West Virginia Wildlife Federation Reverses Position on Tier 2.5
As you know I have been doing research for months on the Elk River for a series of conservation articles called "West Virginia's Troubled Waters" which will be featured in Eastern Fly Fishing this spring. The Slatyfork section of the Elk River is the proposed site of a new 20 million dollar sewer plant that will that will be built primarily for Snowshoe Mountain Resort, and for which the state of West Virginia is not requiring an environmental impact study. While doing this research, I discovered there is practically a war going on in the West Virginia legislature concerning implementation of the Clean Waters Act, especially as it pertains to a category called Tier 2.5 . In a nut shell I discovered the West Virginia Wildlife Federation was making its decision to support, or in this case not to support, the highest level of protection for trout streams on private land based purely on fishing access. Once I interviewed Mr. Charlie Nichols, the cold waters expert for the WVWF, and made this position known on your blog site, the West Virginia Wildlife Federation reversed its position almost immediately.
There is a great deal of misinformation on the classification of trout steams and clean water in West Virginia. One such claim is that there is no difference between 2.0 Tier, B2 trout streams, and Tier 2.5, this is utter bunk. There is a significant difference between them which is laid out in great detail in a report written by Evan Hansen, a source that I have used for my articles. You can read about the true issues involved by going to http://www.polsci.wvu.edu/ipa/par/reporter24_3.pdf and seeing the difference for yourself. Mr. Nichols believes that I have been unfair to him, and I would ask that you please re-post his e-mail to me and my response. I am by no means an expert on the Clean Waters Act or on West Virginia fisheries, but I have done my homework, and I believe folks should investigate the issues for themselves and then decide.
I would also encourage your readers to learn more about the plight facing the Elk River by going to www.8riverssafedevelopment.com or www.savethesharpfarm.com If fly anglers, and those that love trout waters, want to make a difference they need to call their legislators at the WV Legislature Toll Free Phone Number - 1-877-565-3447. You need to state that you are in support of keeping all 309 proposed steams on the Tier 2.5 list. If we don't, some of West Virginia's best trout streams may simply waste away, starting with the venerable Elk River.
Thanks for getting this done, Beau.I'm glad that the WVWF finally did the right thing.
For the Beau's original post "West Virginia Wildlife Federation Opts For Access First, Clean Water Second" go to: