Conservation

Conservation

  • By: Ted Williams
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The Paiute cutthroat has a future thanks to dedicated, tireless fisheries biologists.

Conservation

  • By: Ted Williams
  • Photography by: Louis Cahill
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Designer Fish

Manmade fish are all the rage.

What does their popularity say about us?

Conservation

  • By: Ted Williams
  • Photography by: David Skok
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conservation /// ted williams

Whatever are we to make of the “National Ocean Policy” process hatched by President Obama three years ago and finalized April 16, 2013?

Conservation

  • By: Ted Williams
  • Photography by: Jonathan Oppenheimer
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Click image for slideshow.

Suction dredging for gold, legal in most of the UNITED STATESbut especially popular in the West, is essentially a recreational form of mining. Six grand will buy you a portable gasoline-powered dredge, a sluice box, a wet suit and scuba gear, and you’re good to go (as they say). With a hose, usually four inches in diameter, you vacuum up inanimate and animate stuff from the bottom of the river, pushing away the big rocks and dislodging large woody debris. Because gold is heavier than wood, bark, gravel, fish eggs, fish fry, mussels, snails and insect larvae, it settles out in your sluice box (floating or anchored on shore). In most states you can buy a permit for less than the cost of a fishing license, but you don’t need one because there’s virtually no enforcement. In many locations the Mining Act of 1872 allows you to stake a claim to a river section and evict the public. Then you don’t even have to dredge; you can just hang out and enjoy your privatized public property.

Conservation

  • By: Ted Williams
  • Photography by: Donna Williams
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Until 1972, when Congress enacted the Clean Water Act over President Nixon’s veto, Americans treated their rivers like Londoners treated their streets in the Middle Ages—emptying their excreta into them. The act authorized the Environmental Protection Agency to limit pollution by awarding discharge permits. Large federal grants helped municipalities upgrade from primary sewage treatment (removing solids) to secondary treatment (reducing biological content).