What’s happening to my state?

Re-Moved to Alaska

ABOARD THE MV MATANUSKA, on a 1,000-mile journey up the rainforest coast from Washington, a cross section of modern-day Alaska’s citizenry relaxed to a gentle January swell—old salts in halibut jackets bound for port towns; rotund men goat-t’d up, ball caps blazing with logos of off-road-vehicle brands; young hippies, all dreadlocks and skirts-over-pants, moving North…


5 New National Monuments

In addition to coaxing Bo into his daily dump on the White House lawn, Obama has been busy declaring national monuments this week. Awesomely, and thanks the Antiquities Act, a President can protect public land through these designations—effectively bypassing Congressional holdups in the process. Theodore Roosevelt did it first when he protected Wyoming’s Devils tower back…


‘Squatch Watch

Steelhead and ‘squatch have something in common. They range in areas dry of major development and soaked in mystique. And those pursuing both have appetites that go way, way beyond scientific benchmarks for sanity. Sasquatch occupies wide spaces in the imagination department. Steelhead, too… but at least we’ve got more than a couple grainy old…


Public Trust (and Mistrust)

The great fishing states of Utah and Montana both saw critical public access announcements earlier this week. On the good news front, a 4th District judge rejected much of the Utah’s legal “reasoning” defending a 2010 law that restricts public access to rivers crossing private land, ruling that the public trust doctrine protects recreational use of…


Rio: Monumental Designation

TAOS, NEW MEXICO—After years of collaboration, the iconic Rio Grande del Norte area is finally slated to be protected as a national monument next week. According to TU the monument will be designated on Monday at the request of a diverse group of local interests including hunters, anglers, and traditional land users.


Conservation at a Cost

Conservation across Western public lands is not a cheap prospect, considering that what’s buried under the ground has been valued at treasure-like proportions by those intent on tapping it. But that hasn’t stopped groups from making headway in the fight to stymie drilling interests by outcompeting oil and gas companies in the race to purchase…


The Big Flush

Since Washington State’s Elwha Dam tumbled last year—part of the largest dam-removal project in history—salmon and steelhead are wriggling farther upstream than they have in more than a century. What’s flowing downstream is enough silt, sand, and gravel to carpet all of Seattle in a layer 3 inches thick.

Wild Rev

Wild Reverence

The cratering of wild steelhead populations can be attributed to everything from development, logging, and grazing to climate change, water extraction, dams, commercial fisheries, and hatcheries. Those forces, either in combination or on their own, have led to Endangered Species Act-listings in 11 out of 15 regions on the West Coast. Can the last vestiges…

Drake Magazine Colorado Roadless Fly Fishing

Colorado Roadless

“Perhaps the rebuilding of body and spirit is the greatest service derivable from our forests, for of what worth are material things if we lose the character and quality of people that are the soul of America?” Arthur Carhart—widely regarded as a pioneer in wilderness protection—posed that question more than 90 years ago after a…

Drake Magazine Roadless Wyoming

Roadless Road Trips—Wyoming

The wind blows in Wyoming. So much so that over much of its southern acreage, trees live in a constant state of sideways, bowing to the prevailing forces. Tumbleweed bounces through prairie sagebrush. The earth’s guts, buttes, and sawtooth ridgelines live outside its skin—exposed. There are rivers. And there are generally few roads and people…


Matilija Dam Update

A telling 28-foot pair of scissors and a 160-foot dotted line appeared overnight on the Matilija Dam near Ojai California in 2011. The defunct impoundment on the upper Ventura River blocks steelhead migration and generates no electricity. Over the past decade, plans to remove it have been met with across-the-board agreement, as well as debate…


Silver Lining

For millions of years tarpon have been drawn to the shallow waters of the Florida Keys. In recent times, those fish and their habitats have been steadily displaced by the economic forces of cruise ship tourism. This October, Key West powers-that-be will gamble on a $35 million taxpayer-funded bill to accomplish additional widening of Key…


Cold Blue Nights

Colorado’s Blue River through Dillon and Silverthorne is a city limits stretch complete with big rainbows, riverside outlet shopping, and a 7-Eleven across the street. The Fly Collective—a collaboration between Ivan Orsic (Yukon Goes Fishing) and Russell Schnitzer (schnitzerPHOTO)—goes covert to show a different, darker side of the scene. Just as fishy, just as cold, but entirely…