Detroit, Michigan: Anglers of the Au Sable has received the “Advocate of the Year” award from the Michigan League of Conservation Voters, for the organization’s long tradition of standing up to challenges to the Au Sable’s rivers waters and wildlife.
The award, accepted by Anglers’ President Tom Baird, recognizes the group for “tenaciously defending the waters and wildlife of the mighty Au Sable River for almost three decades, for standing up to state and local policy decisions that threaten the Au Sable river and many other great Michigan waterways, and for being leaders in the fight to protect the clean fresh water that draws millions to Michigan every year.”
“We are honored to accept this award on behalf of the hundreds of members of Anglers of the Au Sable and in the spirit of our founder, Rusty Gates, who never tired of fighting to keep the river and its environs clean and suitable for trout,” said Baird after receiving the award Oct. 2. “This is also a tribute to our most recent past president, Bruce Pregler, and board members who have spent hours in tireless and often unrecognized work battling to preserve the special place that is the Au Sable River valley.”
Anglers of the Au Sable has fought court battles to protect the river and its headwaters against oil companies, worked with state officials to provide information that blocked a planned expansion of Camp Grayling that would have harmed the river, was recently instrumental in persuading state officials not to withdraw plans to allow oil drilling beneath the “Holy Waters” section and Hartwick Pines, and today is pressing for strong anti-pollution standards to prevent damage to the river and trout from a proposed fish hatchery.
“We have a history of working to preserve the Au Sable for trout fishing – and the economic boost that comes to the region because of the sports anglers who come from around the state, across the nation and all over the world to enjoy our blue ribbon trout stream,” said Baird. “The work continues – and the state is better because of Anglers and groups and companies like it recognized by the League of Conservation Voters.”
Also recognized by the League were Ford as Business of the Year and U.S. Sen. Carl Levin and U.S. Rep. John Dingell, who received lifetime achievement awards.
Anglers of the Au Sable is a membership organization created to preserve the pristine waters of the Au Sable River and its headwaters for the enjoyment of all. It has more than 700 members from across the nation, and is open to any person committed to the long-term conservation of the Au Sable watershed.