Friday, March 27, 2009

Omnibus Public Lands Bill Passes

Omnibus public lands bill passes

The U.S. House of Representatives today passed the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009, some of the most significant conservation legislation to come before Congress in 25 years. TU is responsible for much of the act’s landscape protection legislation, including the Wyoming Range Legacy Act, the Copper-Salmon Wilderness Act and bills in California.
»Press release
»Reuters article

Letter From Trout Unlimited March 26, 2009 - Thank you for taking action

Yesterday marked a huge victory for Trout Unlimited and our conservation allies. The House of Representatives passed the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009, a landmark public lands protection bill that would ensure access and opportunity for hunters and anglers today and for generations to come. Passage of this bill does more for hunting and fishing and outdoor recreation than any other measure in the last 15 years. By a landslide vote of 285-140, the House of Representatives moved this bill over the finish line. Now the bill will go to President Obama for his signature on Monday, March 30th.

This victory would not have been possible without your help. Your continued engagement and efforts to communicate this bill’s importance to your Members of Congress paid out huge dividends. We were able to get landslide votes in both chambers which shows the hard work and perseverance you gave over the last 18 months. We thank you.

Because of your help, we have successfully protected over 2 million acres of public lands. We have protected places like Copper-Salmon in Oregon, the Wyoming Range in Wyoming, the Wild Monongahela in West Virginia, the Owyhees in Idaho, the Eastern Sierras in California and so many other special places. We have also permanently protected the National Landscape Conservation System, a network of highly valuable public lands of acute interest to anglers and hunters. Included in that system is the famed Gunnison Gorge of Colorado, one of the best trophy trout fisheries in the West, and the Steens Mountain region, an irreplaceable hunting and fishing destination in eastern Oregon.

In addition to protecting public lands, this bill will enact the San Joaquin River Restoration Settlement, ending years of litigation, the Secure Water Act and the Cooperative Watershed Management Act. Both of the water bills will help to restore watersheds and provide the framework for working collaboratively with diverse partners to ensure adequate flows for viable fish populations across the country.

Many of the bills in the Omnibus have tremendous fish and wildlife conservation merit, have local community support –including ranchers and farmers who are partners in watershed groups – and have been developed in a bipartisan manner. Passage of the Omnibus, which includes nearly 160 bills, is truly historic and one that will be considered an outstanding achievement for generations to come.

We sincerely thank you for making it possible.

Steve Moyer
Vice President for Government Affairs

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Give a child a gift - Trout Unlimited Youth Membership

Give a child a Trout Unlimited Youth Membership.

TU has just launched a new website just for kids: The new site has lots of information and activities -- take a look at sections like "Go Fishing," "Fish Facts" or "Get Active." Together with our new quarterly magazine for kids, Stream Explorers, you now have a great way to introduce that special kid in your life to the world of clean water and wild fish, as well as the joy of fly fishing.

For just $12, your child, grandchild or other special young person will receive:

  • Trout Unlimited's new quarterly youth magazine Stream Explorers, full of activities, games and fun facts for kids ages 13 and below. (Kids between 14 and 18 receive Trout magazine.)
  • A welcome letter announcing your gift with a personalized member card, Stream Explorers decal and a TU wall calendar that will mail in late summer.
  • Early invitations to view the launch of new features on

For a gift of $25, the recipient will also receive "A Kid's Guide to Flyfishing":

  • With a retail value of $16, "A Kid's Guide to Flyfishing" is written by Tyler Befus, a fly angler who authored the book at age 8.

There is no better way to introduce your child, grandchild or other special young person to cold water conservation and fly fishing than by giving a TU Stream Explorers membership. It's quick, easy, and secure.

Thanks for your support,
Dave Rogers
Director of Volunteer Operations

Friday, March 6, 2009

MT HB 455 Big Sky Rivers Act Needs Your Action

This is a repost! If you haven't done so, please contact your representative and tell them to Support HB 455, The Big Sky Rivers Act. Read on for links to find contact information for your represtentative.

Help Protect Montana’s best rivers NOW!

Tell your Montana House Rep to support HB 455, The Big Sky Rivers Act!

Exploding streamside development threatens Montana’s blue-ribbon trout streams. By balancing river protection and property rights, The Big Sky Rivers Act protects water, crucial riparian areas and trout habitat from new development that occurs along 10 of Montana’s most iconic rivers.

Please contact your Representative TODAY and ask him or her to support HB 455.

Go here for information on how to contact your Representative and click here to find your legislator and contact them.

The Big Sky Rivers Act establishes a 250-foot protective streamside zone along 10 of Montana’s most famous rivers. It limits removal of key vegetation within a 150-foot buffer inside the streamside zone. The Big Sky River Act makes sense because it also allows local governments to opt-out of these mandatory conservation measures if they adopt ordinances or zoning rules that provide the same amount of protection.

Rivers included in the Big Sky Rivers Act: The Madison, main Flathead, Clark Fork, Bitterroot, Blackfoot, Smith, Jefferson, Upper Missouri, Upper Yellowstone and Gallatin.

Why support the Big Sky Rivers Act?
• It reduces costly flood and erosion damage by steering development away from known flood hazard areas;
• It protects private property rights by ensuring that actions of upstream landowners do not harm downstream landowners;
• It gives local governments control over the tools they need to manage their rivers;
• It protects water quality from stormwater runoff, lawn chemicals, and individual wastewater systems;
• It shields local governments from lawsuits brought by homeowners whose homes are damaged by flooding and erosion;
• It preserves critical fish and wildlife habitat by reducing the need for rip-rap and levees;
• It ensures high-quality recreational opportunities for anglers and boaters who value scenery and solitude;
• It includes a variance process to make sure no one loses the ability to build on an existing lot, and it includes a grandfather clause for existing homes.

Contact Members of the House and tell them this is a good bill. It protects private property as well as economic and recreational values all Montanans cherish.

Again go here for information on how to contact your Representative and click here to find your legislator and contact them.

What the Big Sky Rivers Act does NOT do:
• It does NOT take away the authority of local governments to create their own streamside development standards;
• It does NOT deprive riverfront landowners of the opportunity to build on their lots if their entire lot is located within a streamside management area;
• It does NOT apply within incorporated cities, towns or sanitary sewer districts;
• It does NOT prohibit property owners from rebuilding their home if it is destroyed by causes other than flooding;
• It does NOT grant public access to private property or expand the state’s stream access law.
• It does NOT affect agricultural-related buildings.

House Bill 455, the Big Sky Rivers Act, will be heard in the House Local Government Committee on Thursday, February 19th at 3:00 p.m. in room 172 of the Capitol. Please email, write, or call any and all members of the House of Representatives regarding the Big Sky River Act. If one of the following committee members represents your district, get them a message straight away!

House Local Government Committee meets Thursday, 3 p.m., Room

Arntzen, Elsie (R) (Chair)
Hands, Betsy (D) (Vice Chair)
MacLaren, Gary (R) (Vice Chair)
Becker, Arlene (D)
Bennett, Gerald (R)
Berry, Tom (R)
Driscoll, Robyn (D)
Ebinger, Bob (D)
Grinde, Wanda (D)
Hamilton, Robin (D)
Ingraham, Pat (R)
Menahan, Mike (D)
More, Michael (R)
Reichner, Scott (R)
Reinhart, Michele (D)
Sands, Diane (D)
Stahl, Wayne (R)
Vance, Gordon (R)

For more information contact Mark Aagenes at or 449-9933. Or contact Bruce Farling at or 543-0054.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Join us on Saturday, Mar 21. We are posting Bitterroot River trout fishing regulation signs

Print by Dolack, available for purchase at BRTUBitterroot Trout Unlimited wants to make it easy for the public to know and follow the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Regulations for trout fishing (excerpted from FWP regs) as they can be different on various reaches. Violations are happening and trout are being harmed. We can help stop that.

We are calling for volunteers. On Saturday, March 21, we will team up and post regulation signs at as many river access points as needed - hopefully completing the project we started last year. We invite anyone who is interested to join us.
If you want to know what Bitterroot Trout Unlimited is doing to protect the Bitterroot River, get to know our members, and enjoy a morning near the river, come to one of two places at 9:00 am:

  • Safeway in Hamilton parking lot (southeast of Hwy 93 and Main Street streetlight/intersection)

  • the Stevensville Fishing Access Site (northeast side of the bridge)

BRTU members will be there to meet you, organizing the day's signing efforts.

The following materials will be provided though we would welcome donations of the same:

  • Staple guns (bring your own if you have one)
  • Metal fence posts and pounder (can always use another pounder)
  • Plywood (provided by BRTU and cut to fit the laminated signs)
  • baling wire to tie on the signs on the metal fence posts (provided by BRTU)

To volunteer, donate materials, or for more information, please contact:

Below is a slideshow of Victor crossing, only a few signs remain in good shape. This area needs to be reposted.
View Album Click view album for bigger view in new window. Choose "slideshow" for full screen mode.

Examples of the signs: