Hunters and anglers working together to preserve fish and game habitats and hunting and fishing opportunities on our public lands in Alaska.

Sportsman’s Alliance for Alaska

February 4, 2010 Newsletter

The days are getting longer – we’re past the midpoint of winter. I’m not sure about your locale, but we’ve had a cold, snowy winter here in eastern South Dakota. Between sport show trips my wife managed to drag me to Hawaii in mid January, so we were able to escape winter for at least a week!

In this edition of the SAA News, you’ll find some pretty big recent news on Bristol Bay, an emerging situation in Southeast Alaska’s Tongass National Forest that will require your action, an update on the sport show tour, and a few other tidbits. Let’s get right to it…

Pebble Partnership announces they won’t be applying for permits in 2010
The major news to come out of a panel discussion held in Dillingham on January 19 was an announcement by the CEO of the Pebble Partnership that they will not be applying for any permits in 2010. You can listen to a couple audio clips from KDLG:

Pebble Mine Discussion Held in Dillingham (9:26)
No Pebble Mine Permits This Year (3:18)

There are a number of very good video clips from participants on the Dillingham panel discussion found on this YouTube channel.

Denver Event a Big Success
Check out the report from the opening weekend of “sport show season” in Denver at the Compleat Thought blog. There are three videos featuring Curt “Ole” Olson and Dave Egdorf (both featured in “Red Gold”), who attended our Friday night party in Denver. Many thanks to Kyle Perkins at Compleat Thought for helping with logistics on the ground in Denver, leading to such a successful weekend!

Radio Interview on ESPN Radio in Seattle710 AM ESPN Seattle
Thanks to the guys at The Outdoor Line on 710 AM ESPN Seattle for including a discussion of the threat facing Bristol Bay on their January 30 radio program! Click the link to listen to an interview with Bristol Bay commercial fisherwoman Lindsey Bloom. (Just find the 3 parts to Lindsey’s interview – less than 10 minutes total.)

Want to Save Wild Salmon? Eat One! Target Stores Drop Farmed Salmon
Target Stores Drop Farmed SalmonMinneapolis-based Target Corporation, the nation’s second-largest retail chain after Wal-Mart, announced in late January that they have pulled farmed salmon from all store shelves. Target will now be selling wild-caught Alaska salmon. Read the Minneapolis Star Tribune story and the press release from Target. Target has over 1,700 stores in 49 states – now get out there and buy some wild Alaska salmon for a healthy meal this week!

Spring Steelhead Angling in the Tongass
Spring Steelhead Angling in the
Tongass. © Ian Davis

A Break from Bristol Bay…Who Remembers the Tongass National Forest?
There is an emerging threat to our nation’s largest National Forest, which also happens to be part of the largest temperate rainforest on the planet. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee appears poised to mark up S. 881, the Sealaska native corporation land entitlement legislation, likely sometime in March at their next business meeting.

In short, S. 881 would transfer approx. 80,000 acres of prime Tongass National Forest public lands to the regional native corporation, Sealaska. The majority of these acres would then be subjected to intensive timber harvest, and Sealaska would be granted the opportunity to select dozens of “enterprise sites” at valuable locations in the Tongass – opening the door for potential expansion of larger-scale tourism operations into valuable fish and game habitats. Check out the fact sheet on the Sealaska bill which can be found on the SAA home page. Be ready to contact your Senators – especially if he or she is on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. SAA helped organize and host a trip to the Tongass a few summers ago, and the general consensus was that a solution to land management issues in the Tongass must be found through a collaborative process involving all the stakeholders – including but not limited to: conservation groups, hunting and fishing operators, Native groups, and the timber industry. The Sealaska legislation would circumvent this collaborative process, to the detriment of fish and game habitat and opportunities on the Tongass.

Follow the Bristol Bay Campaign on TwitterTwitter
Our following on Twitter is growing. Thanks to a tremendous volunteer – Kyle Perkins – for making this happen! Sign up here for more frequent news and event updates – and pass along to all your friends. Once we reach 500 followers, we’ll give away a few copies of the new film "Rise" from Confluence Films.

NEW - Beverage Coasters from Abel
Beverage Coasters from AbelNow your beverage of choice can rest safely on the furniture in your home or cabin…and you’ll be helping the SAA fight for Bristol Bay to boot. Our friends at Abel Reels produced fewer than 100 of these sweet “No Pebble Mine” coasters from their scrap material. Get yours now by making a $25 donation at the SAA Web site.

One Month Left to Enter Sweepstakes for Trip to Kulik Lodge in Bristol Bay
In cooperation with Kulik Lodge and the Sportsman's Alliance for Alaska, American Angler magazine will send two lucky winners on a seven-day trip of a lifetime to the heart of the world's most magnificent—and imperiled—trout and salmon fishery. This package includes round-trip air transportation between Anchorage and Kulik, lodging, three guided sportfishing fly-outs per person, meals, boat and guide service while at Kulik, fishing licenses, rods, waders, and complimentary cocktails. There’s no cost to enter…click here for full details.

Working to Engage the Hunting Community
SAA Director Scott Hed attended the Shooting Hunting & Outdoor Trade show in Las Vegas NV in late January. While the hunting community has not engaged as aggressively as their fishing counterparts, we have some solid allies and are making progress. We’ve got the support of a number of big game hunting guides in Alaska, and with their help we anticipate growing awareness within the hunting world. Check out this article by a long-time Alaska hunting guide in the current issue of Successful Hunter magazine.

Call for Volunteers
Pro baseball player Todd Helton at the SAA
booth in Denver with volunteer extraordinaire
Kyle Perkins. © Kyle Perkins

2010 Sport Show Season – A Call for Volunteers – You Can Help Bristol Bay!
And maybe even win a prize for your efforts…
View the updated schedule online and below. A handful of energetic volunteers have already stepped forward to help spread the word about Alaska conservation in early 2010 – Thank you very much! Due to the generosity of show organizers that want to help us spread the word about Alaska conservation, the SAA has a number of opportunities to exhibit at sporting shows across the country over the next two months. Your assistance is greatly appreciated and extremely valuable. With the present state of the economy, the SAA (like everyone else) is trying to tighten its budgetary belt while still maintaining a presence at these shows. It will be even more important to enlist the support of volunteers if we are to keep spreading the word about Alaska conservation battles like Bristol Bay.

These events represent some of our best opportunities to alert anglers and hunters from across the nation to issues like the threats facing Bristol Bay and Southeast Alaska’s Tongass National Forest. I’ve found that once sportsmen and women are made aware of these issues, they most often want to know how they can help preserve the unrivaled opportunities to hunt and fish found in Alaska.

Please send me an e-mail if you are interested in assisting at any of the following shows that the SAA has been invited to exhibit at in 2010.

February 3-4 Bristol Bay Parties in Gig Harbor WA. SPECIAL EVENT!!! We’ll be hosting a Bristol Bay party at the Tides Tavern in on Wednesday, Feb. 3 and Thursday, Feb. 4. Tickets available for $5 at the Gig Harbor Fly Shop or online.
February 10-14 Pacific Northwest Sportsmen's Show (Portland, OR)
February 11-14 Eastern Fishing & Outdoor Exposition (Worcester, MA)
February 25-28 The Greater Philadelphia Outdoor Sportshow (Oaks, PA)
February 26-28 International Sportsmen's Exposition (Phoenix, AZ)
February 26-28 The Fly Fishing Show (Pleasanton, CA)
March 3-7 Fred Hall's Fishing Tackle, Boat, and Travel Show (Long Beach, CA)
March 4-7 Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Annual Elk Camp & Expo (Reno, NV)
March 13-14 Midwest Fly Fishing Expo (Warren, MI)
March 18-21 International Sportsmen's Exposition (Salt Lake City, UT)
March 24-28 Fred Hall's Fishing Tackle, Boat, and Travel Show (San Diego, CA)
March 24-28 Tentative: Northwest Sportshow (Minneapolis, MN)
March 26-28 Great Waters Fly Fishing Expo (Bloomington, MN)
April 17-18 Tentative: Virginia Fly Fishing Festival (Waynesboro, VA)

Volunteer Incentive: All volunteers will be entered in a drawing to be held in early April. We’ll give away two (2) $100 gift certificates to a sporting goods retailer in the winner’s area, a signed copy of the book The Alaska Chronicles, copies of Red Gold and River Poets on DVD, and a Bugger Beast fly case from Cliff Outdoors filled with dozens of flies from the Montana Fly Company.

That will do it for this month’s newsletter. Thanks for caring about Alaska conservation. Happy Holidays to you and your families. Good luck in the fields and woods and on the water (or ice for you anglers in the north!).

Scott Hed
Director – Sportsman’s Alliance for Alaska

SAA Director Scott Hed

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