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.