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

June 1, 2012 Newsletter

Sorry it’s been a few months since the last SAA newsletter. Between sport show season, helping to organize a massive sportsman fly-in to Washington D.C., and preparing for the big news from EPA (much more below), things have been incredibly busy. In fact, I’m finishing this newsletter on a flight to Seattle to testify at the EPA’s only Lower 48 public hearing on the draft Bristol Bay watershed assessment.

This newsletter will focus on just a few items but they are BIG. So, dig in and take action where asked (once for Bristol Bay and once for the Tongass National Forest).

As always, there’s much more found at the Latest News page on the SAA site.

HUGE NEWS!

Bristol Bay: EPA Releases Draft Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment

On Friday, May 18, the Environmental Protection Agency released its draft watershed assessment for Bristol Bay. There is now a public comment period open through July 23rd for the public to weigh in. This is the chance we’ve been waiting for. Now people all over the country can help protect Bristol Bay. Take action and send the news to everyone you feel would care about Bristol Bay’s incredible fish, game, economic, and cultural resources.

The assessment includes the following conclusions:

  • Bristol Bay’s wild salmon fishery and other natural resources provide at least 14,000 full and part-time jobs and is valued at about $480 million annually.
  • The average annual run of sockeye salmon is about 37.5 million fish.
  • Even at its minimum size, Pebble Mine would eliminate or block 55 to 87 miles of salmon streams and at least 2,500 acres of wetlands key habitat for sockeye and other fishes.
  • EPA evaluated four types of large-scale mine failures, and found that even though precise estimates of failure probabilities cannot be made, evidence from other large mines suggest that “at least one or more accidents of failures could occur, potentially resulting in immediate, severe impacts on salmon and detrimental, long-term impacts on salmon habitat.”

Char in spawning colors, Patricia Edel, Blue Fly B&B and Guide Service
A char in beautiful spawning colors from southwest Alaska. Credit: Patricia Edel / Blue Fly B&B and Guide Service

More information:

TAKE ACTION and SUBMIT YOUR COMMENTS on the draft watershed assessment.

Trust me there is TONS of coverage of this important development on the Latest News page.

One of the best responses came from this Anchorage Daily News editorial.

Bristol Bay: Hunters & Anglers Storm the Capitol for Bristol Bay

In mid-April, over 40 hunting and angling leaders from around the country descended on our nation’s capitol to let the President, the EPA, and members of Congress know that the fight for the future of Bristol Bay is a top-tier priority for America’s sportsmen and women. Our group met with White House staff, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, and dozens of Congressional offices over the course of just a few days. It was a busy, important, and successful trip.

  • Read the Sportsmen’s Summit press release from Trout Unlimited.
  • A former Congressman who is currently Chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party wrote an opinion editorial advocating for the protection of Bristol Bay in The Hill, a Washington, D.C., paper.
  • Read SAA Director Scott Hed’s blog post about the Summit’s significance.
  • See the eye-catching ad the sporting community ran in a D.C. publication during our time in the district, calling on President Obama to stand strong for Bristol Bay.

Meeting with EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson
Meeting with EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson.
Public domain image

Tongass National Forest: Protecting America’s “Salmon Forest”

“The Tongass is America’s salmon forest and one of the few places in the world where wild salmon and trout still thrive. Some 65 percent of Tongass salmon and trout habitat is not congressionally protected at the watershed scale, and is currently open to development activities that could harm fish. It’s time for Congress to better protect the richest resource of the Tongass: wild salmon.” So says Trout Unlimited’s Alaska Program Director Tim Bristol.

Visit the new American Salmon Forest web site today. Learn about the Tongass 77 campaign, and sign on to support this proposed legislation to protect the best fish-producing watersheds on America’s largest national forest.

Tongass National Forest, Ian Davis, Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures
Fishing in the lush, moss-draped Tongass National Forest.
Credit: Ian Davis / Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures

Special Promotion from BobWhite Studio to Benefit Sportsman’s Alliance for Alaska

SAA friend, talented artist, Bristol Bay guide, and all-around great guy Bob White has partnered with the Sportsman’s Alliance for Alaska to help stop the Pebble Mine.

Help stop the Pebble Mine, get an inspiring piece of artwork, and support SAA all at once!

BobWhite Studio will donate 25% of print sales to the Sportsman’s Alliance for Alaska to help stop the Pebble Mine. Check out Bob’s artistic talents, and take advantage of his generosity.

Alone Beneath Lake Kulik Spires by Bob White
Alone Beneath Lake Kulik Spires by Bob White

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 $25 or more, please indicate which 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 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.

Now, make sure to SUBMIT YOUR COMMENTS on the draft Bristol Bay watershed assessment! It’s going to be a busy summer, but if we all participate I believe that the good guys stand a fighting chance to secure the signature fisheries conservation victory of our lifetimes.

Scott Hed
Director – Sportsman’s Alliance for Alaska

Scott Hed

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