Public Lands and Waters Issues
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Public Lands and Waters Issues

Public Lands and Waters Issues

Conservation of fishes and their habitats is fundamental to preserving our opportunities to fly fish. These landscapes collectively exist under ownerships, laws and public policies as public lands and waters.  They provide essential homes to a vast array of wildlife, plant and insect species, including those that may be threatened or endangered with extinction. What must not be forgotten is that these very landscapes of minerals, waters and plants are essential to our own quality of life as human habitat.  They provide our fresh air and clean water and they sequester the carbons we emit into the atmosphere.  These lands and waters must be protected for our recreational interests and our quality of life as humans.


MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT - January 2023

U.S. Forest Service announced that the Roadless Rule has been reinstated for more than 9.3 millions acres of the Tongass National Forest in Southeast Alaska.  The rule will protect this vast temperate rainforest that is habitat for salmon, steelhead and many other species of fish and wildlife from impacts associated with new road construction and clear-cut logging of old growth forests.  FFI supported this regulatory action in June, 2021.  Click here to read the letter. 

Click Here to Read Letter

Secretary Haaland also signed a rule this week cemented historic protections for the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness that withdraws 223,304 acres of the Rainy River Watershed of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness/Superior National Forest in Northeast Minnesota from mineral leasing for a period of 20 years.  The rule specifically will protect the Rainy River Watershed, its function and down stream areas of the Wilderness from threats associated with hard rock mining.  FFI also commented directly to Headquarters of the National Forest in support of the proposed rule in July 2022.

Click Here to Read Letter

Clearly, protection of these natural landscapes is significant in many regards.  They serve as habitat for many species of fish and wildlife…”critical habitat” for some…and contribute to our preservation of the “Fly Fishing Legacy”.  Perhaps more importantly though, preservation of these millions of acres of diverse and healthy plant communities will assure these plants will continue to do what only plants can do, which is to capture and store atmospheric carbon they use in their processing of clean air and fresh water.  These conservation actions are “good” for fish, wildlife and our own qualities of life and serve as a model for global conservation of natural landscapes.

 

FFI's Actions

  • 5/20/2024 - Letter to US Federal Adminstration Office Of National Environment - Supports a proposed program focused on the use of natural solutions and nature-based materials on transportation infrastructure projects and studies.
     
  • 2/14/2024 House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure - Letter of support of the H.R. 6932, the Low-Head Dam Inventory Act recently introduced by Representative Chuck Edwards (NC-11) and Representative Patrick Ryan (NY-18), being included as part of your 2024 Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) legislation. The Low-Head Dam Inventory Act would require that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) add low-head dams to the National Inventory of Dams (NID) to keep track of the location and condition of low-head dams and to make sure that they are appropriately maintained to prevent low-head dam failures. 
     
  • 9/22/2023 US Bureau of Land Management - Public Comment letter regarding proposed rule to revise its fluid mineral leasing regulations to reflect provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act pertaining to royalty rates, rentals, and minimum bids, and to modernize other aspects of the fluid mineral regulations.
     
  • 7/20/2023 - USDA/Forest Service – Submittal of public comments by FFI and partners regarding proposed rulemaking to support “Climate Resilience and Carbon Stewardship of National Forest and Grasslands”. 
     
  • 7/19/2023 – USDA/Forest Service – Submittal of public comments regarding proposed rulemaking to support “Climate Resilience and Carbon Stewardship of National Forest and Grasslands”.  
     
  • 3/14/2023 – Senate Leadership – Letter to Senators Schumer and McConnell urging opposition to Joint Resolutions 27 and 7 that would revise current definitions of Waters of the United States that would remove protection of small streams and wetlands under provisions of the Clean Water Protection Act.  Click here for a one-page overview.
     
  • 3/9/2023 – Letter to Georgia Department of Natural Resources – Letter of “public comment” regarding an 8,000-acre sand mine operation near the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge and Wilderness in Southeast Georgia and Northeast Florida. 
     
  • 3/1/2023 – Bureau of Land Management – Public comments regarding development of a Programmatic EIS to evaluate Solar Energy Planning for an amended Resource management Plan for Renewable Energy Development on BLM lands. 
     
  • 9/26/2022 – Letter to US Fish and Wildlife Service – Provides specific recommendations for development of mechanisms in policy to assure that compensatory mitigation for unavoidable and adverse impacts to species and habitats is measurable, standardized, repeatable, ultimately accountable and does result in biologically sound conservation benefits to species and habitats beyond the measurable environmental loss.
     
  • 8/16/2022 – Letter to Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies - Urging establishment of an Energy Working Group with the express purpose of focusing on solar, mining and energy development land management issues that have potential to adversely affect fish, wildlife and their habitats. 
     
  • 8/12/2022 – Superior National Forest, Supervisor’s Office – Collaborative letter of Public Comments supporting the NFS draft EA and proposed application for a 20-year withdrawal of 225,504 acres of the Rainy River watershed within the Superior National Forest from disposition of federally owned minerals.  The withdrawal is intended to protect the natural and cultural values within the area of withdrawal and other areas within the Forest that include the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.  
     
  • 8/09/2022 – Letter to US Senators Heinrich and Risch – Letter supporting Senate Bill 3571, the Good Samaritan Remediation of Abandoned Hardrock Mines Act of 2022
     
  • 7/12/2022 – Acting NFS Administrator Hollen – Public Comment supporting the NFS draft EA and proposed application for a 20-year withdrawal of 225,504 acres of the Rainy River watershed within the Superior National Forest from disposition of federally owned minerals.  The withdrawal is intended to protect the natural and cultural values within the area of withdrawal and other areas within the Forest that include the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. 
     
  • 4/28/2022 – Letter to Senate and House Appropriations Committees – Recommendations regarding funding to meet intent of the MAPLand Act by digitizing and making available locations and accesses of 640 million acres of federal lands to women and men who enjoy our vast natural landscapes. 
     
  • 3/14/2022 – US Department of Transportation – Letter of recommendations to the Secretary of USDOT regarding the implementation of a “Wildlife Crossing Safety Pilot Program” as called for by the “Wildlife Crossing Grant Program” that was created in the “Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act”.
  • 01/10/2022 – Deputy State Director of Geospatial Services, BLM Eastern States Office – Letter requesting mineral leases be withdrawn from approximately 225,000 acres of National Forest Service Lands in the Rainey River/Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness for a period of 20 years and environmental analysis of the action.
  • 12/17/2021 – Committee on Environment and Public Works, U.S. Senate – Letter to Committee Leadership recommending key priorities to be considered for inclusions in reauthorization of the 2022 Water Resource Development Act. 
     
  • 10/13/2021 – DOI, DOA, DOC and COEQ – Letter to the Biden Administration from the “Hunt & Fish 30x30 Initiative” providing recommendations for inclusion in the Administration’s “Conserving and Restoring America the Beautiful 2021” report and in support of enhanced conservation delivery in the United States as example to global leaders towards preserving 30% of the planet’s lands and waters by 2030.
     
  • 8/13/21 - DOI and USFWS - Letter to Department of interior and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Administrators encouraging adoption and implementation of mitigation policies to assure land use activities properly avoid, minimize and mitigate unavoidable impacts to irreplaceable fish, wildlife and their essential habitats.
     
  • 8/9/21 - Bristol Bay - Letter to Administrator Regan of the US Environmental Protection Agency urging immediate action under provisions of the Clean Water Act to provide permanent protection to Bristol Bay in Alaska, consistent with promise of President Biden.
     
  • 7/13/21 - “National Wildlife Refuges: A Hunting and Fishing Perspective” – Report to the Department of Interior regarding expanding compatible hunting and fishing opportunities on National Wildlife Refuges.
     
  • 6/6/21 - Tongass National Forest - Letter to Secretary of US Dept. of Agriculture urging the agency to reinstate roadless area protection to the Tongass in Alaska.
     
  • 5/7/21 - USACOE – Recommendations regarding implementation guidance for the Water Resources Development Action of 2020 prioritizing natural and nature-based solutions to water resource issues and resilience to climate change.
     
  • 4/12/21 - Congressman Simpson's Snake River Proposal - signed on to letter to the NW congressional delegations asking for their leadership in restoring salmon to the Columbia River Basin by working with Congressman Mike Simpson to refine and advance his proposal that would breach the four lower Snake River dams, while simultaneously taking care of communities, irrigators, shippers, and power generation. Get more information on Why We Need A Free Flowing Snake River
     
  • 4/13/21 - Forest Service Legacy Roads and Trails (LRT) Remediation  -  Signed on to letter to House Appropriations Subcommittee urging House Interior-Environment Appropriators to support the Forest Service Legacy Roads and Trails (LRT) Remediation program for FY22.
     
  • 4/13/21 - Forest Service Legacy Roads and Trails (LRT) Remediation  -  Signed on to letter to House Appropriations Subcommittee urging Senate Interior-Environment Appropriators to support the Forest Service Legacy Roads and Trails (LRT) Remediation program for FY22.
     
  • 3/30/21 - USGS Streamgaging - Signed on to letters to the Senate Appropriations Committee to show support FY222 funding for water data collection through the USGS’s streamgaging programs.
     
  • 3/30/21 - USGS Streamgaging - Signed on to letters to the House Appropriations Committee to show support FY222 funding for water data collection through the USGS’s streamgaging programs.
     
  • 3/10/21 - Public Lands and Waters - Signed on to letter to the Department of Interior regarding the development of Mitigation Policy for Federal Public Lands
     
  • 1/23/21 - Western Dry Rocks Spawning Area - Submitted input to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) concerning a rule proposal to close the Western Dry Rocks Spawning Area to fishing during a 4-month period during spawning.
     
  • 11/15/20 - Yazoo Pumps Project - Signed on to letter calling on the Corps to stop the Yazoo Pumps project in the Mississippi River watershed and urges the Corps to withdraw the deeply flawed Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (DSEIS).
     
  • 11/15/20 - Corps of Engineers Rushed Permitting - Signed on to letter urging the Corps to withdraw its rushed Proposal to Reissue and Modify Nationwide Permits (NWPs) that would weaken clean water protections.
     
  • 10/13/20 - Mississippi River and Tributaries Project - Signed on to letter to the US Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) providing comments regarding the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS II) concerning Mississippi River Mainline Levees.
     
  • 6/18/20 - Yazoo Pumps Project - Sign on to TRCP letter in opposition to the Yazoo Pumps project urging the Corps to abandon the plan to build the Yazoo Pumps on the Big Sunflower River in Mississippi
     
  • 5/4/20 - Mapland Act - Signed on to a TRCP letter supporting the Modernizing Access to our Public Land Act (S. 3427 and H.R. 6169)
     
  • 3/26/20 - Missouri River Recovery Program- Signed on to a TRCP letter to Appropriations Committee leadership supporting funding for this program.
     
  • 3/18/20 - USGS Streamgaging Networks - Signed on to a TRCP letter to leadership of Senate Appropriations Subcommitee on the Interior supporting funding for the USGS stream gaging network.
     
  • 1/5/20 - Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act (FLTFA) - Sign on to letter to Secretary of Interior David Bernhardt supporting full implementation of the Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act (FLTFA)as soon as possible.
     
  • 12/16/19 - Tongass Roadless Rules -  Signed on to letter to Hon. Sonny Perdue, Secretary of Agriculture and Vicki Christiansen, USFS expressing opposition to the proposed Alaska Roadless Rule, which would fully exempt the Tongass National Forest from roadless rules.
     
  • 10/24/19 - Public Lands Renewable Energy Development Act (PLREDA) - TRCP sign on in support of the Public Lands Renewable Energy Development Act (PLREDA).
     
  • 9/18/19 - Public Lands Renewable Energy Development Act - Sign on to TRCP letter to House Natural Resources and Senate Energy and Natural Resources leadership, requesting that the Public Lands Renewable Energy Development Act be expeditiously advanced through the respective committees.
     
  • 6/27/19 - Riverside Gravel Pit - Paradise Valley MT - IFFF_Comments_Riverside_Gravel_Pit_June_2016_FINAL
     
  • 6/27/19 - Station-Specific Hunting and Sport Fishing Regulations - FFI_Comment_FWS-HQ-NWRS-2019-0040_27JUN2019    [National Wildlife Refuges (NWRs)]
     
  • 6/23/19 - NWR Open to Public Access - 2019-2020-Station-Specific-Hunting-and-Fishing-Proposed-Rule-Signed
     
  • 6/4/19 - Tire Dump - MT - FFI_Comments_MT_Tire_Dump_04JUN2019_FINAL
     
  • 5/7/19 - Smith River - MT - FFI_Comment_Draft_EIS_Black_Butte_Project_07MAY2019    [Tintina Resources and Sandfire proposed copper mine]
     
  • 4/27/18 - Yellowstone Mining - FFI_USFS_Mining_Withdrawal_Comments_042718
     
  • 1/16/18 - Mitigation - Policy_Council_Mitigation_Letter_DOI_16JAN2018
     
  • 12/5/17 - National Monuments - FFI Opposed to Executive Action to Reduce the Size of Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears National Monuments in Utah
     
  • 11/16/17 - Smith River - MT - FFI_Scoping_Comments_Tintina_Permit00188_11-16-17    [Tintina Resources and Sandfire proposed copper mine]
     
  • 9/14/17 - Yellowstone Mining - FFI_Interior_Sec_Zinke_14SEP2017
     
  • 9/14/17 - Yellowstone Mining - FFI_Rep_Gianforte_Letter_14SEP2017
     
  • 8/18/17 - Yellowstone Mining - FFI_Sen_Daines_Letter_18AUG2017
     
  • 5/23/17 - National Monuments - FFI_Supports_National_Monuments_Antiquities_Act_23MAY2017
     
  • 2/17/17 - Yellowstone Mining - IFFF_USFS_Mining_Withdrawal_Comments_021717_FINAL
     
  • 12/9/16 - Yellowstone Mining - IFFF_Comments_Lucky-Minerals-Draft-EA_120917
     
  • 5/18/16 - Desert Wildlife Refuge - House_Armed_Svc_Sign_On_NDAA_5_18_16
     
  • 5/9/16 - Glen Canyon Dam - RE: Glen Canyon Dam Long Term Experimental and Management Plan EIS [Grand Canyon Protection Act (GCPA)]
     
  • 3/3/16 - Yellowstone Mining - IFFF_Comments_Crevice_Mining_Group_LLC_Permit_03032016
     
  • 2/19/16 - Tongass National Forest Roadless Rules - Tongass_National_Forest_021916
     
  • 11/25/15 - Smith River - MT - Smith_River_Letter_Gov_Bullock_FINAL    [Tintina Resources and Sandfire proposed copper mine]
     
  • 8/19/15 - Yellowstone Mining - IFFF_Comments_Lucky_Minerals_Permit_08192015

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