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

December 19, 2011 Newsletter

Best wishes for a wonderful holiday season to you and your family. I hope you’ve been able to enjoy some late fall and early winter hunting and fishing. As I type this, we’ve got no snow on the ground here in eastern South Dakota and the forecast is for 40s and low 50s this weekend. So after writing the news and attending a holiday family gathering, I plan to get out for a few hours with the dogs this afternoon and a longer excursion tomorrow to put a bow on the 2011 hunting season.

The turning of the calendar also means sport show season is around the corner. Make sure to check out the SAA On The Road page to see where we’ll be in 2012. There is also a list of shows at the end of the newsletter. As always, if you’re interested in volunteering, please contact

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.  

And, as you are closing out your financial matters for 2011, please don’t forget to support SAA’s efforts to protect special places in Alaska like Bristol Bay and the Tongass National Forest. In fact, there’s still an outstanding matching funds challenge you can take advantage of to maximize your donation…

Rapids Camp Lodge Challenges SAA Supporters to Raise $10,000

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%!

Rapids Camp Lodge

Your $100 donation would turn into $150 because Jerry will match 50%! SAA has over 10,000 people on its email 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. The coming year is going to be critical if we are to achieve our ultimate goal of protecting Bristol Bay.

Of course it goes without saying that SAA is extremely grateful for Jerry’s and Rapids Camp Lodge’s support!

For full details, and to make your matching funds donation, click here.


Bristol Bay: New Polls in Alaska and Lower 48 Show Support for Bristol Bay

It just seems like common sense to not risk the world’s most productive wild salmon fishery and one of the planet’s premier sport fishing and hunting destinations to foreign mining interests seeking to turn southwest Alaska into a massive mining district. The support for keeping Bristol Bay intact is diverse and strong. Now, new polling continues to back up the fact that most people believe that the proposed Pebble Mine is the wrong idea in the wrong place.

Bristol Bay: NM Wildlife Federation Highlights Bristol Bay

The New Mexico Wildlife Federation publishes the most widely-read angling and hunting news in New Mexico. In their Outdoor Reporter read a terrific article about why protecting Bristol Bay is important to New Mexico sportsmen. Check out Too Good to Lose which is chock full of quotes from well-known figures in New Mexico’s hunting and angling community. (OPPORTUNITY: This is a great template that could be replicated across the country, so if you’ve got connections to a club in your area and are interested in telling sportsmen in your area about Bristol Bay, please get in touch. We can assist your club’s editor with the article and images to accompany it.)

Bristol Bay:
Prominent Angler Speaks Up for Bristol Bay

It’s easy to find leaders in the angling community in support of protecting Bristol Bay. Most of these folks have fished up there, some many times.

It’s one of the planet’s finest fisheries, so it’s great that well-known anglers like Brian O’Keefe are putting their opinions in front of the masses.

Check out Brian’s opinion piece from the Bend Bulletin.

Brian’s been a longtime friend and supporter, and here’s to hoping his leadership is mimicked by his peers around the country.

Brian O’Keefe Photo
Credit: Brian O’Keefe

Bristol Bay: Major Seafood Processors Join Effort to Stop Pebble Mine

The Pacific Seafood Processors Association has announced its opposition to the proposed Pebble Mine. It’s a change in position for the PSPA, which was willing to give Pebble the benefit of the doubt through the permit application process just four years ago, and the first time the organization has opposed a single development project.

Darren Dorris Photo
Credit: Darren Dorris

Tongass National Forest: Truly One of the Best Wild Places

Trout Unlimited and Field & Stream magazine teamed up again for the 2011 Best Wild Places project, which featured a fishing and hunting trip to the Tongass National Forest that SAA helped organize.

Read three entries about the Tongass trip that covered a Sitka black-tailed deer hunt, freshwater angling for Dolly Varden, and chasing salmon and halibut in the saltwater.

The trip really captured the amazing opportunities available in Southeast Alaska and our country’s largest national forest.

Tongass National Forest: News Round-Up

Random Alaska Stuff

New “Leopard Rainbow” Painting by Derek DeYoung

SAA is proud to call Derek DeYoung a good friend. If you’re not familiar with Derek, visit and you’ll be blown away by his unique artistic style. His work has been seen a lot in the fly fishing world and he’s been a supporter of SAA’s work. He recently released a new painting featuring a heavily-spotted “leopard” rainbow like those found in the Bristol Bay region.

Guess what…there’s one up for bid on eBay with proceeds helping SAA’s work. Auction ends Tuesday, Dec. 20 so bid quickly!
“Rainbow – Royal Wulff” by Derek DeYoung. (c)

2012 Sport Show Schedule

Sportsman’s Alliance for Alaska will again be exhibiting at the following sport shows during the winter months in 2012. Make plans to attend the shows in your area…stop by the booth and visit about Alaska!

Better yet, if you are interested in volunteering a few hours or days of your time to spread the word about Alaska conservation – contact SAA Director Scott Hed to get involved. We’ve had a terrific batch of volunteers for the past three years and are looking for more in 2012.

NOTE: Additional appearances may be forthcoming – check back often.

January 5-8
Denver, Colo.

International Sportsmen's Exposition

January 6-8
Denver, Colo.

The Fly Fishing Show

January 25-29
Puyallup, Wash.

Washington Sportsmen's Show

February 8-12
Portland, Ore.

Pacific Northwest Sportsmen's Show

February 10-12
Albuquerque, N.M.

Bob Gerding's Outdoor Adventures Hunting & Fishing Show

February 16-19
Oaks, Penn.

Greater Philadelphia Outdoor Sportshow

March 7-11
Long Beach, Calif.

The Fred Hall Show

March 7-11
Milwaukee, Wis.

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel Sports Show

March 15-18
Grand Rapids, Mich.

Ultimate Sport Show

Film Events:

SAA is also proud to report that two fishing film tours will be helping raise awareness about the efforts to protect Bristol Bay this winter by displaying information at their shows. Please check out the schedules and make plans to see some great films when they come to your area.

SAA thanks the organizers and promoters of these tours for their generous support!  

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.

Pro Guide Direct

Don’t forget to check out Pro Guide Direct,
where 15% of your gear purchases support SAA’s work.

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 safe and joyous Christmas and New Year.

Scott Hed
Director – Sportsman’s Alliance for Alaska

Maggie and Chloe with a pair of SD ringnecks
Maggie and Chloe with a pair of South Dakota ringnecks
after a hard day’s work.

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