Over the past year, GBTU, the MA-RI Council, and TU National have been actively engaged in protecting prime trout habitat and coldwater resources in Massachusetts from the possible effects of a major pipeline project that was proposed to cross the Housatonic, Westfield, Deerfield, and Millers River watersheds. Actions by TU include GBTU giving oral and written testimony regarding the impact on coldwater resources to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities; supporting TU National’s comments on the draft Environmental Impact Statement to FERC; and signing on to a formal Motion to Intervene filed by TU National with FERC.
These actions were sufficient that Tennessee Gas Pipeline, the firm that sought to build the pipeline, requested a conference call with TU to discuss our concerns; a number of GBTU members and members of other chapters participated in the call to ensure the interests of coldwater resources were well represented. Additionally, a plan for field monitoring of the construction of the pipeline was being developed at the time the suspension was announced by TGP.
Below is a blog post from Katy Dunlap of TU National and Kinder Morgan’s statement announcing the suspension.
GBTU Board of Directors
As a result of inadequate capacity commitments from prospective customers, Kinder Morgan, Inc., (NYSE: KMI) and its subsidiary, Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company (TGP), have suspended further work and expenditures on the Northeast Energy Direct (NED) project.
In July 2015, KMI’s board announced that it had authorized TGP to proceed with the project's "market path" segment from Wright, New York, to Dracut, Massachusetts, a $3.3 billion investment designed to help alleviate New England's uniquely high natural gas and electricity costs caused by severely limited natural gas transportation capacity currently serving the region.
The board's initial approval was based on existing contractual commitments at the time by local gas distribution companies (LDCs) to purchase natural gas from the project, as well as expected commitments from additional LDCs, electric distribution companies (EDCs), and other market participants in New England. Unfortunately, despite working for more than two years and expending substantial shareholder resources, TGP did not receive the additional commitments it expected. As a result, there are currently neither sufficient volumes, nor a reasonable expectation of securing them, to proceed with the project as it is currently configured.
The insufficient contracted capacity is due to several factors. They include the fact that the New England states have not yet established regulatory procedures to facilitate binding EDC commitments, that the process in each state for establishing such procedures is open-ended, and that the ultimate success of those processes is not assured.
In addition, innovations in production have resulted in a low-price environment that, while good for consumers, has made it difficult for producers to make new long term commitments. Further, current market conditions and counter-party financial instability have called into question TGP’s ability to secure incremental supply for the project. Given these market conditions, continuing to develop the project is not an acceptable use of shareholder funds.
TGP has operated in New England for more than 60 years and remains committed to meeting the critical need for constructing additional natural gas infrastructure in the region. Although we have suspended work and further expenditures on the NED project, TGP will continue to work with customers to explore alternative solutions to address their needs, particularly local distribution companies that are unable to fully serve consumers and businesses in their areas because of the lack of access to abundant, low-cost domestic natural gas.
Cold Water, Cold Beer: Highlights of River Restoration in the Northeast
This event is sponsored by Greater Boston Trout Unlimited, the Sea Run Brook Trout Coalition, Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration and Biodiversity for a Livable Climate.
Please join us at the Harpoon Brewery in Boston for an evening of beer tasting, fish stories and a recounting of recent river restoration successes.
Included will be a raffle and short movie about river restoration in Massachusetts. All proceeds benefit The Sea Run Brook Trout Coalition, Greater Boston Trout Unlimited and Biodiversity for a Livable Planet in support of river restoration.
If you are interested in attending, PLEASE RESERVE your place in advance.
Attendees must have a ticket and/or be on our Guest List to gain admission. For admission, click the ORANGE DONATE button near the bottom of the page to purchase a single ticket. Address and access information to the event will be sent by email in return for your donation. (allow 1 – 2 days for processing.)
For more information or to reserve your place, please see http://www.searunbrookie.org/cold-water-cold-beer/
Click here to contribute.
Along the beautiful, rugged shoreline of Westport, MA, the Angeline Brook and its branches provide home waters to one of the most important remaining native sea-run brook trout populations in all of New England.
In the face of encroaching development, the Massachusetts/Rhode Island Trout Unlimited Council has a rare opportunity to help preserve it.
How we can help.
The Angeline Brook Land Conservation Project will acquire and permanently protect 102 acres of forested land, including 1.7 miles of high-quality coastal stream habitat along the Angeline Brook watershed.
The project will connect to existing conservation lands, creating a contiguous area of over 630 acres straddling both sides of Angeline Brook, its side channels, and its tributaries.
These assembled parcels and waterways will provide critical protection for one of only two Massachusetts areas where the status of coastal brook trout populations are considered “Abundant.”
The mission of Trout Unlimited is to conserve, protect, and restore North America’s coldwater fisheries and their watersheds.
The MA/RI Trout Unlimited Council and its constituent chapters are now seeking to support the Buzzard Bay Coalition and its partners in the land acquisition for The Angeline Brook Project to protect this rare and vital coastal stream and its associated watershed lands.
Time is limited for us and the sea-run trout.
- Eastern brook trout are declining throughout their range due land use change, habitat loss and fragmentation, and interactions with non-native species.
- The proposed land acquisition has been identified by the Massachusetts BioMap 2 as “Core Habitat” and “Critical Natural Landscape.” The Angeline Brook system is one of the most important clusters of remaining native sea-run brook trout populations along New England’s coast.
The Angeline Brook Land Conservation Project has the opportunity to acquire and protect some of the most important lands that support this important resource. In order to secure the remaining $100,000 to purchase the remaining land and embedded watershed, the project needs to be funded by June 1st, 2016.
With the financial support of the member chapters of the MA/RI Council of Trout Unlimited, and with truly valued donations from you, we can meet this goal.
Click here to contribute.
Thank you so very much. See you on the water!
Recent Examples of Successful MA/RI Trout Unlimited Support of Land/Watershed Conservation Projects.
- Sea-run brook trout protection work at the Lyman Reserve in Wareham, Massachusetts in conjunction with a variety of state agencies and entities.
- Financial assistance given by the Council and member chapters to the Franklin Land Trust for their purchase of property in Heath, MA along the West Branch of the North River.
More information about The Angeline Brook Land Conservation Project.
- The primary objective of this project is to protect a substantial amount of key habitat supporting sea-run brook trout and the associated high quality ecological conditions indicated by their presence. The project helps to preserve the rural character of this area and expands recreational access for the public to the stream and the open space around it.
- The Angeline Brook Land Conservation Project is a rare opportunity to intervene before the Angeline Brook populations go the way of the other sea-run brook trout habitats.
- The MA-RI Council is supporting the Buzzards Bay Coalition and its project partners (Westport Land Conservation Trust and Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife.) These latter organizations all have full time conservation land management staff and the necessary resources to appropriately steward this conservation land.
- A conservation restriction will separately be placed on all of the property to further ensure permanent protection.
- These streams are regularly assessed by the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife for the fish resource, water quality and habitat temperature.
PastaFest 2016 is Coming Up!
Great Prizes! Live & Silent Auctions! Terrific Food! Wonderful Company! Help GBTU on its Coldwater Conservation Mission!
GBTU’s Annual Fundraiser will take place on Sunday, April 10th, 2016 at the Hibernian Hall,151 Watertown Street Watertown MA from 4 – 8 PM. Dinner @ 5:30.
Auction Items Include:
- Weatherby’s Lodge: Grand Lake Stream, ME; 2 nights/2 people; landlocked salmon, brook trout and smallmouth bass
- Margaree River, Nova Scotia: 1 week fishing w guide for wild Atlantic salmon and brook trout fishing
- Grants Camps Maine: 2 nights/2 people, fishing for wild brook trout and landlocked salmon on Kennebago watershed
- Bosebuck Camps Maine: 2 nights/2 people fishing the upper Magalloway River ME for brook trout
- Lopstick Lodge: Pittsburg NH, 2 nights/2 people, fishing for trout and salmon on Conn River
- Arlington Inn: Arlington VT, 2 nights/2 people on Battenkill River for wild trout
Tickets are $35 – pre-purchase at https://squareup.com/store/greater-boston-chapter-trout-unlimited or at the door. Contact John Salemi @ 508-481-3034 (h) or 617-538-1490 (c) with any questions. See GBTU Facebook or www.gbtu.org for more details. If you can’t attend but want to enter the raffle, let John know.
If you are interested in volunteering for this event or in getting involved in other GBTU chapter activities, please contact Bill Pastuszek, President, TUGreaterBoston@gmail.com.
GBTU Members: Do you have a passionate teen leader in your chapter that is between 8th and 12th grade? We are looking for TU Teens from across the country to apply for the 2016 Teen Summit. Please send them to www.tu.org/teensummit to apply!
For the first time ever, the Headwaters Youth Program is crowdfunding for chapter-wide support to help fund the 2016 TU Teen Summit. Crowdfunding is a powerful fundraising tool because individuals are able to donate small amounts that contribute to a larger goal and watch the progress online! The Teen Summit is an opportunity for some of TU’s most extraordinary teen members to meet up for a five day leadership conference. The teens learn the skills and confidence needed to make a difference on their home waters and in their chapters. These young men and women are the TU of tomorrow!
This year, the Summit will be held at a rustic camp on Georgetown Lake, MT. In order to ensure that all families can afford to send their child to the Summit, the cost is kept very low at $200 for 5 days. The remaining funds must be raised by TU’s Youth Program, which is solely responsible for its own program fundraising.
Please take a moment to visit our GoFundMe Campaign and donate whatever you can. And please SHARE the campaign on Facebook, in your chapter newsletter, or email it out to friends and family. Anyone can donate to support tomorrow’s TU leaders!
Thank you. Please do not hesitate to contact the TU Headwaters Staff (email@example.com / 828-575-6132) directly with questions. You can also contact me, Bill Pastuszek, current GBTU President @TUGreaterBoston@gmail.com
GBTU President’s Message
My own involvement with GBTU began during the initial Acid Rain Monitoring Project. I remember rising early on many a Sunday morn to collect test tubes of water and deliver them to a collection point. All these years later I can still see the lasting benefits of our work. I remain committed to TU’s educational and conservation missions, and the sheer fun it brings.
Trout Unlimited has always fed my dual interests in conservation and fly-fishing. (It’s okay to admit that, that I fly fish too?) Our GBTU chapter is very successful and championing both.
Two recent successes serve as points of pride. In western Massachusetts, GBTU partnered with the MA-RI Trout Unlimited Council and other private and public agencies, and helped finance the Franklin Land Trust’s acquisition of the “Crowningshield” property, a significant land parcel with about 1,000 feet along the North River. This innovative partnership is a model for the projects that conserve and protect both land and watershed areas. There is more to come and we will keep you informed.
GBTU also identified and, with the town’s cooperation, restored Traphole Brook in Walpole, MA. Reclamation and renovation to this small waterway has already enabled its native brook trout to occupy more of the stream, and we are hopeful that natural reproduction and migration will follow. GBTU is actively working to identify, preserve, and restore other small streams in our primary area --Suffolk and Middlesex counties-- we will welcome your participation when the time comes.
PastaFest, GBTU’s annual live and silent auction, dinner, and raffle is nearly here! PastaFest will take place on Sunday, April 10, 2016 at the Hibernian Hall in Watertown from 4pm to 9 pm. Join us for great food and great auction items including fabulous equipment, fishing trips, and the grand raffle prize: an Orvis H2 rod and Mirage reel. For more information watch your mail, and see our website (www.gbtu.org) and Facebook page. Tickets are sold at the door.
April 30 (9am – 12 noon) is the date for our Charles River Cleanup. Bring your family and friends, and celebrate Earth Day. GBTU is once again putting together a crew to participate in the annual Charles River Cleanup. This is a great way to start off the year doing something positive for the local environment. All ages welcomed. If interested contacts Steve Kundrot @ firstname.lastname@example.org
Why do I think TU is important? Recently I traveled to Asheville, North Carolina, for business and pleasure. My wife and I had a chance to meet with a number of individuals with similar interests in conservation and fishing. We also shared coffee and time on the rivers with the president of the Asheville Land O’Sky TU chapter (landoskytu.org ), John Miko and his wife, Lauren. We discussed many matters of common interest include expanding and diversifying membership and in involving more volunteers in fun and meaningful projects.
Of course there was much talk was about fishing as this area is an absolute fishing haven. (John is Tenkara expert and we had fun learning a new approach to catching fish!). All talk about fishing moves quickly to and is entwined with preserving the environment that allows quality fishing to be possible. North Carolina has thousands of miles of trout water and a wide variety of users of that water, from bait fisherman looking for a creel limit to catch and release Tenkara enthusiasts. Massachusetts and New England have a similar diversity. GBTU is committed to expanding and protecting our under-discovered local and regional trout resources. If you are reading this, you see the similarities.
What's the common theme? Cold clean water supports healthy cold water fish populations. To have this, the waters and their stream beds have to be identified, restored, preserved, and defended against threats, encroachment and mismanagement. That is our task, and we welcome your participation.
As winter ebbs and spring teases us with its fishing and travel dreams, think about what you can do to help. Let me know if I can help you.
If you are a member of TU, I invite you to become more familiar your organization. If you would like to get more involved, please let me know. We have meaningful work for you and a community that shares your interests. If you know of someone who would like to become a member, please direct them to me. I welcome hearing and learning from long-time and first-time members. My contact information is TUGreaterBoston@gmail.com.
And watch our website (gbtu.org) and FaceBook Page for more information on GBTU activities, upcoming chapter meetings, conservation projects, fishing, fly tying, and much more.
See you at PastaFest! See you on the water!
Crowningshield Property Update - February, 2016
As a result of the collaborative efforts of various TU chapters (TU) though the MA-RI Trout Unlimited Council, with the Franklin Land Trust (FLT), the following update is provided.
The Crowningshield Conservation Area (CCA) was acquired by the Franklin Land Trust (FLT) in early 2015. The property includes approximately one mile of the West Branch of the North River. An Advisory Committee was formed to provide advice and oversight for upkeep and preservation of the property and stream. Members include environmental professional, FLT members and TU members.
As hoped, following the TU Council donation, Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game
donated $50,000 to help fund the purchase of the property. They are now the responsible holder of the Conservation Restriction. Additional grants have been received from MA DCR and MA DFW for habitat and wildlife assessments, invasive species control, and development of a wood road for access. See photographs.
Work is underway to remove the old barn beside the road and develop a parking area. All known hazardous material has been removed by a licensed contractor. FLT and the Deerfield TU chapter had a field day to remove 45 old tires and two truckloads of trash that had been dumped on the steep slope beside the road.
In early fall FLT purchased the abutting 14 acre Desmond property just downstream to be managed as part of CCA. The acquisition provides for another 1000’ of protection along West Branch north side with a switchback dirt road down to the stream. Greater Boston, Deerfield and Pioneer Valley chapters made donations to help with the acquisition. This property will be managed as part of CCA. Recently a grant for $10,000 was received from the Fields Pond Foundation to be used for property infrastructure—trails, gates, signage, etc.
FLT was invited to attend a workshop (hosted by USGS) at the Silvio Conte Wildlife Refuge to discuss management and conservation of the headwaters of the Deerfield River. Since the initial meeting, this group has decided to focus on the North River catchment, including doing mitigation, management and conservation within the North River. FLT’sCCA is the focus area for the group to look at developing and demonstrating the idea of Foresters for the Fish. This effort will include developing a tool kit for foresters and land owners to assess cold water fisheries habitat and develop management techniques. Management techniques covered will include: management within the riparian zone for cover of cold ground water deposition; coarse woody material deposition; bank stabilization; upland management for invertebrates; invasive species control. TU National and FLT have been awarded a grant from the Wildlife Conservation Society
TU National and FLT have been awarded a grant from the Wildlife Conservation Society to develop Foresters for the Fish described above.
Plans for the summer include putting up an information kiosk near the stream. The kiosk would include the stream name, property name and property owner, date of protection, supporters. The sign would further state: Please take out what you bring in and Fisherman, please practice catch and release. A map of the property would be created showing location, parking, and trails. ,
A summer get together has been discussed sometime in late summer to see the property and meet some of the fish. If anyone is interested to help organize this, please contact Chris Jackson 413-325-1677, email@example.com or Bruce Osterling, 978-443-9861, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please share this information with chapter members and friends.
MA TU CHAPTERS’ FUNDRAISING BANQUETS INFORMATION
SATURDAY, MARCH 19TH, 2016
NOR’EAST CHAPTER OF TROUT UNLIMITED FUNDRAISING BANQUET:
Location: Ipswich Masonic Hall, 70 Topsfield Road, Ipswich, MA 01938
Time: 5:00 to 9:00PM (doors open at 4:00PM)
Tickets: $25.00/person until March 5th; thereafter $30.00/person. Buy tickets online at www.tunoreast.org.
Contact Person: Fred Jennings, NETU President (617-605-3150)
SPECIAL DEAL: If your Chapter fills a table of 8 ($200 before March 5th or $240 thereafter) with attendees, either your chapter or the individual responsible for doing so will be entered into a special “Sponsors’ Raffle” from which one table sponsor will win any Orvis Rod (worth up to $900) plus any Orvis Reel (worth up to $500) – winner’s choice – for themselves or for a nice Grand Raffle Prize for your banquet next year!
SOUTHEASTERN MASSACHUSETTS CHAPTER OF TROUT UNLIMITED FUNDRAISING BANQUET:
Location: Montponsett Inn, 550 Monponsett Street, Halifax, MA (781-293-2116)
SEMA TU Banquet Contact Person: Roger Moore (781-878-8620)
SQUAN-A-TISSIT CHAPTER OF TROUT UNLIMITED FUNDRAISING BANQUET:
Location: Pepperell VFW Hall, 55 Leighton Street, Pepperell, MA
Time: 5:00 to 9:00PM: no other information on website.
FRIDAY, APRIL 1ST, 2016
PIONEER VALLEY CHAPTER OF TROUT UNLIMITED FUNDRAISING BANQUET:
Location: Castle of Knights, 1599 Memorial Drive, Chicopee, MA (413-532-2000)
Time: 5:00 to 9:00PM
Meal: baked scrod or baked stuffed chicken
Tickets: $30.00; mail check to Joe Babineau, 3 Knight St., Belchertown, MA 01007 (413-323-6037 after 5PM)
SUNDAY, APRIL 10TH, 2016
GREATER BOSTON CHAPTER OF TROUT UNLIMITED PastaFest BANQUET & AUCTION:
Location: Hibernian Hall, 151 Watertown Street, Watertown, MA 02472 (617-924-9541)
Time: 4:00 to 9:00PM
Tickets: $35.00 (Contact John Salemi 508-481-3034 (h) or 617-538-1490 (c). See GBTU Facebook or www.gbtu.org.
SUNDAY, APRIL 17TH, 2016
CAPE COD CHAPTER OF TROUT UNLIMITED FUNDRAISING BANQUET:
Location: Riverway Lobster House, 1338 MA Route 28, South Yarmouth, MA (508-398-2172)
Time: 3:00 to 7:00PM
Tickets: $35.00/person (Contact Wayne Miller by email at email@example.com).
SATURDAY, APRIL 30TH, 2016
CENTRAL MASSACHUSETTS CHAPTER OF TROUT UNLIMITED FUNDRAISING BANQUET:
Location: Chester P. Tuttle Post, 88 Bancroft Street, Auburn, MA 01590
Time: 6:00 to 10:00PM
Tickets: $30.00/person (payable at the door? Contact person?)
CENTRAL MASSACHUSETTS CHAPTER OF TROUT UNLIMITED FISHING TOURNAMENT:
Location: Quinnapoxet River, Holden, MA (Sign in at Tournament HQ – Trout Brook Recreation Area)
Time: 10:00AM to 2:00PM (Trophies and Prizes to be awarded at the CMTU Banquet – see above)
Tickets: Admission to the CMTU Fishing Tournament included in your CMTU Banquet ticket.