddles the headwaters of two of the major river systems (the Kvichak and Nushagak) feeding into Bristol Bay. Bristol Bay supports the largest sockeye salmon fishery in the world and an estimated $1.5 billion in annual economic activity. Of all salmon species, sockeye are especially susceptible to a major spill because so much of their reproduction depends on lakes rather than small tributaries, meaning a spill in any tributary that flows into the lake could be devastating. Leaks from the mine into the Kvichak system would flow into Lake Iliamna, the largest lake in Alaska and a major sockeye producer.

For more details on the Pebble Mine, see the efforts to stop it by Trout Unlimited, the Natural Resources Defense Council. It's also opposed by the locals, the Bristol Bay Native Corporation. Conservationists were hopeful that this long battle had been won when the Anglo American and Rio Tinto mining companies walked away from the project.

Just about the only ones who want this mine built are Northern Dynasty Minerals, the Canadian mining company that owns the mineral rights, and now Donald Trump. The CEO of Northern Dynasty said today that the Trump administration has a desire to permit the mine and they're looking for a new partner to develop it. In short, Trump is trying to fast-track a project that would endanger a priceless treasure of the natural world, and thousands of American jobs that depend on it, solely to create profits for a foreign corporation.

The Clean Water Rule

Trump is also targeting the Clean Water Rule, a set of EPA guidelines clarifying how existing law applies to water bodies such as small streams. You can view a series of fact sheets about the Clean Water Rule on the EPA website right now. (I've downloaded them all to mirror in case they get scrubbed from the site.) As a fish ecologist I can vouch for the rich scientific literature documenting the importance of headwater streams to the water quality and productivity of downstream rivers. They need protection for that reason, but they're also treasured in their own right by small-stream anglers everywhere. This one could directly affect the streams you fish. The rule also protects wetlands critical to fish and wildlife.

Just as importantly, the rule exists to close a loophole being used by developers in response to the Clean Water Act legislation. The Clean Water Act prohibited dumping toxic waste directly into major rivers, so polluters started dumping it into smaller water bodies that drain into those clearly protected rivers. The Clean Water Rule closes this loophole.

Small streams. I like them. Preferably without toxic waste.

The Trump administration is committed to eliminating the rule. From their new website:

For too long, we’ve been held back by burdensome regulations on our energy industry. President Trump is committed to eliminating harmful and unnecessary policies such as the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the U.S. rule. Lifting these restrictions will greatly help American workers, increasing wages by more than $30 billion over the next 7 years.

They made that $30 billion number up -- it's one of those "alternative facts." An analysis by actual scientists and economists found that the rule has a positive economic impact. The protected waters contribute value to the tourism industry, and the act of protecting them creates jobs because companies have to spend money (and hire people) to do right by the environment. So the rule is good for everyone in the economy except the people at the very top who want to increase their profits by cutting environmental corners and paying fewer employees.

For more details, see coverage by Hatch Magazine.

More to come

I'm sure this is just the beginning. I will continue to speak out as much as I can when it's necessary, and I'm afraid it's going to be necessary a lot.

Most recent comments on this post (latest on top)

David82ndMay 26th, 2017, 5:18 am
Upstate,New York

Posts: 63
Wow that was his first post ! All I can say is I'm very scared for our future waters the human race is going to destroy everything we have, it's sad , I was reading the other day. " I think Trout unlimited ? They are predicting trout to become extinct in the near future on many of California waters , this is pretty sad ,
Jmd123May 25th, 2017, 2:16 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2146
"fricking panty twisting bed wetting liberal punk"

Sounds like someone who didn't graduate 7th grade - or am I being too generous?

Please leave this one up, Jason - it proves our point about Trump supporters...

"...I suspect that deep down you would like to fish with worms."

Oh, owww!!! You're so mean!! Are you TRYING to prove our point or is this just a parody?

BTW, Jason owns, runs, and constructed this website and so what he says goes. So you can go spew your mindless Trump worship drivel on some right-wing political jerk-off site and stick to FISHING.

Also, BTW, Jason has been involved in fisheries management for so long he now has a PhD in it. YOUR job? YOUR education? Are YOU qualified to discuss the impact of Trump's policies on trout streams? Do you know anything about stream ecology or management? Or, are you one of those "poorly educated" that he loves so much?? Your simple-minded superlatives about Trump (of course, just like he does) show that NONE of the above knowledge do you possess, you're just another dumb loudmouthed GOP Trump worshipper who loves to blather on about things he (or she) knows little to nothing about.

Now, I really can't wait to see what names you are gonna call me. Of which none you would be man enough to call me to my face.

There, did it again, engaged another Trump supporter! Now back to people who have and actually use their brains.


P.S. DT will get himself impeached well before the end of his first term, he's working on it right now. That's the LEAST they can do to a traitor who gives secrets to the enemy right in the Oval Office. (Let's hear ya defend the Russians, then I can call you a name, one I used to use in the Army. Starts with a C...) So sure, see ya in 8 years.
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
RedneckMay 25th, 2017, 12:34 pm
Lost in delusion

Posts: 1
So much for remaining apolitical you fricking panty twisting bed wetting liberal punk. You pretend to stay above the fray until someone posts with a view contrary to yours, and then rather than engaging that person you censor their post.

Donald Trump will go down as one of our greatest presidents, mark my words. I'll discuss this with you in 8 years, that is if you haven't melted down in a fit of self denial! You are a little man, and I suspect that deep down you would like to fish with worms.

Other than that this is a heckuva good website.
PaulRobertsMay 11th, 2017, 7:38 am

Posts: 1771
I too have been engaging Trump supporters. Out of curiosity, and bc I am aware that there is a gulf in access to opportunity that many people are really feeling. I believe Trump simply took advantage of that. I don't believe he has any answers and his actions have more than proved that out.

This is a test of the strength and resiliency of our Democracy in light of such debacle.
MartinlfApril 27th, 2017, 5:47 pm
Palmyra PA

Posts: 2753
I would encourage folks to engage in a calm and respectful way with any Trump supporters they know personally. Adirman's response indicates that there are folks who support him who are not deplorable. Don't get me wrong. I despise Trump, and believe he is nothing but a narcissistic con man. And I find it hard to imagine how anyone could vote for Trump who cares about truth, respecting others, fairness, and our miraculous world that sustains us physically, emotionally, and spiritually. But I have several friends who do support him, and I value them. My hope is that my resistance to Trump, and the reasons I share for it will in time lead to a reevaluation of their positions. As depressed as I was after the election, I see signs of hope. More than one person has come out to say I voted for him, and no longer support him. The truth is getting out, and if we keep our voices strong and united, Trump's days in power will be limited to the current term. Along with Trump we need to send those who are trying to enact his agenda home as well.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell

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