Trout Unlimited releases full ‘10 Special Places’ report

Date: 
Thu, 12/18/2014

Dec. 18, 2014

Contact:

Katy Dunlap, Eastern Water Project Director, 607-703-0256, kdunlap@tu.org

Mark Taylor, Eastern Communications Director, 540-353-3556, mtaylor@tu.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Trout Unlimited releases full ‘10 Special Places’ report

Report focuses on protecting iconic public fishing and hunting areas from impacts of shale gas development

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Trout Unlimited today released a new report highlighting outstanding public fishing and hunting areas in the Central Appalachian region that are at risk from shale gas drilling-related activities.

The “10 Special Places” report takes a deeper look into 10 iconic public fishing and hunting destinations, outlining the potential risks posed by gas drilling operations and providing recommendations from sportsmen and women that promote responsible energy development.  

The report’s release comes in the wake of Wednesday’s announcement by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo that the state will prohibit the practice of high-volume hydraulic fracturing, a move that will protect three areas featured in the report: the Catskill Park, Allegany State Park and the New York portion of the Upper Delaware River watershed.

“Sportsmen are all about places. Places we learned to shoot with our fathers, or small streams where our daughter caught her first fish. The places highlighted in this report help to define the hunting and fishing heritage here on the Eastern Seaboard,” said TU president and CEO Chris Wood. “Not only does the report shine a light on some of the finest fish and wildlife habitat in the East, it gives anglers and hunters a roadmap for ensuring these places remain productive, accessible and healthy. Shale-gas drilling can be done responsibly in the East, and sportsmen and women play an important role in monitoring that development to ensure the protection of the places we love to hunt and fish.”

Trout Unlimited will host a media teleconference today, Dec. 18, at 1 p.m. to discuss the report and Wednesday’s announcement in New York. The call will feature TU Vice President of Eastern Conservation Elizabeth Maclin and Eastern Water Project Director Katy Dunlap. The call-in number is (800) 750-5861; passcode 3533556#.

Large areas of Pennsylvania, New York and West Virginia, and parts of Maryland, Virginia and Ohio, have become the epicenter for energy development in the East. As companies have flocked to the region to drill for natural gas, this energy development, which includes the construction of hundreds of miles of pipelines, could fundamentally alter hunting on some of the largest tracts of public lands in the East and fishing on thousands of miles of pristine native and wild trout streams, including tributaries of the Great Lakes. For the 8.8 million hunters and anglers who fish and hunt in the Appalachians, this is a big deal.

All of the material, including previous individual reports, are available at tu.org/special-places.

The places featured in the report are:

•The Savage River watershed -- This watershed in Maryland’s Garrett County features more than 120 miles of interconnected streams and the state’s highest native brook trout density.

•Pine-Genesee-Allegheny headwaters -- The headwaters of three famed rivers begin their descent from the same northcentral Pennsylvania mountaintop.

•Laurel Highlands -- With more than 138,000 acres of state forest and parks, and hundreds of miles of trout streams, this scenic section of southwestern Pennsylvania is an outdoor recreation mecca that’s convenient to the Pittsburgh metro region.

•George Washington and Jefferson national forest -- Covering 1.6 million acres, this is one of the East’s largest tracts of national forest land, featuring extensive hunting opportunities and harboring 60 percent of Virginia’s remaining native brook trout streams.

•Monongahela National Forest -- By far the largest tract of public land in West Virginia, the forest holds the headwaters for six major rivers: the Cheat, Potomac, Greenbrier, Elk, Tygart and Gauley.

•Slate Run -- Nearly the entire 45 square miles of this famous Pennsylvania mountain trout stream’s watershed lies in and adjacent to the Tiadaghton State Forest, a popular outdoor recreation area.

•Lake Erie watershed -- This great lake and its tributaries feature both commercial and recreational fisheries. The region’s recreational steelhead fishery is legendary.

•Catskill Park -- Home to the Neversink, Beaverkill and many other iconic trout rivers, New York’s Catskill Park is known as the birthlplace of American fly-fishing. Many of the park’s streams feed into the drinking waters supply for New York City.

•The Upper Delaware River basin -- The Upper Delaware River is among the top trout fishing rivers in the East, and is less than two hours from New York City and also convenient to the other population centers in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

•Allegany State Park -- More than 80 percent of this New York park’s 65,000 acres have been designated a Park Preservation Area to limit development and to preserve hunting and fishing.

Trout Unlimited promotes responsible energy development and, in collaboration with others, seeks to ensure that all reasonable efforts are made to avoid or mitigate the impacts such development may have on important coldwater resources.

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Trout Unlimited is the nation’s largest coldwater conservation organization, with 155,000  members dedicated to conserving, protecting, and restoring North America’s trout and salmon fisheries and their watersheds. Follow TU on Facebook and Twitter, and visit us online at tu.org.

 

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