August 4, 2011 Newsletter
It’s been about five weeks since the last SAA Newsletter. I hope your summer is going well. July was a busy month, as SAA attended the Outdoor Writers of America’s annual conference and also the ICAST sport fishing industry trade show. Lots of outdoor media and fishing leaders continue to be interested in and show support for conservation efforts in Alaska. This month, the campaign for Bristol Bay will be represented at the Outdoor Retailer trade show and the International Fly Tackle Dealer show. I used to think that winter was the busy time for travel! But, as the campaign for Bristol Bay advances there is more work to be done all the time. And that’s a good thing. Thanks for all you do to ensure Alaska remains a premier destination for those who love to fish and hunt.
Below you will find some of the highlights from the past month. As always, there’s much more found at the Latest News page on the SAA site.
(Inserted among the news items, you’ll find a variety of ways to support SAA – and get some really neat stuff in return. Thanks for taking a look at the promotions from a number of SAA supporters.)
Rapids Camp Lodge Matching Funds Challenge
Jerry Shults of Rapids Camp Lodge has generously pledged to donate up to $5,000 to SAA – but it comes with a challenge to you. Jerry will donate $1 for every $2 donated by SAA supporters. If SAA raises $10,000 to help fight for Bristol Bay, Jerry will give $5,000 to the campaign. This is a great opportunity to leverage Jerry’s offer and make your donation grow by 50%!
Your $100 donation would turn into $150 because Jerry will match 50%! SAA has over 10,000 people on its e-mail list, so this probably doesn’t seem too difficult. Heck, if just 200 people gave $50 each we’d max out Jerry’s pledge. But the fact is, only a small fraction of people make donations, and that’s typically the case with any cause. However, if you were ever going to give to support SAA’s work to inform and engage America’s anglers and hunters in the fight for Bristol Bay now would be a great time to do so. It’s not every day that someone like Jerry agrees to boost your donation by 50%! SAA is a lean operation, with just one person on staff. However, SAA has been extremely effective in rallying support from sportsmen and women for protecting some of the finest sporting destinations on the planet. $15,000 will go a long way toward supporting SAA’s work.
Tongass National Forest: Sealaska Bill Advances in House
The Sealaska bills (S.730 and H.R. 1408 which have many differences) have spurred controversy within local communities, and continue to pit neighbor against neighbor in the small towns throughout southeast Alaska. Read an opinion editorial from a wilderness tour operator who wonders “if they develop the Tongass, will visitors still come?” In Congress, the House version of the Sealaska bill passed out of committee and will face either a floor vote in the full House or be included as part of a larger measure. This is the furthest that a version of the Sealaska bill has advanced in Congress. No word on when the next action in the House will take place, or when the Senate will take up the bill in committee. Keep tabs on the Sealaska bills at the new Tongass Lowdown Web site.
Tongass and Chugach National Forests: Roadless Rule Under Attack
In response to a federal district judge in Anchorage reinstating the “roadless rule” in the Tongass National Forest in March, the State of Alaska filed a legal challenge to the federal roadless rule in mid-June. The controversy continued in July, as Alaska’s Congressional delegation introduced legislation to repeal the roadless rule in both of Alaska’s national forests. Also, two resource development groups joined the state lawsuit challenging application of the roadless rule in Alaska.
Tongass National Forest: Stories from SAA-Organized Media Trip
In July 2010, SAA organized a trip to Prince of Wales Island for a small group of outdoor journalists. Stories continue to show up from that trip. Check out Desert Leaf and Sporting Classics magazines. Sporting Classics also awarded their fishing lodge of the year to our group’s gracious host facility on the trip – Alaska's Boardwalk Lodge.
Beautiful Original Artwork…and a SA Fly Box?
Talented artist and Bristol Bay fishing guide Tim Pearson has launched a really cool project. Check out Angling Artists, a blog dedicated to raising awareness and funds for the campaign to protect Bristol Bay. The project’s second painting, The Jump, is available first-come, first-served for just $225 – and the buyer will also receive a Scientific Anglers Nymph 210 fly box! All the funds raised from this painting and others Tim plans to do this summer will be donated to SAA’s work to protect Bristol Bay. Each painting will be accompanied by a fly box and flies from either Umpqua, Montana Fly Company, or Scientific Anglers. Thanks to Tim and those companies for their support!
Bristol Bay: Federal Officials Blog about Visit to Bristol Bay
A group of officials from the Environmental Protection Agency spent a few days in early June in southwest Alaska. The group held listening sessions in Newhalen and Dillingham, and also traveled up the Nushagak River to visit several villages. The EPA is conducting its watershed assessment this year to determine whether or not the agency will invoke its authority under the Clean Water Act in response to the proposed mining development for the Bristol Bay region. Read firsthand accounts here and here from two of the top EPA officials on the trip.
Bristol Bay: EPA Facing Legislative Assault on Authorities under Clean Water Act
The federal budget debate is threatening to hamstring the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to do its work under the Clean Water Act. Read about how the groups fighting for Bristol Bay are standing up for the EPA’s authority to protect our nation’s waters on a recent lobby trip to DC.
Special Offers from Artist Bob White and Photographer Terry Gunn
Friend and talented artist Bob White is a long-time guide in Bristol Bay. Bob has released a new print titled “Evening Quiet – Togiak Valley.” The image (at left) will accompany John Gierach’s closing column in the Summer 2011 issue of Fly Rod & Reel magazine.
There are 50 limited edition prints available, at just $200 each. 10% of the sales proceeds will be donated to SAA’s work to protect Bristol Bay. Order yours here.
Thanks Bob and Lisa!
Angler and photographer Terry Gunn has made 18 of his beautiful images from Bristol Bay available for purchase, with all proceeds to benefit SAA’s work. Prints are available in sizes from 4”x6” (only $4.50) to 20”x30”. View the selection and order your prints here. You can also have the images printed on items like mugs, playing cards, t-shirts, etc.
Bristol Bay: “Save Our Salmon” Initiative Headed for October Vote
The Lake & Peninsula Borough will vote on the Save Our Salmon initiative after an Alaska Superior Court Judge deferred ruling on the Pebble Partnership’s challenge to the initiative until after the October vote. The initiative would amend the Lake and Peninsula Borough code to preclude granting permits for mining operations of greater than 640 acres that would give rise to a "significant adverse impact" on any salmon stream.
Bristol Bay: Why It Should be Protected – Video Testimonials
Check out the Save Bristol Bay channel on YouTube. We’re recording short clips from all kinds of supporters at events in Alaska and across the country. Commercial fishermen, chefs, and sport fishing industry leaders tell you in their words why we need to save Bristol Bay. SAA recorded several of the clips from the ICAST trade show in Las Vegas last month.
Bristol Bay: Hunting Industry Support Continues to Grow
SAA has recruited over 150 companies in the fishing products industry to support the Bristol Bay campaign. While not as obvious, there is a risk to hunting in Bristol Bay as well from the proposed Pebble Mine. Some guides are already reporting animals have changed their habits and the remote wilderness hunt experience is being threatened from the increased helicopter traffic in the region. As more hunting product manufacturers become aware of this issue, support is growing. See the latest version of the hunting industry’s support advertisement which now features 26 brands and 9 hunting conservation organizations.
Bristol Bay: Miscellaneous News Wrap Up
- A graduate of the Bristol Bay Fly Fishing & Guide Academy was profiled in this short video.
- The commercial salmon fishery in Alaska is having another good season. Read about the statewide harvest of over 53 million fish.
- Blue Nile, the largest online retailer of quality diamonds and fine jewelry signed the Bristol Bay pledge.
- Trout Unlimited Alaska hosted a group of influential food industry leaders for a week in Bristol Bay.
- SAA supporter Ken Morrish of Fly Water Travel penned an eloquent call to protect Bristol Bay in this Oregonian op-ed.
- The online literary magazine n + 1 features an exceptional description of Bristol Bay commercial fishing and the fight to save the fishery from the proposed Pebble Mine, written by a third-generation Bristol Bay fisherman.
- A die-hard angler from Illinois won the trip to Bristol Bay through the Ex Officio sweepstakes – Thanks again, Ex O!
|Blood Knot Magazine has featured SAA in prior issues, check them out!|
|Recycled Fish supports the fight for Bristol Bay; sign up for their 24-hour Fish-A-Thon to raise money and awareness for a fishery you love.|
|FishExplorer is a new site that provides comprehensive angling information and forums for anglers in Colorado, Texas, and Florida (with more states to come). FishExplorer supports the effort to protect Bristol Bay.|
I met Hank Shaw, author of Hunt, Gather, Cook: Finding the Forgotten Feast at the Outdoor Writers Association conference. He’s got a great message about hunting, fishing, and foraging for food – and he’s also a great cook. Check out recipes and all sorts of stuff on his blog: Hunter Angler Gardener Cook.
By the way, Hank thinks we should protect Bristol Bay and those delicious and healthy salmon.
Donate to SAA – Support the Fight for Fishing and Hunting in Alaska
SAA is grateful for the generous support of individuals, businesses, and foundations. Your donations allow SAA to continue to work on efforts to protect prime fishing and hunting habitats in the Last Frontier for the benefit of current and future sportsmen and women. Make your donations online at the secure SAA donation page; all amounts are accepted and appreciated! For donations of the following amounts, please indicate what item you’d like to receive in the “comment” box on the donation page.
INVENTORY REDUCTION OFFERS
Thanks for whatever you’re able to contribute to help secure a future for fishing and hunting on Alaska’s public lands!
Thanks for caring about Alaska conservation. Your support and actions will ensure a future for Alaska’s fish and game and for coming generations of sportsmen and women to enjoy them!
Director – Sportsman’s Alliance for Alaska
SAA Director Scott Hed visiting with K.C. Walsh of
Simms Fishing Products at the ICAST show.