(Click on the photos above to read the captions.)
They came, they saw and, boy, did they conquer.
The first day of the first weekend of Vamos a Pescar brought kids, parents, young adults and volunteers to Marsh Park on a May Gray morning to learn the beginnings of becoming an urban fisher for life: tidbits about our river; safety; rigging a spin outfit; casting a bobber inside a Hulu hoop ring, sort of like the pros, only with more smiles (and tangled line).
“We gave out 120 spots, an overflow from our original number,” said Bob Blankenship, Trout Unlimited South Coast Chapter and co-organizer of the event.
What does this mean for readers of this blog who know how to fish and want to pass that skill along to others? There are volunteer spots open next weekend (Saturday and/or Sunday, 9 a.m.-noon) when all these new fishers will try out their nascent skills at the Bowtie Parcel. Please sign up by contacting Blankenship at firstname.lastname@example.org.
See you on the river, Jim Burns
I received this email from Jessica Strickland, Trout Unlimited’s Field Coordination here in California:
I’m sure you’ve heard of the Monument issue that’s going on and how San Gabriel NM is one of the ones under review. TU has a huge campaign out right now. We are working hard to protect the National Monuments being reviewed by the Executive Order to analyze all monuments designated after 1996. There are six here in California under review, and we’ve been told the most at risk are Giant Sequoia and Cascade-Siskiyou National Monuments. Giant Sequoia is being reviewed to decreased by 2/3’s in size, which would remove the current protections for many waterways (Upper Kings River, Tule River, and the headwaters of the North Fork Kern River).”
Trout Unlimited has a couple things going on:
National campaign form letter that’s sent to the Dept of the Interior found here: http://www.tu.org/action-center?vvsrc=%2fcampaigns%2f52695%2frespond
OR you can send your comment directly to the DOI here:
I wrote about the efforts by TU and other conservation organizations back in May and asked readers to write a letter. Here’s our last chance to voice an opinion. Check out this strong letter that appeared today as inspiration for your own letter.
Re “Trump can topple national monuments,” Los Angeles Times Opinion, July 6
I’m a scientist and not a lawyer, so I won’t argue the legal claims made by attorneys from a conservative think tank. But the real “magical thinking” is to believe President Trump’s claims that he’s acting in the public interest by opening up dozens of national monuments for “review.”
Nothing could be further from the truth. This is a blatant attempt to industrialize these magnificent places, with the oil, gas, private water and logging industries as the beneficiaries.
The public is not calling for clear cutting in Giant Sequoia National Monument. It has not asked for drilling or fracking in Carrizo Plain or pumping underground water from underneath Mojave Trails. National monuments in California and other states enjoy devoted, widespread local support.
Ileene Anderson is public lands director and senior scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity in Los Angeles.
See you on the river, Jim Burns
Just as millions joined women’s marches around the country in January to protest the election of President Donald Trump, now more than 100 hunting and fishing business owners and sporting organizations, and a California state congresswoman are reacting to the president’s executive order to review the Antiquities Act.
While the earlier protests were shouted into megaphones and emblazoned on signs, this one is quieter, in the form of a letter to Congress and a renewed attempt at legislation.
” We are writing in support of the Antiquities Act of 1906 and to request that it be used responsibly and in a way that supports the continuation of hunting and fishing in America,” begins the letter, signed by multiple companies across the country, including Abel, Charlton and Ross reels in Colorado, but only one firm in California.
Four NGOs have lead the effort, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, the National Wildlife Federation, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership and Trout Unlimited.
“The outdoor industry accounts for $887 billion in consumer spending and 7.6 million jobs, making it one of the largest economic sectors in the country,” said Jen Ripple, editor in chief of DUN Magazine and a Tennessee resident. “Much of this economic output depends on public lands. Tools for conservation like the Antiquities Act will help ensure that America’s public lands remain not only a great place to hunt and fish but also an important pillar of the hunting and fishing industry.”
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, currently in Bears Ears National Monument in Utah, must produce an interim report in June and make a recommendation on that national monument, and then issue a final report within 120 days.
According to NewsMax, Trump said the protections imposed by his predecessors “unilaterally put millions of acres of land and water under strict federal control, eliminating the ability of the people who actually live in those states to decide how best to use that land.”
The land-controls have “gotten worse and worse and worse, and now we’re going to free it up, which is what should have happened in the first place,” Trump said at a signing ceremony marking the executive order.
Trump accused Obama in particular of exploiting the 1906 Antiquities Act in an “egregious abuse of federal power,” adding that he was giving power “back to the states and to the people, where it belongs.”
In December, shortly before leaving office, Obama infuriated Utah Republicans by creating the Bears Ears National Monument on more than 1 million acres of land that’s sacred to Native Americans and home to tens of thousands of archaeological sites, including ancient cliff dwellings.
Meanwhile, closer to home the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, created by Obama in 2014, is one of 27 under review, which are mostly in western states. Last week, Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) reintroduced the San Gabriel Mountains Foothills and Rivers Protection Act, according to Pasadena Now.
“President Trump has declared an open assault on our nation’s natural resources and outdoor spaces in favor of energy companies and oil exploration. Well I will not let him threaten our rivers, forests, wildlife, and outdoor opportunities in the San Gabriel Mountains. That is why I am proud to be reintroducing this bill to establish a National Recreation Area and expand monument designation boundaries, Chu said.”
At the time of its creation, some local conservation groups, including the Arroyo Seco Foundation, wondered why the national monument borders precluded some areas of the San Gabriel Mountains.
In an interview with Jeff Vail, supervisor of the Angeles National Forest and the national monument, that appeared in Sunday’s Pasadena Star-News, readers got a taste for what changes have occurred within the monument.
“The first year, we had five field rangers, last year, we had eight or 10 and this year we are upping that to 14,” he told columnist Steve Scauzillo. “We have a volunteer coordinator, Chris Fabbro. He has been in place now for close to two years. We have new positions, a partnership coordinator and conservation/education coordinator.”
According to Vail, last year Congress appropriated $33 million to his budget, while corporations have donated $5 million since 2014.
If you want to weigh in on why this national monument so close to 14 million Angelinos is important, comments may be submitted online after May 12 at http://www.regulations.gov by entering “DOI-2017-0002” in the search bar and clicking “Search,” or by mail to Monument Review, MS-1530, U.S. Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street NW, Washington, DC 20240.
According to the Interior Department, this is the first-ever formal comment period for Antiquities Act monuments.
See you on the river, Jim Burns
Each summer, more anglers discover our home water — and more Angelinos want to check out the sport. We’ve got the warm-water species: carp, bass, tilapia, aquarium dweller … All you have to do is learn how to suit up and catch ’em.
This free event should be a blast, so I hope you’ll come and listen to Bob Blankenship, So Cal TU president, Michael Miller, who leads LA River trips for the Pasadena Casting Club, and me. If you’re new, come on down. You’ll learn all you need to get started. (Yes, buy a fishing license …). If you’re experienced, come and tell us your fishing tales, maybe reveal why a tortilla fly is your fav instead of a Glo-Bug. Or tell us about the day dad caught that insanely famous bass on a popper.
Of course, we won’t be revealing the fishiest spots to throw in, but with the info you garner — and practice — soon you’ll have your own secret spot.
Here’s the official blurb and a link to the FB posting. Hope to see you Sunday.
“If you’ve ever wanted to fish the LA River, here’s your chance to find out how. Members of the local chapter of Trout Unlimited will be on hand to talk about the various ways to fish, and chat about the essentials: equipment; reading water; spotting fish; tactics. The talk includes both fly and spin.
Where: The Frog Spot, 2825 Benedict St., Los Angeles 90039
When: Sunday, July 24, 3-4 p.m.”
See you on the river, Jim Burns