Friday, February 2, 2018

Op-Ed: Federal Farm Bill Is Critical To Pennsylvania's Trout Fisheries

By Amy Wolfe, Director of Trout Unlimited's PA Coldwater Habitat Restoration Program

On Wednesday, U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue visited State College to present a blueprint for the next Farm Bill.
When people think of the Farm Bill, they probably don’t associate it with trout fishing, but the two are strongly linked through the Farm Bill’s conservation programs.
Many of Pennsylvania’s trout streams flow through private lands, and on those private lands the Farm Bill has provided funding that enables landowners to improve water quality and trout habitat through voluntary projects like livestock exclusion fencing and streamside tree planting.
Healthy trout habitat on private land leads to better fishing and improved downstream water quality. Not only is this important to Trout Unlimited and its more than 13,000 members in Pennsylvania, it is vital to the Commonwealth’s economy.
Sport fishing in Pennsylvania supports more than 8,000 jobs and $700 million in economic activity.
For example, dozens of projects completed in partnership with private landowners over the past two decades in the Kettle Creek watershed have resulted in enormous benefits for this renowned trout fishing destination in Clinton, Potter and Tioga counties.
In addition to improving stream habitat and angling opportunities, the projects also have prevented significant amounts of sediment pollution from entering the streams, the benefits of which extend all the way to the Chesapeake Bay.
The current Farm Bill is set to expire later this year.  Fortunately for Pennsylvania, two of its leaders in Congress will play significant roles in writing the new Farm Bill.
Both Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-Howard Township) and Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., are members of the congressional agriculture committees, which will have prime responsibilities for developing the next Farm Bill, and both understand the importance of USDA conservation programs.
Together they will be able to make it work even better for Pennsylvania farmers and anglers.
Pennsylvania is a sweet spot for agricultural conservation work. It has thousands of trout streams, a rich agriculture and forestry heritage, and a thriving fishing and hunting economy.
Aided by robust Farm Bill conservation programs, we can find the right balance to enable farmers and sportsmen and women to thrive in the great watersheds of the Ohio, Susquehanna and Delaware rivers.
Amy Wolfe is Director For Trout Unlimited's PA Coldwater Habitat Restoration Program and can be contacted by sending email to:

No comments :

Post a Comment

Subscribe To Receive Updates:

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner