Navigating the sea of conservation based non-profits is an overwhelming task. So many options are available with varying mission statements that things can get confusing. Here are a few of our favorites that align with our core values and make a big impact on legislation and conservation efforts.
TU is one of the most obvious choices for anglers. They have a long history of restoring and protecting habitat for trout. They also recently released a new campaign to protect and restore wild steelhead stocks. A regular membership runs $35 dollars per year and the money is well spent. Upgrade memberships are also available. They also publish a great quarterly magazine appropriately named, TROUT. Take a minute to browse their website and you will quickly realize the depth of their program. They have chapters across the country and a very transparent media presence that details each project. Learn more here.
Wild Steelhead Coalition
This group is very hands on in the angling community. Their mission is simple, increase the returns of wild steelhead. They do a great job of getting anglers involved with everything from signing petitions to joining events and making a presence at government hearings. Steelhead populations have suffered some incredible blows and passionate anglers are fighting to remove dams, restore habitat and remove hatcheries in an effort to restore wild runs of genetically pure steelhead. This is a fight worth joining. Learn more here.
Native Fish Society
This is a great group that makes a big effort to connect the science with the decision makers. They have an online library of scientific studies and research available to the public as well. They publish monthly conservation reports, highlighting major issues in a scientific format. Their legislative efforts are significant and they are excellent at targeting specific watersheds that are being threatened. Learn more here.
Western Rivers Conservancy
The best way to permanently protect a river is to buy it. These guys have proven to be very successful through strategic land acquisition. They purchase large tracts of land to create permanent preserves in areas with critical habitat. Their work on the John Day River created a large park and protected important wild steelhead water. They are now focusing on the lower Klamath River to create a permanent salmon reserve. Learn more here.
Bonefish and Tarpon Trust
Attention saltwater anglers. These are the guys who managed to make bonefish and tarpon catch and release species in Florida. They fund studies and research that determines the major threats to bonefish, tarpon and permit populations. Then they take action to improve regulations and complete conservation work. They also have tagged fish that are collecting data. Anglers who catch these fish report directly to their program. Learn more here.
Backcountry Hunters and Anglers
The grassroots efforts and clear mission to defend wild country has helped this group grow a large following. They are major proponents of backcountry, wilderness areas and human powered mobility. They fight to protect wild areas from off road vehicles and believe in the rich traditions of hunting and fishing in an ethical and respectful manner. Subscribe to their quarterly magazine and join your local chapter to connect with other like minded hunters and anglers. Learn more here.
Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership
This conservation organization has a major voice for the sporting community. They make big efforts to have a positive effect on federal policy and funding with the general mission to protect hunting and fishing lands for future generations. They have partnered with numerous other private and non-profit organizations, including several of those on this list. Their ability to partner with other groups and deliver a united message to Washington is critical for the future of fishing and hunting. Learn more here.
American Rivers is a large and very effective conservation group. They have a multifaceted approach to protecting rivers that involves the conservation and human value of our waterways. They focus on removing pollution to create safe drinking water. They advocate for the removal of outdated dams and they work to create recreational and wild and scenic designations to preserve rivers for the surrounding communities.