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 4, 2014 Newsletter

Welcome to the latest edition of the SAA News. I hope you’ve had a great spring and it hopefully involved some fine fishing and/or turkey hunting. I’m headed to Alaska today for some work meetings, but I’ll try to get some fishing (ahem, “field research”) done as well. Herein, you’ll find some updates on issues across Alaska. Unsurprisingly, there’s been some pushback from the Pebble Limited Partnership to EPA’s work in Bristol Bay. The U.S. Forest Service is moving ahead with an amendment to the land management plan for America’s largest national forest – the Tongass in Southeast Alaska. Let’s hit the details…

Bristol Bay: Pebble Officially Responds to EPA’s Clean Water Act Process, then Sues the Agency, Seeking to Stop Work that could Protect Bristol Bay

Save Bristol Bay

A few months back, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency began a process under the Clean Water Act that could lead to Bristol Bay being protected from the proposed Pebble Mine. As part of this process the project’s proponents responded to EPA’s action in a few ways:

  • On April 30, the Pebble Limited Partnership officially responded to the U.S. EPA’s request for information on how the proposed Pebble Mine will not cause significant adverse impacts to the habitats, waters, and fisheries of the Nushagak and Kvichak watersheds in Bristol Bay. Read coverage in The Hill of PLP’s accusations of an EPA “power grab.”

Bristol Bay: Senator Murkowski Catches Flak for Sponsoring S.B. 2156

Last month, we covered the introduction of S.B. 2156 (aka the “Regulatory Fairness Act”) which would revoke EPA’s ability to utilize a rarely-invoked section of the Clean Water Act to proactively address threats to Bristol Bay’s clean water and wild fish. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) is a sponsor of this legislation, and she’s gotten quite a bit of feedback for taking this position that is at odds with the majority of Alaskans who wish to see Bristol Bay protected.

Bristol Bay: Advance Alert – Be Ready to Stand Up One Last Time!

Should the EPA Clean Water Act process move ahead this summer, there is expected to be a public comment period – likely the final one – and we will need every single one of our allies to weigh in and recruit your friends, family, colleagues, and even complete strangers if you’re the outgoing type to join our effort to protect one of the planet’s premier wild fishery resources. Stand by; you’ll be alerted when the time comes to take action. Until then, thanks for your perseverance.

Forests: Tongass Land Management Plan Amendment in the Works

The U.S. Forest Service is currently in the process of amending the Tongass Land Management Plan. Read an analysis of public outreach and comments on the 5-year review of the 2008 TLMP. There will be a 90-day public comment period on the draft Environmental Impact Statement for the TLMP amendment set to begin by August 2015. The Tongass is attempting to transition to a young growth management regime as provided by the USDA Secretary’s memorandum addressing sustainable forestry in Southeast Alaska.

To help guide the USFS in this plan revision, fifteen regional stakeholders have been named to a federal advisory council that will begin meeting this summer. More coverage of this development from KTOO.

Spring steelheading in the Tongass
Credit: Ian Davis

Miscellany: Other Interesting News & Notes around Alaska

  • The Salmon Connection video is part of a National Science Foundation exhibit to show the connection of salmon to the world around us, and it features the community of Sitka in Southeast Alaska.
  • Custom fly fishing accessory maker Vedavoo discusses why the company is engaged in the battle to protect Bristol Bay, and they’ve rolled out a set of special No Pebble Mine gear with sales proceeds benefitting the fight for Bristol Bay.
  • The Bristol Bay sockeye salmon forecast from the AK Department of Fish and Game is covered in the Bristol Bay Times, broken down by district.
  • A former AK Dept. of Fish & Game biologist wrote a 2-part story about how the ADF&G and Dept. of Natural Resources are being politically driven to weaken protections on Alaska's state wildlife refuges, sanctuaries, critical habitat areas. Read part 1 and part 2 in the Alaska Dispatch.

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.

BONUS: All donations of $50 or more will receive a copy of Equilibrium on DVD by Castaway Films!

Waypoints DVD
$25 – DVD
Abel Nippers
$150 – Abel Nippers


Alaska by Derek DeYoung
$125 - “4-in-1 Alaska” by Derek DeYoung

Fab Four by Derek DeYoung
$125 - “Fab Four – Alaskan September” by Derek DeYoung

(If you have any questions on how to donate, e-mail

Do You Shop on Help Alaska Conservation – Easy and Free!!!

SAA’s parent organization – the Alaska Conservation Foundation – is now an official recipient organization of Amazon Donations. It’s super easy to make a donation and doesn’t cost you a thing! Rather than shop via Amazon’s regular website, do your Amazon shopping on and Amazon will automatically donate 0.5% of your total purchases to ACF. Once you indicate “Alaska Conservation Foundation” as the charity you are supporting, do your shopping as usual and make your purchases as you normally do. You are not charged anything extra. You do not need to change your account settings. The only thing that changes is that you will do your shopping on AmazonSmile which contains the same exact information and products as Amazon's regular website. We suggest you bookmark AmazonSmile to make it even easier to return to the website. Your support is greatly appreciated!

You’ve Asked for It: Return of the SAA Online Auction – Coming this Fall…

It’s been a few years, but SAA previously ran a very successful fundraising auction hosted by eBay. Great news – the auction is coming back.

Stay tuned for more news and get ready to bid on awesome gear, exciting trips, and unique artwork.

Looking like this will happen in October and November…just in time for Christmas shopping!

(At right, Mike Fifer – president of Sturm, Ruger & Co. – autographing a limited edition print for the SAA auction.)

SAA Online Auction

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.


Scott Hed
Director – Sportsman’s Alliance for Alaska

Scott Hed
SAA Director Scott Hed (r) and friend Matt Miller with a
redfish double on the Texas coast during the Outdoor
Writers Association of America annual conference.
(Coincidentally, Scott also had fished with the guide up
in Bristol Bay in 2009. Small world!)

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