Great Basin Chapter-Western Utah & Eastern Nevada
Great Basin Chapter
TU Chapter 705
This Chapter was founded by longtime TU conservationist Don Duff*. Although located in Baker, Nevada, Don and his group have been very active in the protection and restoration of Bonneville cutthroat trout in and around the Great Basin National Park. We currently have nearly 60 active TU members from both Utah and Nevada. One of the geographic areas the Great Basin chapter has been active in are those streams found in the Pilot Mountains of western Utah. Many of these streams originate on the Goshute Reservation and flow into the Great Basin deserts to disappear into what once was Lake Bonneville. It was here that a ‘lost’ population of Bonneville cutthroat trout were first identified. This ‘find’ led to the exploration of many streams’ headwaters and the discovery of populations of Bonneville’s that had been thought to be non-existent. The chapters success in restoring aquatic and riparian habitats in and around Great Basin National Park has expanded the current and potential range of Bonneville cutthroats. The Great Basin chapter was one of many ecologically conscious groups that fought against the proposed Snake Valley water development, a 300-mile, 7-ft diameter pipeline that would pump and move ground water to Las Vegas, NV. They demonstrated the disastrous impacts that taking millions of gallons underground water would devastate agricultural interests in the region and suck water away from already arid streams. In recent years the Great Basin chapter has worked with the national park staff and other groups to transport Bonneville cutthroat in to pristine high mountain lakes of the park.
*Don Duff is a former fisheries biologist for the US Fish and Wildlife Service and Bureau of Land Management. Don’s military career included aerial photography interpretation. He was the first individual to spot the missile deployments taking place by the USSR in Cuba.