November 16, 2011 Newsletter
I hope you’ve been having as good a fall as I have. While work for the SAA has been very busy, I’ve had a chance to get the dogs on some South Dakota roosters and enjoyed the best deer hunting trip of my life to Montana last week with my brother and just-retired father. On the work front, SAA has been criss-crossing the country, helping orchestrate the Save Bristol Bay Road Show and spending a few days on Capitol Hill meeting with members of Congress.
Below you will find some of the highlights from the past five weeks. As always, there’s much more found at the Latest News page on the SAA site. But first, you need to know about a couple of exciting promotions to benefit SAA. C’mon…you know you need to do some Christmas shopping!
Sportsman’s Alliance for Alaska has teamed up with Pro Guide Direct, IBEX and Mountain Khakis to provide you a special deal that also helps our wilderness.
Simply click the image below and make a purchase between November 17 and December 3 to take advantage of the special promotions. On top of a terrific deal, 15% of your purchase will benefit SAA’s work to protect Alaska’s incredible public lands for fishing and hunting.
Have you heard about the Recycled Fish Holiday Tackle Box Auctions?
Every day, a different fully-loaded tackle box packed with over $350 in fishing stuff is auctioned on eBay. It’s gift giving with a purpose, and the three-day auction that started on Nov. 15 benefits SAA! Bidding on the loaded SAA tackle box will end on Nov. 18. Have a look and sign up to know when the auctions go live: www.RecycledFish.org/HolidayBoxes.
Bristol Bay: “Save Our Salmon” Initiative Passes in Lake & Peninsula Borough
In early October, residents of the Lake and Peninsula Borough cast votes to determine whether or not to allow permits for mining operations of greater than 640 acres that would result in “significant adverse impacts” on any salmon stream in the borough. In a hard-fought election with just over 520 votes cast, the initiative passed by 34 votes. The Anchorage Daily News editorialized on the results. American Rivers, which has included the waters of the Bristol Bay region in their “most endangered” list for 2011, also blogged on the vote – the site includes a very good seven-minute video. The vote is not the final word, however. The Pebble Limited Partnership and the State of Alaska have both challenged the constitutionality of the measure. The next hearing is set for January 2012.
Bristol Bay: Road Show a Huge Success
The Save Bristol Bay Road Show visited six cities out west in October and finished up with a more intimate event in New York City on November 1. The tour rallied existing supporters and added hundreds to the fold in each locale. SAA Director Scott Hed emceed the Santa Fe and Denver stops – read a personal account of the Santa Fe event here. The blog Deadbait covered the NYC event in detail. Finally, the two intrepid “road warriors” who accompanied the entire tour provide a recap of the road show. Many thanks to all the folks who turned out to support Bristol Bay and also to the terrific sponsors who made it all happen!
We’ve had many requests to hold events in cities not included on the tour. While we are planning some winter events (stay tuned), we’ll also be willing to help you put on a showing of Red Gold in your area. Just let us know you’re interested.
Bristol Bay: New Poll Shows Majority of Alaskans Oppose Pebble Mine
The Bristol Bay Native Corporation (BBNC) released recent poll results showing a majority of Alaskans are opposed to the proposed Pebble Mine. Only 32% of respondents are in favor of Pebble. Listen to a short news story on the poll results at KDLG radio from Thurs., Nov. 10. Quote from the radio piece: “The only thing less popular in Alaska than Pebble Mine is President Obama.” BBNC is a very powerful player in the fight against the Pebble Mine. Watch an interview with BBNC’s CEO on E&E TV.
Tongass National Forest: News Round-Up
- The Juneau Empire reports on a new large timber sale on Kupreanof Island. Official USFS information on the Tonka timber sale can be found here.
- The Juneau Empire reports that Alaska’s Citizen’s Advisory Commission on Federal Areas finds fault in the Sealaska lands bill.
- Alaska Magazine has a terrific feature The Forest of the Future in the November issue. The article is the product of a media trip to the Tongass organized and hosted by SAA.
- Trout Unlimited and Field & Stream magazine just announced their 2011 Best Wild Places project, which will include a fishing and hunting trip to the Tongass National Forest.
Random Alaska Stuff
- The Anchorage Daily News reports on a new study about the risks and potential rewards of the proposed Chuit coal mine on the west side of Cook Inlet, which would remove more than 11 miles of salmon streams and deposit more than 7 million gallons of mine waste per day into the Chuit River. The Peninsula Clarion reports on a Kenai Peninsula Borough ordinance passed last summer that could affect the project. Unfortunately, the State of Alaska rejected a petition that sought to declare state lands within the Chuitna watershed as unsuitable for mining.
- The Bristol Bay Fly Fishing + Guide Academy recently received a $19,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s environmental grants program.
- Good news for Alaska’s commercial salmon fishing industry in 2011. In Southeast Alaska, the industry recorded a record harvest. Bristol Bay’s sockeye salmon fishery was the most valuable salmon fishery in the state.
- The latest edition of Brian O’Keefe’s online Catch magazine features the second in a series of Alaska photo essays. This one covers float planes, jet boats, and lodges.
- Alaska Magazine and InnerSea Discoveries have teamed up to give one lucky winner and their guest an Adventure Alaska Cruise! Enter daily here.
- A few new fly fishing movies centered on Alaska are either just released – A Backyard in Nowhere about pike fishing the backwaters of the Yukon River – or on the way – The Kodiak Project about steelheading on Kodiak Island. The trailers get the heart racing – can’t wait to see the full films.
An Exciting New Way to Support SAA!
SAA has been invited to participate in a new online sporting goods shopping platform. Pro Guide Direct has over 125 of the most well-known brands in fishing, hunting, and general outdoor gear available for purchase on their site. By clicking on the logo at right, 15% of your purchase amount will be directed to Sportsman’s Alliance for Alaska! More brands are being added all the time. Check it out right now, and start your holiday shopping…knowing that your purchase also supports SAA’s work. Of course, the best deal for the next two weeks is the promotion featured at the top of the newsletter.
Win an Abel “No Pebble Mine” Reel
The guys at Sweetwater Travel in Livingston, Mont., are terrific supporters of the Bristol Bay campaign. They operate two fine lodges in the Bristol Bay region. They’re giving away two of the limited edition No Pebble Mine reels by Abel. Proceeds raised will benefit the fight for Bristol Bay. You can get your chances by contacting Pat Vermillion at 406-222-0624 or e-mail Pat@SweetwaterTravel.com. Pat wants to draw the winners by Dec. 1 so get your chances soon – there are fewer than 50 left out of a total of 200 available.
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 – SAA is a lean, mean, one-man operation but it takes funding to do this work. For donations of the following amounts, please indicate what item you’d like to receive in the “comment” box on the donation page.
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.
I wish you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving.
Director – Sportsman’s Alliance for Alaska