February 20, 2009
Conservation News Roundup
While no two people seem to agree on whether or not the new economic stimulus bill will benefit the economy, it does appear to contain a definite bright spot: $3 billion-plus in funds for the conservation of our lands. National conservation and sportsmen's groups, including the Teddy Roosevelt Conservation Partnership and Ducks Unlimited, have embraced at least that part of it.
The early returns are in for last year's fall-run of Chinooks in one of California's most important salmon fisheries, and the numbers are not encouraging. According to the Chico Enterprise Record, "preliminary 2008 salmon season data indicates a continued and significant reduction in the return size of the Sacramento River fall-run Chinook salmon stock... the lowest return since comprehensive monitoring of Central Valley hatchery and natural escarpment began in the 1970s." This is by no means surprising news, and it will be interesting to see what steps California and the other Pacific states, as well as the Pacific Fishery Management Council, take this year to ensure the longevity of salmon runs. For more information, check out this overview of Pacific salmon fisheries management, and salmon seasons information.
The Montana Legacy Project has recently helped in the purchase of 112,000 acres of timberland from the Plum Creek Timber Company, according to the Seattle Times, and the land is "expected to be transferred to the U.S. Forest Service." This is certainly good news for the public, and for hunters and fishermen in particular. As this map shows, much of the land that the Montana Legacy Project is working to procure is along roads and waterways, and adjacent to even more public land.