Top 10 Most Underrated Conservations Stories

10. While California Fights, Western Sportsmen and Ranchers Collaborate – and Win

  • Photo courtesy of Wolfgang Staut.

    Photo courtesy of Wolfgang Staut.

What’s Happening: While interests in California – agriculture, sportsmen and municipalities – battle over dwindling water supplies in a record drought, sportsmen across the West have been collaborating with agricultural interests to avert future crises. From the Blackfoot Challenge and the Sun River Partnership in Montana to Cowiche Creek in Washington’s Yakima River Basin, sportsmen have been partnering with farmers and ranchers to improve irrigation efficiency and devote some of the saved water to instream flows for fish and wildlife.

Why It Matters: The combined efforts of these disparate interests help ensure that working lands remain productive during prolonged droughts – and improve access to hunting and fishing, which creates economic benefits for many communities, especially in rural areas.

Significant Regional Fact: Legally, the Sun River in Montana could be drained dry by farming and ranching interests upstream, which would deal a fatal blow to downstream fish. However, for more than five years conservation groups and local irrigation districts in Montana have worked together to improve the effectiveness of irrigation systems. This has resulted in more river water downstream, which enhances conditions for fish in the Sun River.

All Top 10 Stories

1. America’s National Forests and Parks for Sale?
2. Money Earmarked for Conservation Gets Spent Elsewhere
3. Budgeting Restrictions for Wildfire Management Burn Up Cash
4. World’s Largest Marine Reserve Embraces Recreational Fishing
5. Regulations for Management of 245 Million Acres of Public Land Being Rewritten for the First Time
6. Public Denied Access to 35 Million Acres of Public Lands
7. Gulf of Mexico Restoration Offers Once-in-a-Lifetime Conservation Opportunities
8. Federal Red Snapper Regulations Have Anglers Seeing Red
9. ‘Not Dead Yet’: Alaska’s Proposed Pebble Mine Still a Threat
10. While California Fights, Western Sportsmen and Ranchers Collaborate – and Win

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