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September 30, 2013

The Feds Map Where U.S. Water Goes … and It’s Fascinating

The National Atlas of the United States is a periodic publication of a federal partnership led by the U.S. Geological Survey. It contains a wealth of data and maps to “capture and depict the patterns, conditions, and trends of American life.” Earlier this summer, this partnership released a tool that may change the way you think about the movement of water in America.

Streamer is an interactive mapping tool that lets you follow any major river or stream in America upstream to its headwaters or downstream to the ocean. With it you can see, starting from any point in America, where the water in your stream is coming from and going to. It’s like a Google map for rivers.

Take, for example, the Mississippi River. By clicking on the mouth of the Mississippi River where it reaches the Gulf of Mexico, you can get a map, like the one below, that shows every stream and river that drains into the Mississippi River. If you’re one of the 85 million people living in this area that touches 31 states, you live in one of the top five largest draining basins in the world, covering about one-third of the U.S. land mass.

StreamerWith maps like this, you can start to appreciate the interconnectedness of water. You can see that what happens to water in western Pennsylvania or eastern Colorado matters to what the water will be like in Louisiana. Keep this map in mind during upcoming debates about the Clean Water Act. Water doesn’t care about state boundaries. It simply flows inexorably, inevitably downhill. Therefore, sportsmen and women need effective federal protections to safeguard the fish, wildlife and habitat that sustain our proud sporting traditions.

This map also shows that what gets put into the water upstream in South Dakota eventually makes its way to the Gulf of Mexico.

That’s why the TRCP launched the Barnyard to Boatyard Conservation Exchange. In it, we brought South Dakota farmers and ranchers together with Louisiana Gulf fishermen to see firsthand the challenges each faces making a living on the Mississippi River that connects them – and to seek solutions to conserve America’s great native prairies and coastal waters.

Currently, pollution in the Mississippi River – large amounts of it coming from farming and ranching activities in the upper reaches of the river – enters the Gulf, killing aquatic life in an area the size of Connecticut. There have been positive developments. Minnesota just proposed a plan to reduce its pollution contribution by 20-35 percent. But there’s still a long way to go to protect this resource and preserve the recreational fishing and agricultural economies at either end of the river.

In the meantime, go play around with Streamer and see where your favorite stream leads.

One Response to “The Feds Map Where U.S. Water Goes … and It’s Fascinating”

  1. Tim Richardson

    Thanks for the water focus by TRCP! I’m hoping that improving the water quality reaching the Gulf of Mexico from U.S. watersheds becomes a priority for BP Deepwater Horizon restoration.

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Mia Sheppard

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posted in: General

September 27, 2013

Tegan’s Trout

Introduce someone to the splendor of our fish and wildlife resources this weekend. Photo by Mia Sheppard.

The fish pulls; she swings the pole back, lifting the line out of the water, the fish flops on the bank.  Excited at the catch, she smiles and releases the trout.  Moments such as this last a lifetime for a child.

For many of us, these childhood memories are enough to get us hooked on fishing for the long haul. But these days we are seeing fewer children spending time outdoors; we need to get our kids playing again.

The future of our fish and wildlife depends on teaching our children how to respect the resources. Passion for a sport starts with the parents and if we don’t encourage our children to fish or pursue outdoor activities then we lose the next generation of conservationists.

When kids play outside, they connect with the resources and develop an appreciation for the environment – something that is often lost on children who never get out of the house.

Take an opportunity this Saturday, Sept. 28, on National Public Lands Day and National Hunting and Fishing Day, to introduce a newcomer to our rich outdoor traditions.

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posted in: General

September 24, 2013

Celebrate Our Outdoor Heritage

Mark your calendar. Saturday, Sept. 28 is National Public Lands Day and National Hunting and Fishing Day.

National Public Lands Day is the nation’s largest, single-day volunteer effort for public lands. This year marks NPLD’s 20th anniversary. Celebrate with volunteers from your community at parks and other public places – visit the NPLD webpage to find an event near you.

Since 1971, National Hunting and Fishing Day has been called the most effective grassroots campaign ever undertaken to promote hunters, anglers and the conservation benefits they provide for all Americans. Join the celebration and enjoy the outdoors this weekend.

There is no better time than now to make a donation to the TRCP – your generosity helps support our mission to guarantee all Americans quality places to hunt and fish.

Learn more about the TRCP’s accomplishments over the past decade.

 

Roosevelt Smile

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August 27, 2013

BLM Gets Earful on Fracking Proposal


The government is hearing comments ranging all the way from don’t allow hydraulic fracturing at all on federal lands, to don’t pass new rules regulating it on such lands, as it considers a proposal to do the latter.

A public comment period ended Friday on a Bureau of Land Management proposal to update drilling rules on federal lands to reflect the widespread use of modern fracking techniques in oil and gas development.

Food & Water Watch estimates that more than 1 million comments have been submitted to the White House and BLM “urging them to protect public lands from fracking.” It said a coalition of 276 environmental and consumer organizations including itself, Americans Against Fracking and 350.org have delivered President Barack Obama and the BLM nearly 650,000 public comments asking the government to outright ban fracking on such lands.

Read the full story on GJ Sentinel.com.

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July 17, 2013

T.R.ivia: African Pet

Post the correct answer to win a copy of “Last Stand Ted Turner’s Quest to Save a Troubled Planet” by Todd Wilkinson.

Theodore Roosevelt kept which exotic African mammal as a pet?

Image Courtesy of the U.S. Library of Congress.

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