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 Scott@SportsmansAlliance4AK.org.
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%!
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.
- KDLG radio (click to listen) reports that opposition to the proposed Pebble Mine has grown to 81% among Bristol Bay Native Corporation shareholders, up 12% since 2007. Read about the poll results in the Alaska Dispatch.
- Another new poll shows strong opposition to the proposed Pebble Mine, with 77% opposed in the Lower 48 and 59% opposed in Alaska. The poll also shows strong support for EPA to take action protecting Bristol Bay if it is deemed that the mine would pollute the region’s land and waters.
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.)
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.
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.
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
- The Sealaska lands bill is still alive in Congress. KCAW radio reports that a panel of citizens who advise Gov. Parnell’s administration on federal issues has come out against the bill. And the Wrangell Sentinel reports that a group of local guides and outfitters have expressed their opposition as well.
- A Sitka-based commercial fisherman wrote an opinion piece in the Juneau Empire arguing that the U.S. Forest Service budget should focus more on fishing and tourism – the real money-makers of Southeast Alaska’s economy.
- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently announced it will begin evaluations to find Southeast Alaska salmon streams most in need of restoration according to the Juneau Empire.
Random Alaska Stuff
- The dynamic duo of Nanci Morris Lyon and Kate Taylor (aka Team Bear Trail) dominated the 2011 24-Hour Fish-A-Thon sponsored by our friends at Recycled Fish. Listen to a great interview with the winning team on the Fish Schtick podcast. Team Bear Trail naturally used the Fish-A-Thon to raise money and awareness for the Bristol Bay campaign.
- Bristol Bay commercial fishermen have launched their new web site, Commercial Fishermen for Bristol Bay.
- Blood Knot magazine features an interview with Jim Klug (Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures, chairman of the American Fly Fishing Trade Association) and Jim puts the fight for Bristol Bay as today’s top angling conservation issue. There’s also a great little essay by Bristol Bay fishing guide Camille Egdorf about some early season misadventures.
- Who doesn’t like winning a free trip? There are two online contests going on right now that are free to enter and you could be the lucky winner headed north next summer. Alaska magazine is giving away a seven-day Alaska adventure cruise for two. Denise Lake Lodge is giving away a seven-night guided fishing trip for two. Both contests are free to enter.
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 Canvasfish.com 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!
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.
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.
- $15 Equilibrium short film DVD (3 copies available)
- $20 Red Gold documentary DVD (4 copies available)
- $20 Salmon in the Trees hardcover book (4 copies available)
Don’t forget to check out Pro Guide Direct,
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.
Director – Sportsman’s Alliance for Alaska