Greetings from the Sportsman's Alliance for Alaska,
We've got a very important request of you and your organization. No, we are not asking for money or your organization's time and resources. But what we are asking for is the only thing that can save hunting and angling opportunities in America's last frontier.
Our request is simple. We'd like to invite you to become involved in the management of Alaska's important public lands to assure the Great Land retains its world class fish and wildlife habitat and the public access to hunt and fish places such as Alaska's rugged rainforests, the world-renowned Bristol Bay region, and many millions of acres of other wild public lands.
Lying along the arc of coastal Alaska, the Tongass and Chugach National Forests contain the largest tracts of intact temperate rainforest left on the planet. These forests also contain an abundance of wildlife, including grizzly bears, wolves, bald eagles and largest remaining system of intact salmon streams in the world. The Tongass is America's largest national forest, and was established in 1907 by the great hunter-conservationist President Teddy Roosevelt.
The Alaska rainforest is an angler's dream come true. Forest streams offer the chance to challenge heart-stopping runs of giant king salmon, rainbow trout the length of your arm, and fighting steelhead. Fifty-pound king salmon are not uncommon, though the record was a 126-pounder caught near Petersburg in the early 1900s. Off the scenic coast, halibut are popular sport fish as well. In addition to countless backcountry opportunities, fishermen are served by a variety of lodges and charter services which provide experiences unavailable elsewhere in the world. If you've been there you know it in your heart. If you haven't been there it's all the more important to keep Alaska's wildlands intact.
Brown and black bears browse on forest understory shrubs and gorge on summer salmon runs. Rainforest brown bears regularly reach over 1,400 pounds. Mountain goats guard the rocky peaks above. The region supports the world's densest concentrations of both brown bears and mountain goats. Sitka black-tailed deer rely on both the cover and food found under ancient trees to survive heavy winter snows. These medium sized deer are the mainstay for local hunters and also serve as a food source for big predators such as bears and wolves. With an abundance of game and adequate habitat to support populations, Alaska is one of the last places where hunters can experience a real frontier. Lower 48 experiences are often compromised by the signs and sounds of human development. Most Alaska experiences hardly ever are, unless you're not trying.
The Bristol Bay watershed is home to the world's most abundant wild salmon runs and greatest commercial salmon fishery, and internationally renowned salmon and trout rivers that attract anglers from all over the world who want to pursue world-record class fish in a spectacular setting. This watershed has been an integral part of the State's economy for decades, and has provided benefits to Native Alaskans and other residents and visitors to the region for generations. Hunting opportunities include moose, grizzly and brown bear, ptarmigan, waterfowl, and caribou - with the famous Mulchatna (usually Alaska's 2nd or 3rd largest) caribou herd traversing this vast region. The fisheries resources and backcountry hunting opportunities in the Bristol Bay area are among the richest and most exciting in the world.
You might wonder what all this has to do with your organization. Well, there's an old saying, "all politics is local." Did you know that the Fish and Wildlife Service, Forest Service, National Park Service, and Bureau of Land Management oversee management of over 230 million acres of land in Alaska? The vast majority of those lands are open to hunting and fishing and represent some of the best primitive outdoor experiences remaining in the United States, if not the world. Each one of us is an owner of these lands, and we have an opportunity and obligation to make sure that the voices of hunters and anglers are heard when decisions are made as to how these lands are managed for us and for future generations. Many of these public lands will be undergoing a plan revision process in coming years.
By joining the Sportsman's Alliance for Alaska, you send an important message to your congressional delegation and the federal land management agencies that you don't want to see these irreplaceable Alaska wild lands, the wildlife and fish they support, and the ability for sportsmen now and in the future to hunt and fish on them sacrificed for corporate gain only.
How do you join the Alliance? It's simple. Just complete the online form indicating your organization's support for protecting Alaska's national treasures and all sportsmen's right to hunt and fish on those lands. You don't have to pay any dues or make any time commitment, but your signature on the attached form will go a long way!
Of course, as a member of the Sportsman's Alliance for Alaska you and your organization will receive some important benefits. You'll get regular updates, newsletters, and action alerts on Alaska conservation issues. You can use these to inform your members about important battles in Washington as well as how to participate in the planning processes for these lands. Your group can play important role as a member of the Alliance.
Other benefits of joining the Alliance include access to free videos that can be shown at your monthly meetings. You'll also have an opportunity to nominate one of your members or staff for a free trip to Washington, D.C. to meet with members of Congress on Capitol Hill. Alliance members will soon enjoy a link to the newly developed Sportsman's Alliance for Alaska web site.
Once again, your level of involvement is entirely up to you. To join the Sportsman's Alliance for Alaska, complete the online registration. Alternately, you can receive a registration form by mail or email by contacting Scott Hed, Director for the Alliance at firstname.lastname@example.org. This simple action can help protect some of America's greatest hunting and fishing on public lands in Alaska for future generations.
Thank you for your consideration and welcome to the fraternity of hunters and anglers working to protect our public lands and sporting heritage in Alaska!
|Scott J. Hed
Director - Sportsman's Alliance for Alaska
Board of Directors - Wildlife Forever
17-year manager of Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge