This editorial was written and submitted by Sadie Valdez Chapter President, Seedskadee Chapter #533 of Trout Unlimited
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Anglers in Wyoming are not strangers to the Wildlife Refuge System. On any day throughout the year with perfect conditions, you can expect to run into countless anglers fishing just about every riffle that Seedskadee has to offer.
Even on the windiest days, you may find a die-hard angler out on its water. Along with Seedskadee, Cokeville Meadows and the Elk Refuge outside of Jackson also offer fishing opportunities and are worthy of exploration by aspiring and seasoned anglers alike.
For most who reside here in Wyoming, our first fish landed on a fly rod happened on one of these National Wildlife Refuges.
As Wyoming residents and sportsmen, we cherish conservation values and celebrate having access to landscapes where we can fish to our hearts’ delight. We have always been excellent stewards of our waters, wild landscapes, and the fish that call these places home.
When it comes to angling opportunities, Wildlife Refuges need to continue to serve us by remaining accessible for years to come.
To keep fishing access on wildlife refuges strong, we should:
1. Continue to vocally support, as many of us have for years, hunting and angling access on refuges. We are fortunate here in Wyoming to have widespread access to fishing on all our refuges, but other states do not have the same opportunity.
2. Collaborate with land managers, neighbors, and organizations like Trout Unlimited to keep improving these spots for long-term durability so future generations can enjoy them too. All efforts make a difference, from opening preexisting side channels and installing fish diversion structures, to working towards improving the boat ramps on refuges like Seedskadee.
3. Thank Wildlife Refuge Project Leaders and staff here in the state for their dedication to our community’s needs and for managing our resources for future generations of hunters and anglers alike.
Chapter President, Seedskadee Chapter #533 of Trout Unlimited
Vice Chair, Wyoming Trout Unlimited
PAC Member, Southwest Wyoming Chapter of Muley Fanatic Foundation