Policy/Politics/Laws

Drake Magazine Southeast Alaska Tongass

Photo by Jim Klug

The Roadless Rule in America’s Salmon Forest

“Judge Sharon Gleason, U.S. District Court Judge for the District of Alaska, ruled last week that the Forest Service violated federal law by approving future logging in the 16.7 million-acre Tongass National Forest.”

I pay my bills here in Southeast Alaska, at least in part, by having short and intense conversations on airplanes. I help wedge wadered clients from all over the globe into DeHavilland Beavers, then drop in on some of the planet’s most spectacular temperate rainforest

Alaska West Lodge

Photo: Tosh Brown

American Greed, Inc.

riter and historian David T. Courtwright calls them “limbic capitalists”—people or companies that target our limbic system, the part of our brains primarily responsible for emotion, especially as it relates to pleasure, motivation, and survival. Courtwright is author of The Age of Addiction: How Bad Habits Became Big Business. “Biological evolution shaped the limbic system,…

Steelhead conservation in Oregon

Photo: Nate Koenigsknecht

Can’t We Let Them Live?

As a lifetime Oregon resident, angler, and guide, I spend 40-60 days a year on the rivers of the Southern Oregon coast. I interact with anglers that use all types of methods, and every one of them I’ve talked to has noticed a significant decline in encounters with wild steelhead. How can this be explained?…

PHOTO BY MORGAN HEIM

Smoke on the Water

Marijuana cultivation’s impacts on our rivers Chris and James stand on the lawn behind Indian Creek Resort, stomping their feet against the cold while passing a joint back and forth. Recreational pot has been legal in California since January 2019, so the two aren’t breaking any laws. Tomorrow the three of us will be rafting…

CHICKEE CHECK-IN TIME.

PHOTO BY JEREMY CLARK

Swamped

Revivalists and renegades in South Florida’s Everglades It begins as a subtle unzippering across the surface. Nothing more than shape and motion—forcing the brain to calculate distance to target, direction of movement, and speed of travel. These computations form the basis of what comes next: an attempt to drop a bottlecap-sized fly in the path…

Salmon in Pebble Bay Alaska

Stand for Salmon in Pebble Bay

Every year for the past decade the proposed Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay seems to die, only to rise again from its still-warm ashes. Despite lawsuits, a rigorous permitting process, and continued opposition by local organizations, Sam Snyder, campaign manager for the Wild Salmon Center, says the mega-mine isn’t just hanging on, it’s gaining momentum.…

Release - Finding Grace in the Rainforest

California’s Prop 68: Salmon & Steelhead Funding Decided at the Ballot

If you (or a good friend) enjoy the outdoors and live in California, this is a must-read. In 2017, the California state legislature passed Senate Bill 5, which will allow the issuance of bonds to finance drought-recovery, water, parks, climate and outdoor access programs. That bill, now known as Proposition 68, will appear on California voters’…

Drake Magazine Roadless Wyoming

Photo by Kat Yarbrough

Wyoming’s Drug Ranch

Cocaine smuggler’s former Clarks Fork property returns to the spotlight for a public lands squabble Boat captain Stewart Allen Bost and his pals almost slipped into obscurity after they smuggled more than 3,000 kilos of Columbian cocaine from the Bahamas to South Florida in 1986. With approximately $1.35 million lining his pockets, Bost sought early…

Yellowstone River is in trouble near Paradise Valley.

Yellowstoned – Paradise Valley Trouble

THE YELLOWSTONE RIVER’S pristine headwaters are tucked into some of the most remote land in the Lower 48, draining roughly 70,000 square miles across Wyoming and Montana. These wild waters serve as a stronghold for native Yellowstone cutthroat, and, combined with Yellowstone Lake, make up the largest inland population of cutthroat in the world.

Pebble Mine will effect the whole ecosystem.

Reignited – Pebble Mine Project

The proposed Pebble Mine, subject of 20 years of controversy, 2.2 million public comments, a dozen Congressional hearings, multiple documentary films, media campaigns, ballot initiatives, lawsuits, and the most ubiquitous sticker in all of fishingdom, is back on the table. Seemingly the result of one 30-minute meeting between two men: EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and…

A public-lands debate at your doorstep

Utah’s Monument Problem

IN THE SPRING OF 1996, President Bill Clinton created the 1.8-million-acre Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, encircling a swath of twisted canyon country in southern Utah. Using the Antiquities Act, he sidestepped Congress—as 16 presidents have done, creating 157 national monuments—and delivered the proclamation in a ceremony on the rim of the Grand Canyon.

LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENTS INSPECT A "TRESSPASS GROW" ON CALIFORNIA PUBLIC LAND

PHOTO BY MORGAN HEIM

California Makes Weed Tax Work… for Fish

Amid November’s national display of democracy California passed Prop. 64, joining the brotherhood of states legalizing recreational marijuana use. Humboldt Nation, on the North Coast, is the crossroads of both Cali weed and steelhead culture. It’s no secret that illegal weed grows have dewatered and poisoned key steelhead and salmon spawning tributaries. But soon skunked…

Drake Magazine Southeast Alaska Tongass

Photo by Corey Kruitbosch

Salmon in AK’s Tongass Catch a Break (Cue the Celebration)

The U.S. Forest Service this month finalized an amendment to its Tongass Land and Resource Management plan that will help conserve more than 70 salmon and trout streams within Southeast Alaska’s 17-million-acre Tongass National Forest. The decision helps safeguard fish thanks to provisions that transition the Tongass timber program from old-growth logging to one based on…

One man’s battle to free the Klamath

Flowing Ambition

[The Obama administration and California officials are set to announce an agreement to remove four hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River, sidestepping Congress to restore its salmon and steelhead fisheries. The move would result in the largest river restoration in U.S. history. A news conference trumpeting the deal will take place today at the Yurok Reservation in…

Gotcha Covered

IN JULY, the Bahamian government and the Bahamas Fly Fishing Industry Association (BFFIA) announced proposed changes to laws governing bonefishing in the Bahamas. Some of the proposals—like requiring visiting anglers to hire a guide—created public outcry, private controversy, and several scintillating blogfights. But our own investigative reporting uncovered a few lesser-known proposals: