Policy News

BRISTOL BAY: Watchdog clears EPA of bias in Pebble study

Kevin Bogardus, E&E reporter Published: Wednesday, January 13, 2016 U.S. EPA’s internal watchdog has cleared the agency of harboring any bias when conducting its controversial assessment of potential large-scale mining in Alaska’s Bristol Bay watershed. The report, approved by EPA Inspector General Arthur Elkins and released today, said the agency went by the book, following the... Read More

January 2016: Revisiting the Protection/Restoration Debate

This column coalesced around four actions last October. First, as a frequent partner with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the American Fisheries Society (AFS) was invited to a presentation on the agency’s river restoration efforts, land-use planning, and regional mitigation strategies in the Arctic. Second, President Obama announced plans to pursue two new... Read More

November 2015: Traditional Knowledge and Biodiversity

This month’s column is about the intersection of human and biological diversity with history. According to McGinley (2014), “[s]pecies diversity is a measure of the diversity within an ecological community that incorporates both species richness (the number of species in a community) and the evenness of species’ abundances.” Beyond biology, and bridging the social and... Read More

October 2015: A Blue-Ribbon Effort to Identify Creative Financing

Fish and wildlife programs in the United States are suffering from a financial wasting disease of staggering proportions. Governments struggle mightily to sustain basic research, management, regulatory, and education programs, losing each year in the battle for citizen support and discretionary dollars. Against that backdrop, former Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal and Bass Pro Shops CEO... Read More

AFS Responds to an Op-Ed in the New York Times on Trout Fishing in the Northeast US

“The Cost of Trout Fishing,” a recent op-ed piece by Douglas Thompson in the New York Times (Thompson 2015), included several inaccurate statements and fundamental misunderstandings of fisheries management and aquaculture. As fisheries research and management professionals, the American Fisheries Society would like to set the record straight. The mission of the American Fisheries Society... Read More

The Sordid Trail of an AFS Response to New York Times Op-ed Piece

Douglas Austen, AFS Executive Director Back on April 11, 2015, the New York Times (NYT) published an op-ed by Douglas Thompson on trout fishing and hatcheries that some AFS members found to include some truths but also a troubling amount of erroneous information and misrepresentations of facts. Until relatively recently, AFS has not been actively... Read More

Wetlands Thrive on Connectivity

Thomas E. Bigford, AFS Policy Director [email protected] Finally, courtesy of a federal rule issued in late May, society can push the pause button on the long debate about wetland policy and science. While the central issue of what is and is not a wetland was addressed in the final Clean Water Act (CWA) rule released... Read More

Silt Happens…Literally

“Silt happens!” That simple riff off a common bumper sticker is a quote from Gary Esslinger, manager of the Elephant Butte Irrigation District in southern New Mexico (Weiser 2011). His sentiment arose from desert country but might have been uttered by Exelon Power about its Conowingo hydropower project on the Susquehanna River or the owners... Read More

Nature-Based Remedies to Societal Woes

Doesn’t everyone revere Mother Nature? Granted, some might not be as love-struck as me, but I suspect most AFS members appreciate Mother’s ability to get things right. It was while reading about the science and policy of habitat conservation (protection and restoration) that I began to sense a theme, or at least imagine one. If... Read More