Gordon Tomb, a former chapter officer of Trout Unlimited, calls the group out for venturing into political stupidity with the proposed DRBC fracking ban.
Trout Unlimited exceeded the limit of my tolerance for stupidity when it asked that I support a proposed fracking ban in the Delaware River watershed.
Forty years ago I was an officer of a Trout Unlimited chapter in southwestern Pennsylvania, where there were probably more miles of streams polluted by coal mines than populated by fish. I recall a membership committed to protecting fisheries and restoring damaged streams without stripping people of their livelihoods and vilifying industries for employing modern technology.
I left the group when I moved east for a career that allowed little time for outside activities. A few years ago, I joined a Harrisburg-based chapter. Because I fish local streams, I liked that my membership dues would help maintain them.
Last year, Trout Unlimited’s dubious commentary on an environmental issue made me wince. So be it, I thought, I will never agree with everything any organization presents.
However, this camel’s back broke when Trout Unlimited chose to side with the Delaware River Basin Commission, which has used specious arguments to keep gas wells out of the watershed and trammel property rights.
As neighboring counties thrived on business generated by the gas industry, the watershed’s property owners were denied access to hundreds of millions of dollars in investments.
Meanwhile, I have caught hundreds of smallmouth bass in the Susquehanna River, whose watershed has been the site of fracking for a decade. A guide I know describes the river as the best smallmouth fishery east of the Mississippi.
How is it that the Susquehanna keeps rolling along with drilling throughout its region but the Delaware faces ruin from the same activity? It is a ridiculous claim that would be laughable if it weren’t so infuriating.
I am not renewing my Trout Unlimited membership. I am all for unlimited trout. But more than that, I value honesty and common sense in public policy.
Gordon Tomb is primary editor of “Inconvenient Facts: The science that Al Gore doesn’t want you to know.”