Conservation Roundup: Spy Lake Trout and the Mussel Invasion

Fish and wildlife habitat means jobs, too.

Sportsmen arguing against the roll back of environmental regulations often get told that keeping fish, wildlife and human habitats clean costs too many jobs.

Well, here's some ammunition to fight back with: A growing body of evidence points to just the opposite effect - that environmental regulations important to fish, wildlife and people actually create jobs.

That isn't just tree-hugger chatter. This letter to the Wall Street Journal by executives from power companies says so, as does this study.

Members of the hunting and fishing community have been trying to make the same point. Ducks Unlimited CEO Dale Hall points out that environmental spending is less than 1.26 percent of the federal budget in 2010, yet supported "more than 1.6 million jobs and generate more than $25 billion a year in federal, state and local taxes,".

Add fly fishers to that number.

Last week Jim Klug, chairman of the American Fly Fishing Trade Association, joined the chorus, telling yours truly the attacks on environmental protection had stunned the members of his $658 million industry because, "Our industry depends on a clean environment, and if you take that away, you don't just take away a hobby and pastime, you take away entire industries."

Klug said the attacks by the House took him and his colleagues by surprise, but they now are gearing up for an all-out fight, because "No one who cares about fishing or these industries can sit on the sidelines any more."

Lake trout: Heroes or villains?

Journalists learn early that every story has two sides, unless it involves the environment - in which case it often has many more. This story on the lake trout eradication effort in Yellowstone Lake is a case in point. And invasive species aren't just a problem on the Great Lakes. Western sportsmen are learning lake trout are not the only invasive species causing havoc in their habitat, as this column from Jackson Hole News and Guide makes clear.

For more on the battle against invasive species go to www.protectyourwaters.net

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