I would like to respond to your unreasonable attack and accusations against the Boulder Flycasters, the local chapter of Trout Unlimited in Boulder, Colorado, and one of the most celebrated chapters in our state, maybe even the country.
First, for the record, I am a Moldy Chum fan – I have your stickers (just bought a new set a few weeks ago, in fact), ball caps, and t-shirts that I wear with pride, and have for years. I have your website posts in my RSS feed, so I see your content served fresh, daily. Even have one of your old fly stickers on the back of my truck. In fact, I am one of your “Reel Purists” on the Reel Pure website. I appreciate your quirky and off-the-cuff comments and posts, and of course the fishing stuff is great.
But when I saw your post this morning blasting the Boulder Flycasters for their invitation to the Keystone Group to speak at their chapter meeting about the Pebble Mine, I could not believe my eyes. It was a “WTF” moment and quite frankly, was so out of line that I was hoping it was just a snarky quip about Pebble. As the morning wore on, I realized that was not the case.
Let me make this perfectly clear…
We steadfastly support protection of Bristol Bay, and feel that the best way to assure that is to not develop the Pebble Mine. Trout Unlimited is THE LEADER when it comes to the protection of this amazing and precious place. Colorado Trout Unlimited, and its 23 chapter’s state wide, has signed on in allegiance with National Trout Unlimited in support of the efforts to stop this mine in its tracks. We have participated in that effort in a number of very substantial ways. We have hosted an array of fundraisers, petition drives, events, movie showings and premiers, and have even had members and journalists go to Bristol Bay to see the site and participate in this process. Some of these events have been held in Boulder, hosted by the Boulder Flycasters.
That said, we think it is a good thing to hear different perspectives and get a wide range of information into the hands of our members and the public. Indeed, one of the worst problems plaguing our nation's dialogue on many controversial issues is THE REFUSAL TO LISTEN to others with whom we disagree and instead to retreat into our own echo chambers. We happen to believe that civil dialogue and exchange of ideas and information is a good thing, and helps individuals make more informed decisions. The fact that we will be hearing other points of view from a Keystone mediator funded through Pebble Mine does not in any way change our values or our commitment to the protection of Bristol Bay's wild salmon - it just means we want to understand all the different perspectives.
Trout Unlimited is a moderate, open-minded, and balanced organization. In few cases do we just flat say no. But this time, if you look at our record and our actions across the country on this issue, that is exactly what we have done. Just because we are willing to listen to the other side of the argument does not mean that we are weak or are caving, it means that we are mature enough to listen and engage.
The Boulder Flycasters are one of the most celebrated chapters in the state of Colorado – most recently for their significant local stream restoration efforts (costing hundreds of thousands of dollars and thousands of volunteer man-hours). They also have award-winning youth education and communications programs.
Instead of being condescending and negative towards a very dedicated group of volunteers, I would like to invite you to come to Colorado sometime, roll up your sleeves and participate in some of the great volunteer work that is being done here to conserve, protect, and restore Colorado’s coldwater fisheries…work that is being done to provide healthy places for you and others to fish, float, contemplate, and make money, together, in this amazing place.
Sinjin Eberle, President
Colorado Trout Unlimited
Perhaps the utter bullshit adjective was a bit strong. In retrospect - "does not pass the smell test" might have been a little less emotionally charged.
This is simply a case of us questioning the logic behind inviting Keystone (arguably a pro Pebble Mine group hiding behind the guise of fair and balanced) to a function hosted by a chapter of TU. It was never our intent to "attack" the integrity, work, or reputation of the Boulder Fly Casters - or question their position on Pebble. Over the years we have proudly supported the efforts of TU (support that goes well beyond the pages of the Chum).
As you know, we have never been afraid to call it like we see it and we'll never buy the "both sides of the argument" defense when it comes to Pebble. No offense, but there is absolutely nothing to be open minded about when it comes to what's at stake in Bristol Bay.
Thanks for taking the time to respond.