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TU Snake River Headwaters Initiative Newsletter - Issue #1

March 31 · Issue #1 · View online
TU Snake River Headwaters Initiative
Dear friends,
A warm hello from Jackson Hole and welcome to the first issue of our e-newsletter.
With all of the uncertainty in the world right now - and most of us spending time in isolation, tuned in digitally more than we typically like to be – I wanted to send you some news, updates, and musings from the Snake River Headwaters and TU, from my new home office in East Jackson.
We have been placed under a “shelter at home” ordinance in Town, and the national parks have been shut down as well to protect our community, but thankfully for now, we are still able to escape outdoors to take in some fresh air and recharge our spirits (see video below). There is still plenty of snow in the high country, but the snow in the valley is starting to recede as days get longer, and rivers are flowing (and fish are being caught, so I am told… I will confirm and report back…).
Spring is in the air, bringing with it new sights, sounds, hatches, and a sense of hope for the future. I remain focused on our coldwater conservation work in the upper Snake, and am doing all I can to ensure that the 5 projects we have planned for implementation in 2020 are able to proceed. These projects will reconnect migratory corridors and restore degraded habitat for our native Snake River cutthroat trout, so that they can remain healthy and resilient in uncertain times.
I hope you enjoy our first issue. Please don’t hesitate to reach out and share your thoughts and feedback, I’d love to hear from you!
Wishing you all the best,
Leslie Steen

Dog-powered social distancing on Slide Lake
How have you been quarantining? I recently ventured up to Slide Lake, which is still frozen, and tried crust-cruising (skate skiing “off-piste” on snow that is frozen at the surface and just starting to thaw) in combination with ski joring with my dog Sophie. Check out this short video - I hope you are entertained as I was to try this new “Nordic combined” sport and speed across the lake (sometimes dog-powered, sometimes not). 
Bioengineering and bank stabilization workshop
On March 2nd, Trout Unlimited, together with the Teton Conservation District, Snake River Fund, and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, hosted a Bioengineering and Bank Stabilization workshop series aimed at advancing our community’s understanding and use of streambank stabilization methods that balance public infrastructure needs with ecological stewardship and fisheries. Over 100 elected officials, water resource professionals, and agency staff attended the workshops, which we hope to build upon to encourage future dialogue on this important topic.
Bar BC Spring Creek project completed
We are thrilled to announce the completion of the Bar BC Spring Creek Fish Passage and Channel Restoration project as of February 2020. Our contractors worked through snowfall and subzero temperatures to complete this project on one of the most productive cutthroat trout spawning streams in the upper Snake River watershed. An undersized culvert under the Gros Ventre levee was replaced with a 12-foot wide culvert that will now allow cutthroat of all sizes to access the spring creek, and the habitat immediately upstream of the culvert was significantly improved for spawning and migrating fish. We are excited to see the fish return in spring 2020!
Tincup and Spread Creek projects in the news
Tincup Project Partners Receive Conservation Award | Star Valley Independent
A decade on, Spread Creek resurgence continues | Jackson Hole News and Guide
TU resources for COVID-19
With many of our members and supporters hunkered down at home and in front of computers and phones, the folks in Trout Media are working on upping TU’s game when it comes to virtual engagement. A few resources we’d like to share:
Jackson Hole TU Chapter cancels "Tie One On"
For those of you that may have been looking forward to the Jackson Hole TU chapter’s annual fundraising benefit in May, we regret to inform you that the event has been cancelled. Please read JHTU’s statement on the cancellation, which includes ways to support the chapter during these difficult times.
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