Thomas Buhr (Director, 2003-2014) is a Michigan native who moved to Florida
as a young boy.
His first conservation issue was Florida’s Save Our Sealife campaign to make
500 foot gillnets unconstitutional. A state referendum in 1994 to that effect was
passed in 1994.
Buhr returned to The Great Lake State in the same year to go to graduate
school at The University of Michigan. In 2003 he earned a Ph.D in
Communication Studies to go along with an M.A. in Communication (University of
Central Florida, 1988) and B.A. in History (Miami FL, 1981). He has taught at the
collegiate level as an Adjunct Professor/Instructor in public speaking, persuasion,
and communication theory. Buhr has authored or co-authored over a dozen
academic papers in journals including the Journal of Mass Communication
Research, Journal of Cognitive Behavior, and Psychology Reports. He also has
given several papers at various conferences.
In addition, Buhr has had a long career as a freelance writer, mostly on outdoor
issues in a number of magazines including Field & Stream, Florida Game & Fish,
The Fisherman, and Michigan Outdoor News.
His primary activity with Anglers (AOTA) was serving as Editor of The
Riverwatch from 2004 to 2013 (Issues #40 to #70). He also worked on the
Mason Tract, Kolka Creek, and Perry Creek issues.
In 2007, Buhr formed the Au Sable Big Water Preservation Association
(ASBWPA) to focus on the stretch of the river from Mio Dam to Alcona Pond.
The group developed the 70 Degree Pledge to educate anglers on the ill effects
of catch and release in warm water situations. The organization also sponsored
cleanups throughout the season on that section, plus numerous erosion control
and access improvement projects with other organizations such as Huron Pines
and the Challenge Chapter of Trout Unlimited (TU). Their greatest achievement
came as a member of the Coldwater Committee to develop new fishing
regulations below Mio and on other rivers.
The Mason-Griffith Founders Chapter of TU named the ASBWPA Conservation
Group of the Year in 2010.
In 2009, Buhr took over the Chairmanship of the Au Sable River Watershed
Committee, a position he occupied until 2012.
Anglers absorbed the ASBWPA in 2014. Buhr continues to work with AOTA as
well as Mason-Griffith and Friends of the Mason Tract.
Along the way he has received a number of conservation awards including The
Reverend Bruce Hatch Resource Professional Award (2007, Mershon Chapter of
TU), The Michigan Keeper of the Great Lakes Award (2008), AOTA’s
Riverkeeper Award (2009), Sierra Club’s Environmental Journalism Award
(2012), The O.B. Eustis Environmental Award (2012, Huron Pines), and the
Sierra Club’s Great Lakes & Great Forests Award (2015).
Today Buhr splits time between northern Michigan and Florida’s Treasure
Coast where he is trying to use the lessons learned on the Au Sable to fix The
Indian River Lagoon.