TU salutes conservation legacy of the late Rep. John Dingell

Mon, 02/11/2019

For immediate release 

Feb. 8, 2019 



Shauna Stephenson, Trout Unlimited 

(307) 757-7861, shauna.stephenson@tu.org 


Trout Unlimited salutes the conservation achievements of former Representative John Dingell  

Dingell’s conservation legacy forms the foundation for modern anglers 


(Feb. 8, 2019) WASHINGTON D.C. -- Former Michigan Representative John Dingell, the longest serving member of Congress in the Nation’s history, passed away yesterday. Trout Unlimited joined conservationists of all stripes around the Nation to remember his many conservation achievements and his epic contributions to hunting and fishing. 

“John Dingell was a life-long outdoorsman and conservation lion in Congress, said Steve Moyer, vice president of government affairs at Trout Unlimited. “Each and every single angler and hunter in the United States owes John a huge debt of gratitude.” 

Dingell died at the age of 92. His commitment to conservation was handed down from his father, a long serving member in the House and sponsor of the Dingell-Johnson Act of 1950, the landmark fisheries conservation law that serves as a backbone of fisheries conservation funding to this day.   

“TU is not at all surprised that such a great conservation leader hailed from Michigan,” said Chris Wood, president and CEO of Trout Unlimited. “In 1959 the founding fathers of Trout Unlimited, who were from Grayling Michigan, found a way to turn their local successes into a national organization. So too Mr. Dingell turned his love for Michigan’s fish and wildlife resources into a conservation legacy from which an entire nation can benefit." 

Funds from the Dingell-Johnson Act, an excise tax on fishing equipment, is distributed through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to the states for fish conservation, boating access, and aquatic education projects, around the nation. John Dingell picked up the torch from his father and led the legislative work that reauthorized and expanded that law in 1984.  

A passionate sportsman, Dingell also led the way for passage of many of the laws essential to the protection and restoration of our nation’s fisheries. He helped to lead the passage of the Clean Water and Endangered Species Act.  His powerful leadership on amendments to the Federal Power act led to requirements for privately owned dams regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to mitigate the harmful impacts of the dams on fisheries, including fish passage in many cases.  

This law, which he vigorously defended against many attacks in subsequent years, gave rise to some of TU’s and river conservationist’s greatest achievements, including the Penobscot River restoration project in Maine, the Elwha River project in Washington, the Klamath project in Oregon and California, and dozens of other rivers impacted by dams across the nation.  

“His leadership will be missed, but his passion, his energy, and the laws that he passed will continue to inspire sportsmen and women down through the generations,” Moyer said. 





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