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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)

Jmd123January 27th, 2017, 6:22 am
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2070
It begins!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/twitter-resistance-federal-gag-order_us_588a898fe4b0303c0752d031?dtuyz51svufyzm2t9&

No, we're not going to take this sitting down. Ummm, actually, we are sitting down as we send out our messages of defiance. We will NOT be silenced!

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Jmd123January 26th, 2017, 4:52 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2070
Flyfishen24, why am I not surprised. Immediately after the election, I predicted a mass case of "buyer's remorse". Which leads one to "caveat emptor" - let the buyer beware. I suppose you're feeling that right now. You have my sympathy, honestly, it sounds like you feel awful.

Well, take heart, if the folks who voted for him like you "wake up and smell the coffee" that means he has a lot more opposition, and how is he going to do when his followers abandon him? He thrives on adoration, like any narcissist, he just has to be the center of attention and adored by all. Just look at how he is acting now, he's IN the freakin' White House and he's still pissing and moaning about the fact that he lost the popular vote, he is so insecure about that he is going to start an "investigation" to look for (nonexistent) "illegal voting" (while his main man Steve Bannon was registered to vote in TWO STATES). And how about that inauguration thing? Can't get over the fact that his was so much less attended than Obama's, painfully obvious when you see the photos (I guess next they're gonna say they've been doctored somehow). We sure as hell don't need an insecure narcissist as president (I won't capitalize that word when talking about him), nor a pathological liar who tries to tell you not to trust your own eyes (George Orwell, anyone? You know, 1984, Animal Farm...)

Here's the deal: he's in WAAAAY over his head, and doing exactly what the Right hated about Obama, governing by Executive Order, hasn't even BEEN to Congress yet, sure looks, sounds, and acts like a DICTATOR. "if it walks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck..." And here's the other deal: he hasn't a clue how much politicians are hated by one side, the other, or BOTH, and now he IS ONE and subject to all of the hatred and scorn we have been heaping on our politicians for around 200 years. He can't handle it because not only do we not all LOVE him, but a majority of Americans dislike him in at least some way and aren't afraid to say so, and his NPD requires him to lash out at all of those people. Well waaaa waaaa waaaa - ever heard that old phrase, "I you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen!"

And one more thing: for such a bunch of "he-men" macho, tough-guy types, they sure do WHINE an awful lot. Waaa, the press is being mean to us! Waaaa, my crowd is STILL bigger than Obama's! Waaaa, I should have won the popular vote because everyone loves me so much, so it must be voter fraud! Geez, I could NEVER take these guys on a field job, the first mosquito bite or thorny bush snag on their Armani suits would send them fleeing back to their limos. Yeah, so strong and masculine, must be why almost none of them ever served in the military, of course except for The Donald himself who, after being placed in a military academy for problem boys (bullying, etc.) during his teenage years, knows more than the generals and, most guys who actually served in the military...oh yeah, should I mention the deferments and the "retractable bone spurs" that kept little wussy boy from serving his country in Vietnam (Mohammed Ali just refused to go, said send me to jail if you want, I stand on principle - A REAL MAN). They're not men, they are man-babies, and chickenhawks, sending others to war when they were too chicken to go themselves...oh geez I could go on for another ten pages.

So, you've realized your mistake, well do something to make amends. Work against this man, not sure I can even call him that, he's so much more like a petulant, insecure teenage boy who has to bully everyone around him just so he can feel good about himself. Oh yeah, been there, dealt with a whole lot of those types as a child, can spot 'em a mile away, and they can thank their lucky stars that they did it back then, and not now, when my tolerance level is in the negative and I am very well armed. Anyway, if you understand now what he is going to try to do - become our first official tin-pot dictator through whom all power in our society flows - you must listen to your conscience and oppose his anti-democracy agenda, and allowance of Russian influence to penetrate our government in a away the Soviets could only imagine in their wet dreams!

Really, really wish you, and most other people, hadn't voted for him, as you are now all to blame. Well, you OWE us, so HELP us. Especially if you love your trout streams, wildlife, National Parks, clean air, your children's & grandchildren's future, our Constitution, our way of life and freedoms, and Planet Earth as a whole.

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Flyfishen24January 26th, 2017, 2:20 pm
Posts: 5Sad part is I voted for him and dont even like him. Reading this and hearing all his rhetoric this last week I'm extremely disappointed!!
Jmd123January 25th, 2017, 5:53 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2070
Just had to post this, as Trump wants to bring back torture because "it works". Well now, let's see how well it works:

"How did Sen. McCain respond when he was tortured? "Pressed for more useful information, I gave the names of the Green Bay Packers offensive line, and said they were members of my squadron. When asked to identify future targets, I simply recited the names of a number of North Vietnamese cities that had already been bombed.”

I also heard that tortured American pilots gave out as much false info as they could, with no way of the NV torturers to check on the info. Such as, multiplying the performance capabilities of the F-4 Phantom by 3 (3 times as fast, 3 times the bomb load, 3 times the range, etc.). And there's a good possibility that such figures, if they believed them, would scare the hell out of them. "By the way, that Vulcan gun pumps out 18,000 rounds per minute..."

Yeah, torture works, if you want to be told BULLSHIT just to stop the torture. Inaccurate info won't help your cause, though, and that's the risk you take, which can involve getting lots of your own people KILLED. And OUR PEOPLE TORTURED. Good job, you freaking morons, the Army knows more about interrogations than you idiots, and they don't recommend torture!

Yes, I admit I am a student of military history. Which pisses me off even more when I hear these empty-skulled boneheads discuss military issues as if they have ZERO understanding of history. Hey dummies, Iran and China won't be the walk-overs that Iraq was...and China has NUKES.

Jonathon

P.S. What DOES work? Pumping up the ego of the person you are interrogating, so they start bragging and spill the beans voluntarily. "Wow, we heard you were REALLY IMPORTANT in this organization! We were LUCKY to capture someone like you!" "Oh yeah, I blah blah blah, and they put me in charge of blah blah blah..." "Wow, you're one hell of a warrior! Keep talking..."

You get more flies with honey than vinegar. Beat someone and they will always oppose you in any way they can. Praise someone, and it's simply amazing what you can get somebody to do, even an enemy. Or find out if the guy is a smoker and take away his cigs!! A few days of nicotine withdrawal should serve as torture enough, with a bunch of cigs smoked by the interrogators. "You really, REALLY want one of these, don't you?"
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
MartinlfJanuary 25th, 2017, 5:15 pm
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 2681
At the rate he is stepping on feet and making life difficult for the GOP leadership, I really do not expect Trump to survive politically until the 2018 mid-terms, let alone until 2020.


Oh, Lee, I so hope you are right. Thanks for sending some optimism our way; we need it. We also must work to get more electable democrats out there for the next cycle of elections. I do think the nation as a whole is going to regret Trump and move more blue in the future.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell

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