How will fishing fare under Trump Presidency?
By: Sportsmens Compass Editorial Staff
There are several competing interests which will determine how fishing will be impacted by a Trump presidency. Clearly he supports the rights of outdoors-men:
“I’m so happy and thrilled to have the support of America’s sportsmen and sportswomen. Hunting, fishing, and other outdoor activities are favorite pastimes across America, passed down from generation to generation. Just incredible. Law-abiding gun owners across this nation are at risk. Political correctness, Hillary Clinton, and Washington insiders are trying to take away our Second Amendment rights–and they’re really trying hard, like never ever before. That’s wrong, and it won’t happen when I’m president.”-
His son, Donald Jr. is an avid hunter and fisherman and has strongly supported these pastimes in numerous public speeches. His influence is likely to play some role in administration policies.
From a rights perspective, Trump will likely be an advocate for fishing and hunting. What his environmental policies will mean for the quality of our waters and health of our fisheries remains to be seen.
Clearly, based on past statements made by Trump, he questions “global warming”. Support for enhanced energy production and less EPA regulation creates concern for many. It would appear that Trump supports oil drilling off the Atlantic coast. Anxieties have mounted regarding the Pebble Mine moving forward in Alaska. Further, will he make good on his promise to “cancel” participation in the Paris climate agreement and halt US payments to the UN combat climate change?
It would seem Trump’s position post election has softened a bit as he acknowledges that there is some connectivity between human activity and climate change. With conflicting positions and predictable political flip-flopping, we only wish we had a crystal ball to ascertain how his environmental positions will play out. Trump’s pick for a Secretary of the Interior will be critical.
Can a commitment to broad based economic growth be reconciled with improving our environment? It is unlikely advocates on either side of this issue will ever agree or arrive at a reasonable set of metrics to judge. Fisherman and outdoors-men will need to be vigilant and heard on any potential developments that will or will not likely hurt our oceans, rivers, lakes and streams.
The trade off between environmental safety and development will continue to be controversial under a Trump presidency and in the decades to follow.
With our without a new President, the future of our fisheries is in the air. The policies of President Elect Trump will play a large role in that future, and it is important that both parties come to a compromise relatively soon. There may be a way to encourage economic growth with no detrimental impact on our environment. Regardless of what happens, it is somewhat comforting knowing that at least one Trump at the table is looking forward to chasing brook trout in a clear, cold stream for many years to come.