Archive for March, 2016


This post tugs at my very soul. #keepitpublic and fight for public lands and your rights to enjoy them now, and protect them for the next generation. Thanks Tom!

Mouthful of Feathers

Each morning now, I go somewhere I haven’t been before. It’s an easy, solo routine that asks no one for permission, checks in with no authorities, goes where it wants to go. I have a hunting license and I’m American, camping on American soil owned by every damned one of us.

There are but two limitations: obey the state’s hunting laws and no camping in the same spot for more than sixteen days . . .  as if I’d want to stay in one spot that long. I can live with those two rules.
The other rules are my own. Get up when I want, go when I want, shoot only a few birds out of each covey, treat my dogs well, leave enough for next time.

It has been this way for ten weeks now as I swing into the last two weeks of a three-month sabbatical from my…

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Colorado: State Trust Land is NOT Public Land

Critical information: State Trust Land is not managed for public use, but for maximum revenue generation.

The Hunter Conservationist

co state trust land

I spent a little over a year as a Colorado resident and continue to hunt there most every fall. My first elk hunt took place in the Weminuche Wilderness.

Colorado is a special place to me, but the “colorful” state has a dark pseudo-secret. I say pseudo-secret because it isn’t really a secret at all. This info is public domain but many have no idea. Despite being a utopian mecca for hunters, anglers, mountain bikers, skiers and hikers, its state trust land public access is among the very worst in the West. Historically, state trust land was largely off limits to public access, but as population boomed and access elsewhere declined, citizenry demand for multiple use management and access on state trust land grew. Brought to the table largely by efforts of hunters and anglers, in 1992 the State Land Board struck a deal, agreeing to provide public access to…

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Park Falls, WI (03/07/2016) – Tune in to the evening news and you can’t help but sense the doom and gloom of corporate America. Layoffs are common. What little personnel remains take on twice the duties. Pressure from top management trickles down through the workforce. Bad attitudes bloom. Business breaks.
Not all businesses follow the same, paved communal highway, however. Some, like Wisconsin’s St. Croix Rods, prefer to take the lighter-traveled yet well-maintained road, which ultimately leads to innovation and growth. With headquarters in small-town-USA, St. Croix is a family-owned and -run company. And the staff loves working there. Fact is, employment stints within the walls of the Park Falls, Wisconsin, facility are not measured in years, but decades.

The pride of every employee, from upper management on down, shows through in every rod St. Croix creates—that’s hundreds of thousands of rods every year. And growing.

And It’s because of St. Croix’s culture why a veteran of the fishing and hunting industries, Jesse Simpkins, will be joining the St. Croix team, taking on the role of Director of Marketing. With over 20-years in the outdoors marketplace under his belt, Simpkins will be officially stepping over the threshold to join the classic company on February 29, 2016.
“A few years back I was asked to jot down the places I would most like to work if I were to start my career all over again. And, believe it or not, St. Croix was at the top of that list,” says Simpkins. “Not just because they are a family-owned business that treats everyone on staff like kin, but they are the top in rod crafting, and their name is synonymous with quality and craftsmanship.
“I look forward to getting to know the people inside the organization, top to bottom,” he adds. “The company is an integral part of the community of Park Falls. I am really looking forward to being a valued member of the team that delivers these quality products and drive the brand.”
“Jesse has a very successful track record and is highly respected in the fishing industry,” says Jeff Schluter, St. Croix’s Vice President of Brand Management. “He’s a passionate angler who intimately understands the fishing community and business. We love Jesse’s skill set and personality along with and his experience and devotion to fishing. Jesse will hit the ground running and communicate the St. Croix story.
“The company is growing. The creation of this position has been a long time coming and Jesse’s a great fit.”
About St. Croix Rod:

St. Croix Rod is a family-owned and managed manufacturer of high-performance fishing rods headquartered in Park Falls, Wisconsin with a 65-year heritage of USA manufacturing. Utilizing proprietary technologies, St. Croix controls every step of the rod-making process, from conception and design to manufacturing and inspection, in two company-owned facilities. The company offers a complete line of premium, American-made fly, spinning and casting rods under their Legend Elite®, Legend® Xtreme, Legend Tournament®, Avid Series®, Premier®, Wild River®, Tidemaster®, Imperial® and other trademarks through a global distribution network of full-service fishing tackle dealers. The company’s mid-priced Triumph®, Mojo Bass/Musky/Inshore/Surf, Eyecon® and Rio Santo series rods are designed and engineered in Park Falls, Wisconsin and built in a new, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Fresnillo, Mexico. Founded in 1948 to manufacture jointed bamboo fishing poles for a Minneapolis hardware store chain, St. Croix has grown to become the largest manufacturer of fishing rods in North America.

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A 21st Century Vision for Investing in and Connecting People to Nature


Photo by Lew Carpenter

Washington, DC – March 2, 2016 – A group of energy, business and conservation leaders today released their recommendations on how to avert the growing endangered species crisis in this country. The Blue Ribbon Panel on Sustaining America’s Diverse Fish & Wildlife Resources determined that utilizing a portion of revenues from energy and mineral development on federal lands and waters to fund state-based conservation could address conservation needs for thousands of species. An annual investment of $1.3 billion from these development revenues into the currently unfunded Wildlife Conservation Restoration Program would allow state fish and wildlife agencies to proactively manage these species reducing taxpayer costs and the regulatory red tape that comes when species are listed under the federal Endangered Species Act. The number of species petitioned for listing under the Act has increased by 1,000 percent in less than a decade.

“A lot is at stake if we don’t act soon. For every species that is thriving in our country, hundreds of species are in decline.  These recommendations offer a new funding approach that will help ensure all fish and wildlife are conserved for future generations,” said former Wyoming governor, David Freudenthal, co-chair of the Blue Ribbon Panel. “We need to start down a new path where we invest proactively in conservation rather than reactively.”

The Blue Ribbon Panel was assembled in 2014 and met three times to produce recommendations and policy options on the most sustainable and equitable model to fund conservation of the full array of fish and wildlife species. The panel was co-chaired by Freudenthal and John L. Morris, noted conservationist and founder of Bass Pro Shops. It includes representatives from the outdoor recreation retail and manufacturing sector, the energy and automotive industries, private landowners, educational institutions, conservation organizations, sportsmen’s groups and state fish and wildlife agencies. During their meetings, panelists agreed that an increased investment in fish and wildlife conservation makes fiscal sense and is needed to protect our natural heritage. Their recommendation would redirect and dedicate $1.3 billion each year from the over $10 billion in revenues from energy development (both renewable and traditional) and mineral development on federal lands and waters.

“Conservation means balancing the sustainability of fish and wildlife resources with the many needs of humans for clean air and water, land, food and fiber, dependable energy, economic development, and recreation. It is our responsibility to lead the way so our state fish and wildlife agencies have the resources they need to conserve species and manage our natural resources – the future of our industry and the outdoor sports we love depend on this investment,” noted Morris. “Redirecting revenues from energy and mineral development to state-based conservation is a simple, logical solution, and it is now up to our leaders in Congress to move this concept forward.”

State fish and wildlife agencies have primary responsibility for managing species within their borders, as well as conserving important habitats and providing outdoor recreation opportunities. Traditionally, agencies have been funded by sportsmen through license fees and excise taxes on hunting and fishing equipment and motorboat fuels – most agencies receive very limited funding through general taxpayer dollars. Agencies have not been able to keep pace with the growing challenge as habitat is lost and species decline and hunter and angler participation has declined. States have developed state wildlife action plans identifying 12,000 species in greatest need for conservation efforts. However, limited funding requires prioritization of the species facing the highest risk of endangerment leaving thousands of other species and their habitats hanging in the balance.

“America’s anglers and boaters are the nation’s most powerful force for conserving our nation’s fisheries and waters, investing more than $1 billion dollars each year in fisheries management and conservation through taxes on fishing equipment and state fishing license sales,” said Mike Nussman, president and CEO, American Sportfishing Association. “But, the conservation needs are growing quickly. If we are to maintain the high-quality environment that we all enjoy, it is essential that we find a new funding source for conserving the full array of fish and wildlife species.”

Proactive conservation saves tax payer dollars by addressing species needs early so that costly “emergency room” interventions are avoided. Preventing threatened and endangered species listings helps business by averting project delays and losses from forfeited opportunities due to land use regulations. In addition, investing in conservation is vital to sustaining our natural infrastructure that supports numerous indispensable benefits such as pollination, water purification, erosion control, flood control, recreation, food production and cultural amenities.


Blue Ribbon Panel on Sustaining America’s Diverse Fish and Wildlife Resources

Co-Chairs John Morris, Founder, Bass Pro Shops; David Freudenthal, Former Governor, State of Wyoming; Crowell & Moring. Members: Kevin Butt, Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing, NA, Inc.; Richard Childress, Richard Childress Racing Enterprises/NRA; Jeff Crane, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation; Bruce Culpepper, Shell Americas; John Doerr, Pure Fishing, Inc.; Jim Faulstich, Partners for Conservation; John Fitzpatrick, Cornell Lab of Ornithology; Greg Hill, Hess Corporation; Becky Humphries, National Wild Turkey Federation; Stephen Kellert, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies; Jennifer Mull, Outdoor Industry Association; John Newman, Ducks Unlimited, Inc.; Mike Nussman, American Sportfishing Association; Margaret O’Gorman, Wildlife Habitat Council; Glenn Olson, National Audubon Society; Collin O’Mara, National Wildlife Federation; Connie Parker, CSParker Group; Charlie Potter, Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation; Steve Sanetti, National Shooting Sports Foundation; John Tomke, Wildlife & Hunting Heritage Conservation Council; Jeff Trandahl, National Fish & Wildlife Foundation; James Walker, EDF Renewable Energy; Steve Williams, Wildlife Management Institute; and Bob Ziehmer, Missouri Department of Conservation. Ex Officio Members: Michael Bean, U.S. Department Interior; Ronald Regan, Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies


The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) is the sportfishing industry’s trade association committed to representing the interests of the entire sportfishing community. We give the industry a unified voice, speaking out on behalf of sportfishing and boating industries, state and federal natural resource agencies, conservation organizations, angler advocacy groups and outdoor journalists when emerging laws and policies could significantly affect sportfishing business or sportfishing itself. ASA invests in long-term ventures to ensure the industry will remain strong and prosperous, as well as safeguard and promote the enduring social, economic and conservation values of sportfishing in America. ASA also gives America’s 46 million anglers a voice in policy decisions that affect their ability to sustainably fish on our nation’s waterways through KeepAmericaFishing™, our angler advocacy campaign. America’s anglers generate more than $48 billion in retail sales with a $115 billion impact on the nation’s economy creating employment for more than 800,000 people.

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