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Entries in Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation (24)

Thursday
Aug232012

More California Craziness Shows What's Coming if President Is Re-elected

Dan Richardson lost his job as chairman of the California Fish and Game Commission for legally hunting a mountain lion in Idaho.

Once more I am warning you: Anglers and hunters will pay dearly for their passiveness if Barack Obama is re-elected.

A second term will mean an administration controlled by preservationists and environmental groups who revile fishing and hunting as much as they hate fossil fuels and free markets. They will make it their mission to use Executive Orders and agency regulations to shut down both sports as quickly and as thoroughly as possible.

Certainly their views do not represent the majority of people in this country, but they are zealots with deep pockets. They can get what they want if we do not fight back with the power of the vote in November.

Sadly, California already has fallen to them, and it is the poster child for what they want to achieve nationally. The latest evidence is the removal of Dan Richards as president of the California Fish and Game Commission. Bowing to pressure from anti-hunting and animal rights groups, other commissioners unanimously voted him out.

His crime? Legally killing a mountain lion in Idaho and then posing for a photo with the carcass.

Of course, hunting mountain lions is illegal in the enlightened state of California.

The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation says this:  

“After the photo was published, anti-hunting state legislators circulated a letter threatening to remove Richards from the California Fish and Game Commission if he did not resign on his own. Undeterred and remaining steadfastly committed to standing up for California's recreational hunters and anglers, Richards refused to step down and legislators eventually abandoned their efforts to remove him from his post on the Commission.

“Despite being stripped of his leadership position, Richards has stated that he intends to remain on the commission through the remainder of his term which will expire in February 2013.”

Michael Bolton has a great piece about the difference between California and the rest of the nation at Al.com. His opening paragraph:

“California and Alabama aren't different states. They are different planets.”

And if we re-elect this President, we will suffer four more years of an administration pushing us to be more like California, which is totally alien to the values of most of us who fish and hunt.

 

Monday
Aug132012

Sportsman Ryan a Good Choice for Anglers

Many of my friends in fisheries conservation organizations like Paul Ryan. They praise his honesty, his intelligence, his humbleness, and his ability to concisely explain complicated financial issues.

Below you can read what the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSC) has to say about Mitt Romney’s choice of Ryan as Republican vice-presidential candidate. CSC and the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus are two of the greatest allies that anglers have in Washington, D.C.

From 2007 to 2011, Representative Ryan served as co-chairman of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus, one of the largest bi-partisan caucuses in the US Congress with over 300 members representing almost all 50 states. Representative Ryan worked with democratic co-chairs on a number of bi-partisan sportsmen's issues during his two-term tenure as co-chair of the CSC. In the 110th Congress, Representative Ryan worked with his Wisconsin House colleague Representative Ron Kind as he did with co-chair Representative Dan Boren of Oklahoma during the 111th Congress.

Representative Boren showed his admiration for Representative Ryan from the other side of the aisle and gave praise to his CSC colleague's announced candidacy:

 "Paul has a firm moral compass and has always approached his job as a congressman with diligence and honesty. Having many friends on both sides of the aisle, he is an effective and talented leader. Although we belong in different political parties, I see Paul as a friend, a fellow hunter, and most importantly, a family man."

A self-described sportsman and an avid archery hunter, Representative Ryan understands the importance of bi-partisanship as a means of protecting and pursuing issues significant to the sportsmen's heritage. During his time as CSC co-chair, Representative Ryan supported legislation that achieved many victories for hunting, trapping, and recreational shooting and angling, along with other conservation and fish and wildlife habitat initiatives.

Wednesday
Jul112012

National Park Service Disregards Importance of Access

National Park Service (NPS) policies provide some of the most glaring examples of this administration’s disregard for recreational angling and its embrace of preservation as opposed to conservation.

Here is what the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation has to say:

“The sport fishing and boating community has been subjected to a recent disturbing trend within the National Park Service of disregarding the importance of providing access to sportsmen and women on our nation's public lands.

“The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Subcommittee on National Parks highlighted one such example, in Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreation Area, N.C., during a hearing held on Wednesday, June 27.

“Among the bills included at the hearing was "Preserving Public Access to Cape Hatteras Beaches Act" (S. 2372), which would address the severe restrictions on public access to one of the East Coast's most popular surf fishing areas in Cape Hatteras.

If passed, S. 2372 - a companion bill to H.R. 4094 - would reinstate the 2007 Interim Management Strategy governing off-road vehicle use in the Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area which allows for a more balanced approach to fish and wildlife management concerns and provides for adequate recreational fishing access.

“The Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation signed on to a support letter on S. 2372 which the recreational fishing community circulated to Senators prior to the hearing.”

Florida’s Biscayne National Park is another target for NPS’s look-but-don’t-touch policies. It wants to create large marine reserves --- no-fishing zones --- that would close more than 20 percent of the park’s public waters to fishing, boating, and other recreational activities.

 Go to this CSF page to express your concerns to your senators and representatives about the access threats to these public resources.

Friday
Apr132012

Tell Your Congressmen to Support Sportmen's Heritage Act

Contact your representatives in Congress, urging them to support the Sportsmen’s Heritage Act of 2012 (H.R. 4089). In doing so, you will be joining a coalition of 38 sportsmen’s groups that have expressed their support in a letter to House leadership.

“Due to the efforts of the bipartisan Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus leadership and many of its members, H.R. 4089 has advanced to this critical juncture,” says the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation.

“The Sportsmen’s Heritage Act is essential to recognizing the importance of and facilitating the expansion and enhancement of hunting and recreational fishing and shooting.”

Here’s an excerpt from the letter:

“Summarily, the bill includes language that:

  • requires hunting and recreational shooting and fishing to be recognized activities on all Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management lands;
  • protects recreational shooting on National Monuments under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land Management;
  • amends the Marine Mammal Protection Act to allow hunters who legally harvested polarbears in Canada prior to its listing under the Endangered Species Act to purchase permits in order to transport their trophies into the U.S.;
  • and clarifies that the Environmental Protection Agency does not have the jurisdiction toregulate traditional ammunition with lead components and lead fishing tackle.”

 Also, during these tough financial times, none of the provisions contain authorization for funding. This legislation is about protecting and enhancing our fishing and hunting rights and opportunities.  

Go here to contact your Congressional representative.

Thursday
Apr052012

Do You Care Enough to Fight for Recreational Angling?

Do you care enough to fight for recreational angling? Or will you continue to go fishing and ignore the threat until it’s too late?

I hope that you will read what follows and then get involved. Join Keep America Fishing.  Write to your federal representatives and senators, urging them to oppose the National Ocean Policy and National Ocean Council.

Get involved. Please.

*                      *                          *

Not surprisingly, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) likes the National Ocean Policy (NOP), which would zone uses of our waters, inevitably telling anglers where they can and cannot fish.

The sad and all too predictable aspect of this support is that the NRDC tries to make the argument that the NOP “will help fishermen.” I’d have much more respect for the organization if it simply supported the Big-Government strategy and left it at that.

Instead, it uses misinformation, half-truths, and, yes, even lies to try to convince anglers to swallow the cyanide pill because it will be good for them. One of the most blatant lies from the NRDC blog is this:

The National Ocean Policy’s development benefitted from a robust stakeholder engagement process, which included hundreds of recreational and commercial fishermen and the organized sportfishing lobbies.”

The truth is that the NOP policy was a done deal when President Obama took office in January of 2009. Environmental groups put down the foundation as soon as he was elected in November of 2008. Most everything since has been window-dressing, to make it appear as if a “robust stakeholder engagement process” has been occurring.

Certainly organizations including the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA), the American Sportfishing Association, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, and others have lobbied on behalf of anglers from the beginning, and they continue to do so. But they’re playing against a stacked deck.

Provided by RFA, here’s an example of angler “support” for the NOP, from October testimony before the House Natural Resources Committee:

40:20 - Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) provides single token letter of angler support for the executive order (implementing NOP), that of John McMurray, an advisor for Environmental Defense Fund hand-picked by Dr. Jane Lubchenco to represent New York fishermen at the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC).

1:34:10 - Rep. Don Young (R-AK) grills Dr. Lubchenco on her comments that "quite a few fishermen" support the executive order, though she's unable to produce a name except to say the MAFMC ("same one as you put catch shares involved into," replies Young.)

The only brief interruption for the Big Government steamroller occurred in the spring of 2010. Largely unnoticed, I had been writing about the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force (precursor to National Ocean Council) since the previous fall, warning that it posed a threat to the future of recreational fishing for ESPN’s now defunct Outdoors website.

And that leads me to the second lie in the NRDC blog:

“Shortly before the National Ocean Policy was established, a firestorm broke out when a columnist for ESPN.com spread the unfounded rumor that the policy would close off large swaths of the ocean to fishing.”

Here is what really happened:

In March of 2010, a disreputable internet “journalist” found one of my articles and, in response, posted a piece with a headline that screamed “ESPN Claims Obama Is About to Ban Fishing.”

But I didn’t say that in any of the 10 articles on the subject that I had written to that point. And I still haven’t said it.

What I said and continue to say is that the National Ocean Policy puts into place a system that threatens the future of recreational fishing. It will be death by a thousand cuts as one fishery after another is closed by “zoning.”

Yet, that yellow journalism directed enough attention to the issue that the Obama Administration was forced to address concerns about recreational fishing. In other words, it was slowed for a time, doing damage control.

Since, the Big Government juggernaut has been rolling right along.


But with the close of public comments for the NOP implementation, pushback is occurring, both in Congress (See my previous post) and at the state level (See States Fight Back Against National Ocean Council on Feb. 13). Additionally, court challenges likely will be coming under the 10th Amendment, which preserves states’ rights.

The odds are against us, especially in the short term, but we might win this battle yet if enough anglers will fight for what they love.