Steve Moyer, Trout Unlimited‘s vice president for government affairs, was elected to the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame’s 2014 class for a career spent working to protect and restore America’s trout and salmon habitat from Capitol Hill.
In more than 20 years as a political advocate for trout, salmon and clean water, Moyer has compiled an impressive list of accomplishments, ranging from protecting large western landscapes to removing dams that have blocked salmon migration for generations to the incorporation of strong conservation language in important legislation, like the Farm Bill.
“Steve represents the best of Trout Unlimited,” said TU President and CEO Chris Wood. “He is quiet and unassuming, and the flat-out most effective conservation advocate on Capitol Hill. I am proud to call him a mentor and friend, and can think of no-one more deserving of this honor than Steve.”
Moyer first came to TU in 1992, and since then, he’s been instrumental in efforts to improve fish habitat-and fishing-all over America. For instance, he has:
- Helped the U.S. Forest Service establish a strong fisheries management program by advocating for increased fisheries funding and encouraging the inclusion of fisheries science into the agency that was traditionally managed for timber harvest. Given that many of this country’s best fisheries are located on U.S. Forest Service property and are publicly accessible, this effort not only protected some of America’s most cherished rivers, but also the opportunity to fish them.
- Helped garner grassroots support for federal funding for fish habitat protection and restoration programs, like the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Fish Passage Program, which has removed approximately 950 fish passage barriers and reconnected more than 15,500 stream miles, opening up countless new fishing opportunities.
- Helped pass a landmark omnibus land protection bill in 2009 that included the creation of the new Copper-Salmon Wilderness in southwest Oregon and the protection of 1.2 million acres of the Wyoming Range from future oil and gas drilling.
- Worked to reauthorize the Farm Bill in 1996, 2002, 2008, and again this year, ensuring vital conservation funding is available to the agriculture community to assist farmers and ranchers wishing to protect water quality and the irreplaceable fisheries that bisect their lands.
- Helped to defend the fish passage provisions of the Federal Power Act which has led to fisheries restoration across the nation, such as the dam removal projects on the Sebasticook River in Maine, which now boasts the largest population of migratory herring in America. He was also instrumental in the removal of two dams on Maine’s Penobscot River, which will eventually open more than 1,000 miles of habitat for endangered Atlantic salmon and a host of other ocean-going fish, including striped bass and shad. In Washington state, Moyer helped support the removal of the Elwha River Dam-today, salmon and steelhead are repopulating the river above old dam site. All of these projects have improved not only fish habitat, but fishing opportunity
In addition to his work on the Hill, Moyer has also worked closely with TU’s volunteers-at one point, he was TU’s volunteer operations director. Today, TU’s volunteers contribute about 700,000 hours of volunteer time on the ground to make fishing better through restoration and reconnection all across America.
“I’m honored and humbled to receive this award, and I am extremely grateful to the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame for it,” Moyer said. “All that I have accomplished would not have been possible without the splendid relationships I have enjoyed with TU volunteers and staff, members of Congress and their staffs, conservation organization friends, and state and federal agency partners. I am very fortunate to have had such a good run, but let’s all remember, there is a lot of work left to be done.”
Logo courtesy Trout Unlimited