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 14, 2012 Newsletter

It’s been several months since the last SAA newsletter, so there’s quite a bit to report. SAA has been busy mainly with efforts to protect Bristol Bay, and even managed a trip to Alaska for both work and fun (including some great fishing) this fall. With wild Alaska salmon filets and venison from a nice South Dakota whitetail in the freezer, it’s time to wrap up 2012 and look ahead to 2013. For a comprehensive list of news items, you can always visit the Latest News page on the SAA web site. This newsletter will hit the major highlights and let you know about some great ways you can support SAA and the efforts to protect some of Alaska’s most productive fish and game habitats.

Latest with the EPA and Bristol Bay
Draft Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment has been peer reviewed and awaits next steps

There is a ton of coverage of the watershed assessment on the Latest News page. Here’s a brief sampling of highlights:

  • The official EPA site on Bristol Bay includes the full final independent peer review report as well as records of all of the comments submitted on the draft Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment during the official public comment period this summer.
  • The independent peer review panel met in Anchorage in August to discuss the assessment. Recaps of the meetings can be found in the Anchorage Daily News, the Alaska Dispatch, and the Alaska Journal of Commerce.
  • Responses to the EPA’s peer review comments from both sides of the Pebble Mine debate were covered in the Bristol Bay Times.
  • Angling Trade magazine ran the press release from Trout Unlimited’s Alaska program in response to the peer review report on the EPA’s draft Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment.

Photo by Tim Romano
 Fish on! (Credit: Tim Romano)

Bristol Bay: Congressional Republicans Criticize EPA Involvement in Bristol Bay; Local Residents, Commercial Fishermen, and Sportsmen Across Nation Defend Agency

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives have begun to interject themselves into the debate over the proposed Pebble Mine. Chairmen of two House committees have written to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson regarding the agency’s work on the Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment. Congressman Paul Broun (R-GA) weighed in both in August and December, while Congressmen Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Jim Jordan (R-OH) contacted the agency in September. The EPA has been invited to engage in the debate over the future of Bristol Bay by Alaska Natives, commercial fishermen, hunters and anglers, and many more. We will need to fend off these attacks to ensure EPA is able to do its job and finish the science-based Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment.

  • Meanwhile, an impassioned plea for EPA to be involved in Bristol Bay was penned by Alaska’s former First Lady, Bella Hammond, in the Anchorage Daily News.
  •  And sportsmen as well as commercial fishermen took out ads in the DC press to call on President Obama to protect Bristol Bay through EPA action.

Sportsmen for Bristol Bay

What the Election Meant for Bristol Bay

I’m sure we’re all glad that the relentless advertising barrage is in the rear view mirror, no matter what our personal opinions are on the results of the 2012 national elections. But what did it all mean for Bristol Bay? We’ll need to remain vigilant in our efforts to convince President Obama that Bristol Bay deserves protection, and to defend the ability for agencies like the EPA to do their job to achieve that goal.

Photo by Jim Klug
Anglers don’t do all the fishing in Bristol Bay
(Credit: Jim Klug)

Angling Trade magazine featured a short piece by Tom Sadler, board member of the American Fly Fishing Trade Association, on the subject (p. 16).

Fly Rod & Reel will also cover this subject in their next issue


Tongass National Forest: News and Notes

  • American Forests magazine had a feature on the ongoing transition in the Tongass from a timber-based economy to one more dependent upon tourism and salmon.
  • A small sawmill and lumber products company is expanding in Southeast Alaska and producing more value-added products from the Tongass to sell to residents of the region, from this story in SitNews.
  • This Juneau Empire opinion editorial calls for management of the Tongass to continue moving toward a sustainable economic model based on fishing and tourism and not revert toward the timber-centric policies of the past.
  • The Tongass will get some big screen attention this coming winter. Watch the trailer for The Last Salmon Forest which won the “best cinematography” award at the 2012 Drake Fly Fishing Film Awards. The full length version will be shown on the 2013 IF4 Tour.
  • Another film to watch for featuring the Tongass and the debate on how best to manage it will be Big Bear Country.

Photo by Ian Davis
In search of spring Southeast steelhead. (Credit: Ian Davis)


Visit the 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.

Random Shots: News from Around Alaska (and Beyond)

Since it’s the holiday and gift giving season, we’ll close out this edition with a multitude of offers ...

Special Promotion from Pro Guide Direct to Benefit Sportsman’s Alliance for Alaska

We invite you to ‘shop with a cause’ from over 180 of the top brands and check out the outdoor gear selection at The gear experts at PGD love to fish and play in the outdoors, and they put their gear to the test every day. From now until the end of the year, with every order of $80 or more, you will receive $20 off your order and free ground shipping. Plus, as is always the case, PGD will donate 15% of the total purchase price of your order to the Sportsman’s Alliance for Alaska. This special opportunity to save AND give expires December 31, 2012.

Pro Guide Direct

Special Products from Loon Outdoors to Benefit Bristol Bay Campaign

Get yourself a sew-on “No Pebble Mine” patch or a stainless steel Klean Kanteen pint cup from the fine folks at Loon Outdoors, who are donating 100% of the proceeds from sales of these items to Trout Unlimited to support the battle for Bristol Bay.

Loon Outdoors, Klean Kanteen

Other Ways to Support SAA and 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 online 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 include “SAA” and indicate what item you’d like to receive in the “comment” box on the donation page.

(If you have any questions on how to donate, email

Simms Ultralight Shirt
Simms Ultralight Shirt

Derek DeYoung
“4-in-1 Alaska” by Derek DeYoung

And…An Easy Online Shopping Portal to Support SAA


Turn your online shopping at over 1,000 stores into much-needed donations to support SAA’s work. A few percent on each sale adds up! (Click image at left.)

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. Best wishes to you and your family and friends for a safe and joyous holiday season. I know that one of my New Year’s resolutions will be to improve my reliability when it comes to getting an SAA newsletter out at least every other month in 2013.

Scott Hed
Director, Sportsman’s Alliance for Alaska

Celebrating our 7th wedding anniversary in Denali National Park.

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