TU and Field and Stream will announce the 2011 Best Wild Places on Tuesday, Nov. 8, but, if you can’t wait to find out which locations made the cut, you’ve come to right place.
First on this year’s list is the White River drainage of northwest Colorado. Great fishing. Great hunting … but the potential for some irresponsible natural gas development.
The north woods of Maine also made the cut, thanks largely to the brook trout the region harbors. It’s the last, best place in the country when it comes to catching brookies.
Also on the list is the Tongass National Forest in Alaska. This is the largest national forest in the country, and it faces some of the most problematic challenges, including road building and logging in some of the most pristine roadless land on earth. That the area boasts some of the best fishing and hunting in the country is also significant.
South Lake Tahoe, California is also a great sporting destination, and TU is focusing on some intact Lahontan cutthroat trout habitat, hoping to gain permanent protection for one of the last, best strongholds of this native fish.
Then, it’s on to Idaho’s Clearwater Country, where anglers can chase native west slope cutthroat trout, steelhead and salmon, and hunters can pursue deer, elk, bear … and even wolves, now the management of the wolf populations in Idaho and Montana have been transferred to the states.
Finally, it’s back to Colorado, where TU is working with all interested parties to craft a future for the Upper Dolores River Basin in the state’s southwest. There’s potential for permanent protection of some of best native trout habitat left in Colorado, as well as potential partnerships with private landowners who want to see the river stay healthy and productive.
You can read all about this year’s project at the Field and Stream website, and stay tuned to TU’s blog and Facebook/Twitter pages for continuous updates during the project.