Support the Fish Hatchery: How You Can Help!
From the Friends of the Fish Hatchery:
We are writing to inform you of the potential closure of the Leadville National Fish Hatchery (LNFH) by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and to ask you to help publicize our effort to keep this closure from occurring.
Due to the dwindling size of the federal budget, the USFWS is attempting to balance its budget by closing several hatcheries, including the hatchery located in Leadville, Lake County, Colorado. The closure of this fish hatchery would severely impact the economy of Lake County and also have an impact on the state as a whole.
There are several significant facts about the LNFH which we highlight in this letter. The hatchery is playing a critical and irreplaceable role in the preservation of our state fish, the Greenback Cutthroat, which is on the threatened species list, and also the efforts to protect threatened fish in the Colorado River.
The hatchery also supports the economy of Lake and Chaffee Counties. It draws anglers to the region to fish for the catchable trout the hatchery stocks in Turquoise Lake, Twin Lakes, the Forebay and Chaffee County’s Clear Creek. Furthermore, the hatchery employees spend their salaries in the area, and the hatchery utilizes local vendors and tradesmen to maintain vehicles and facilities. Between anglers attracted to the area and the trickle-down effect from the hatchery itself, $3.5 million additional dollars are added annually to our area’s economy. Up to 50,000 tourists a year visit the hatchery to feed the fish, hike/walk/ski the trails, view the historical building and to use the amenities at the picnic grounds. Thus, the hatchery is providing one more reason to visit central Colorado and to spend more money here and none of these expenditures is included in the $3.5 million cited above.
The LNFH is a recreational and historical asset for all of Colorado. Located an hour and a half to two hours from the Front Range, it is a recreation destination for city dwellers. The handicapped accessible picnic grounds provide a place for multi-generational families to spend time in the forest. The swings, labyrinth, ball courts and covered pavilion are inviting for all ages. Meanwhile, visitors looking for more vigorous activity can access trails into the wilderness. Anglers from all of Colorado will have less choice of fishing destinations if the hatchery no longer stocks trout in the bodies of water mentioned above. These high altitude nutrient-poor reservoirs are not capable of supporting large numbers of fish without supplemental stocking. There is no other source of fish to replace this loss should the hatchery stop stocking. The Colorado State hatchery system is fully committed and has no room for expansion.
Furthermore, the hatchery building is an historical site to be treasured and protected. Built in 1889, it is true to the Victorian architectural style, with beautiful inlaid wood floors, eyed gables, and a vaulted ceiling. It is constructed of red sandstone blocks from the Roaring Fork Valley.
Here’s how you can help and have you voice heard. Write a letter to your representative expressing your support of keeping the Leadville National Fish Hatchery open and the reasons why:
- Sample Letter: LINK.
- Contact list of Representatives: LINK.
- Arguments Why Hatchery Should Remain Open: LINK.
- Fact Sheet About Hatchery: LINK.
THANK YOU for YOUR SUPPORT!
Family Fun Night with The Center at the Library
On Thursday, Jan 23, The Center will be having a Family Fun Night at Lake County Public Library from 5:30 – 7 p.m. Families will be able to get library cards, go on a scavenger hunt, and listen to stories. For questions contact Mary Cannell, Family and Community Partnerships Manager, The Center Early Childhood Program by email:email@example.com or by phone at 719-486-6928.