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Trout Unlimited chides auto industry for stream-pounding ads

Trout Unlimited wants car companies to avoid stream crossings in four wheel drive commercials.

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Trout Unlimited
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The folks at Trout Unlimited are taking automakers to task for a string of television ads showing four-wheel drive vehicles smashing through wild streams, a practice that may show how rugged the vehicles are but which can cause major damage to life in the stream.

The group notes that tiding any vehicle through streams, rather than over bridges or culverts, can cause erosion and other damage with impacts moving downstream.

“We invest millions of dollars and many years of effort into protecting and restoring rivers and streams. We’re about cold, clean, fishable water …," said Dave Kinney, a vice president of communications for Trout Unlimited. “Which is why we get so worked up about what might seem to be a modest insult, turning on the TV to see a pickup doing a joyride up the middle of a wilderness stream.”

This fall, Nissan’s new 2022 Frontier has been barreling through streams during breaks in the baseball playoffs, prompting Trout Unlimited CEO Chris Wood to fire off a letter asking the company to knock it off.

“A few years ago, it was Jeep pulling this stunt. Earlier this year, it was Ford. Chevy is in on the action. We’ve also noticed that Land Rover even provides its drivers with an instruction manual for this kind of thing,’’ Kinney said in an email to supporters. “We keep writing letters and have had friendly conversations with executives. But the industry continues to trumpet this irresponsible and destructive use of their products. We think it's time to stop.”

John Myers reports on the outdoors, natural resources and the environment for the Duluth News Tribune. You can reach him at jmyers@duluthnews.com.
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