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Entries in Johnny Morris (8)

Monday
Dec042017

Former Presidents, Legendary Anglers, Celebrities Help Celebrate Opening of Wonders of Wildlife Museum

 

 

With two former presidents in attendance, Johnny Morris opened his Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium, a tribute to fish and wildlife conservation, in late September.

Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush joined the founder of Bass Pro Shops (BPS) for the festivities, along with U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens. Additionally, actor Mark Wahlberg did a little SCUBA diving in one of the aquariums, while a "Concert for Conservation" featured Kevin Costner, Luke Bryan, Dierks Bently, and John Anderson.

Fishing legends Bill Dance, Roland Martin, and Jimmy Houston also attended, as did racing's Tony Stewart and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Billing the new facility as "the largest, most immersive, wildlife conservation attraction in the world, a major new destination in the heart of America," Bass Pro shops reported that more than 400 conservation leaders came to the opening, "along with significant donors and guests."

Morris added, “Wonders of Wildlife is an inspirational journey around the world that celebrates the role of hunters and anglers as America’s true conservation heroes.

"We proudly invite families and sportsmen to come share the wonder with an unforgettable experience meant to inspire generations of future conservationists.”

Located next door to BPS national headquarters, the museum features 1.5 million gallons of fresh and saltwater aquariums, along with 1.4 miles of trails spread across 340,000 square feet. About 35,000  fish, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and birds representing more than 800 species from around the world bring life to the exhibit. Plus, 4D dioramas highlight fully immersive wildlife galleries, providing sights, sounds, smells, and climates from around the world.

"You'll feel the chill of the Arctic, the cold winds of the Himalayas, the dry sun of the African Savannah and more," BPS said.

The aquariums honor legendary anglers, with boats from Earnest Hemingway and Zane Grey, and personal fishing artifacts and mementos from U.S. presidents and some of fishing’s most accomplished sportsmen and women at The International Game Fish Association’s Fishing Hall of Fame and the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame.

Also, with assistance provided by more than 40 conservation organizations, the museum shares the story of American conservation, from Native Americans to modern-day wildlife management.

"Johnny’s signature creativity and attention-to-detail ensures there are surprises around every corner to amaze guests of all ages," BPS said. "From stepping inside a massive 'open ocean' ring-shaped aquarium, trekking across a sprawling 50,000-square-foot re-creation of the African Savannah and going underwater and eye-to-eye with piranha, the entire adventure is full of special touches you’ll have to see to believe."

Friday
Oct132017

Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium Opens at Bass Pro Shops Headquarters

Former President George W. Bush is in center and former President Jimmy Carter on far right.Johnny Morris opened the new Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium at his Bass Pro Shops world headquarters in Springfield, Mo., in late September. The massive property is a tribute to fish and wildlife conservation  in our country, as well as entertaining tourist attraction, and education facility.

Former Presidents Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush attended the gala opening, as did celebrities such as Mark Wahlberg and Kevin Costner, along with fishing legends Bill Dance, Roland Martin, and Jimmy Houston.

Mark Wahlberg in Wonders of Wildlife aquariumFollowing is a description of the museum as provided by Bass Pro Shops:

Massive: 340,000 square feet with 1.4 miles of immersive trails, interactive surprises and creative exhibits, including 1.5 million gallons of fresh and saltwater aquariums;

Global: 35,000 live fish, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and birds represent more than 800 species from around the world;

Immersive: Fully immersive wildlife galleries feature 4D dioramas that transport guests to the wildest places on earth through sights, sounds, smells and climates. You’ll feel the chill of the Arctic, the cold winds of the Himalayas, the dry sun of the African Savannah, and more.

Conservation-focused: Partnerships with more than 40 leading conservation organizations help share the story of conservation from  Native Americans to Lewis and Clark and modern-day wildlife management. Countless artifacts make it real, including Hemingway’s boat and personal possessions from our conservation president Teddy Roosevelt, to name a few.

Fun: Johnny’s signature creativity and attention-to-detail ensures there are surprises around every corner to amaze guests of all ages. From stepping inside a massive “open ocean” ring-shaped aquarium, to trekking across a sprawling 50,000-square foot re-creation of the African Savannah and going underwater and eye-to-eye with piranha, you will encounter special touches and experience adventures that must be seen to be believed.

Monday
Sep182017

Pledge to Take Someone Fishing, Earn Chance to win 'Ultimate Outdoor Experience'

By pledging to introduce someone to the outdoors between now and NHF Day on Saturday, Sept. 23, participants will be eligible to win a Richard Childress Racing VIP race weekend package or the Ultimate Outdoor Experience in America’s Conservation Capital from Big Cedar Lodge and Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium.

How a Good Idea Became a Great Tradition

More than 100 years ago, hunters and anglers were the earliest and most vocal supporters of conservation and scientific wildlife management. They were the first to recognize that rapid development and unregulated uses of wildlife were threatening the future of many species.

   Led by fellow sportsman President Theodore Roosevelt, these early conservationists called for the first laws restricting the commercial slaughter of wildlife. They urged sustainable use of fish and game, created hunting and fishing licenses, and lobbied for taxes on sporting equipment to provide funds for state conservation agencies. These actions were the foundation of the North American wildlife conservation model, a science-based, user-pay system that would foster the most dramatic conservation successes of all time. Populations of white-tailed deer, elk, antelope, wild turkey, wood ducks and many other species began to recover from decades of unregulated exploitation.

During the next half-century, in addition to the funds they contributed for conservation and their diligent watch over the returning health of America’s outdoors, sportsmen worked countless hours to protect and improve millions of acres of vital habitat—lands and waters for the use and enjoyment of everyone.

In the 1960s, hunters and anglers embraced the era's heightened environmental awareness but were discouraged that many people didn't understand the crucial role that sportsmen had played-and continue to play-in the conservation movement.

The first to suggest an official day of thanks to sportsmen was Ira Joffe, owner of Joffe's Gun Shop in Upper Darby, Pa. In 1970, Pennsylvania Gov. Raymond Shafer adopted Joffe's idea and created "Outdoor Sportsman's Day" in the state.

With determined prompting from the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the concept soon emerged on the floor of the U.S. Senate. In June 1971, Sen. Thomas McIntyre, N.H., introduced Joint Resolution 117 authorizing National Hunting and Fishing Day on the fourth Saturday of every September. Rep. Bob Sikes, Fla., introduced an identical measure in the House. In early 1972, Congress unanimously passed both bills.

On May 2, 1972, President Nixon signed the first proclamation of National Hunting and Fishing Day, writing, "I urge all citizens to join with outdoor sportsmen in the wise use of our natural resources and in insuring their proper management for the benefit of future generations."

By late summer, all 50 governors and over 600 mayors had joined in by proclaiming state and local versions of National Hunting and Fishing Day. The response was dramatic.

National, regional, state and local organizations staged some 3,000 "open house" hunting- and fishing-related events everywhere from shooting ranges to suburban frog ponds, providing an estimated four million Americans with a chance to experience, understand and appreciate traditional outdoor sports.

Over the years, National Hunting and Fishing Day boasted many more public relations successes, assisted by celebrities who volunteered to help spotlight the conservation accomplishments of sportsmen and women. Honorary chairs have included George Bush, Tom Seaver, Hank Williams Jr., Arnold Palmer, Terry Bradshaw, George Brett, Robert Urich, Ward Burton, Louise Mandrell, Travis Tritt, Tracy Byrd, Jeff Foxworthy and many other sports and entertainment figures.

National Hunting and Fishing Day, celebrated the fourth Saturday of every September, remains the most effective grassroots efforts ever undertaken to promote the outdoor sports and conservation.

Thursday
Jul062017

FTC Approves Merger of Bass Pro Shops, Cabela's

The merger of Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s has received the go-ahead from antitrust regulators, according to Fox Business and other sources.

In a filing with the SEC, Cabela’s said Wednesday the Federal Trade Commission informed the company earlier this week that it concluded its investigation of Bass Pro’s $4.2 billion buyout. Cabela’s shareholders will vote on the deal July 11.

The transaction, which is expected to close during the third quarter, is also contingent on the successful sale of Cabela’s financial unit to Synovus Financial, a bank based in Georgia, and Capital One Financial.

Bass Pro and Cabela’s initially agreed to a deal worth roughly $5.5 billion, but the outdoor retailers amended the merger after Capital One ran into regulatory hurdles over its plans to buy all of World’s Foremost Bank, a Cabela’s subsidiary.

Cabela’s agreed in April to be bought for $61.50 a share, down from the original purchase price of $65.50 a share. Under the new plan, Capital One will buy Cabela’s credit card business. Synovus will acquire the assets and deposits of World’s Foremost Bank.

In October, 2016, Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris said the following:

"This morning it is with tremendous pride and humility that I share with you the great news that Bass Pro Shops and Cabela's have agreed to combine our two legendary brands to create a truly premier retailer in outdoor sporting goods. This merger of resources, experience and passion for the outdoors represents a unique opportunity for both organizations and their respective team members.

"For many years I have believed there is a remarkable strategic fit between our companies. The prospect of bringing together our time-tested, iconic outdoor brands: Cabela's — a leader in hunting, Bass Pro Shops — a leader in fishing, and White River Marine Group — a worldwide leader in boating, is very exciting!

"In my view this really is a 'once in a lifetime' opportunity for both of our companies and clearly provides the foundation to create a "best of the best" shopping experience for all outdoor enthusiasts worldwide for generations to come. I truly believe combining our two companies in this transaction will benefit our collective associates and our vendors while enabling us to enhance our service and expand our products to better serve our valued customers.

"I have enormous admiration for Cabela's and the remarkable brand and business they have built. Cabela's is a great American success story. Dick, Mary and Jim Cabela started the company at the family kitchen table when Dick decided to place an ad to sell fishing flies. From that humble start, the Cabela's family, along with a remarkable team of "outfitters" has grown to become one of the premier specialty retail companies. Today Cabela's nearly 19,000 outfitters operate 85 stores across the United States and Canada, offering merchandise and equipment for hunting, fishing, marine use, camping and many other outdoor activities as well as a best in class direct and e-commerce business.

"Both of our companies share a remarkably similar heritage, each starting very small and growing over time thanks to the hard work and passion of many remarkable team members. The combination of our two companies will honor and build upon this legacy. Bass Pro Shops has every intention of celebrating and growing the Cabela's brand. We will work hard to foster the qualities that customers love most about both Bass Pro Shops and Cabela's. The spirit of this agreement is about adding to our great brands and creating increased stability and opportunities for our team members."

What will happen to Bass Pro Shops and/or Cabela's stores?

It is business as usual at Bass Pro Shops and Cabela's and there will be no immediate impact to our stores.

What will happen to my existing Bass Pro Shops and/or Cabela's rewards, program points, and credit cards?

All Bass Pro Shops Outdoor Rewards and Cabela's CLUB points will be unaffected by the transactions and customers can continue to use their credit cards as they were prior to the transaction.

Bass Pro Shops recognizes the strength of Cabela's CLUB loyalty program, intends to honor Cabela's customer rewards and sees potential over time to expand the program in the combined company.

Following the transaction, Capital One will service Cabela's credit card business.

Where can I use my Bass Pro Shops or Cabela's gift cards?

At this time, Bass Pro Shops gift cards can be used at Bass Pro Shops stores and Cabela's gift cards can be used at Cabela's stores.

What will happen to the Cabela's brand?

Following the closing of the transaction, we intend to celebrate and grow the Cabela's brand, and will foster qualities that respective customers love most about both Bass Pro and Cabela's.

Wednesday
Mar292017

Ray Scott, Bill Dance, John Anderson Honored by Bass Pro Shops

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. --- B.A.S.S. founder Ray Scott, legendary angler Bill Dance, and country music artist John Anderson were honored for their conservation achievements by Bass Pro Shops (BPS) and its founder Johnny Morris during a holiday ceremony at BPS headquarters here.

“All of us at Bass Pro Shops are proud to honor these individuals for their unwavering dedication to conservation,” said Morris. “Long recognized and well respected as leaders for their conservation efforts and support, they continue to help restore and conserve our natural resources and important habitats for North America's wildlife.”

As recipient of a Fisherman's Best Friend Award, Scott is best known for popularizing catch and release among bass fishermen. "Today more than 98 percent of bass weighed in during national B.A.S.S. tournaments are returned alive to the waters," BPS said. "He also advocated against the dumping of aquatic herbicides into public waters."

A recipient of the same honor, Dance is a long-time friend of Morris and they have worked together often to promote conservation issues. Most recently, Dance played a key role in the placement of a Bass Pro Shops at the Pyramid in his hometown of Memphis.

Anderson was recognized as Conservation Partner of the Year because of his "strong belief in the need to give back more to conservation than we take" and for donating his time and talent with performances at national conservation conventions. Love of the outdoors, inspired by his father, was the inspiration for his popular song, "Seminole Wind."

Additionally, former U.S. Marine Mark Geist was recognized with a special Defender of Freedom Award.

Former Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon attended the event, as did NASCAR star Martin Truex, Jr. Nixon was honored last year for his leadership in conservation and outdoors issues during his administration. Truex was there to thank Morris and BPS for its donations to the Martin Truex, Jr. Foundation in support of cancer research.