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More than thirty sportsmen organizations sent a letter to the RNC and DNC encouraging them to support America’s public lands 

WASHINGTON, DC – More than thirty national and state-level sportsmen organizations, representing millions of hunters and anglers, sent the following letters to the Republican and Democratic Platform Committees encouraging them to support America’s public lands:
 
July 11, 2016

310 First Street SE

Washington, D.C 20003

Honorable Reince Priebus

Chairperson, Republican National Committee

Republican National Committee

Dear Mr. Priebus: 

Our organizations collectively represent millions of hunters, anglers and other outdoors enthusiasts. Our members, and tens of millions of other Americans, depend on our national forests, parks, wildlife refuges and other federal lands to provide fish and wildlife habitat and access to places to hunt, fish, and enjoy the outdoors. The iconic landscapes of America’s public lands also sustain our economy by supporting an outdoor recreation industry that generates $646 billion in economic benefit annually and supports 6.1 million jobs—and attracting tourists from around the nation.

Our national tapestry of public lands is the product of more than a century of leadership by both Republicans and Democrats. Several of the world’s first national forests, monuments and wildlife refuges were set aside by Republican President Theodore Roosevelt. Democratic President Franklin Roosevelt expanded our National Wildlife Refuge System and National Park System and put millions of Americans to work during the Great Depression restoring and maintaining public lands. Over the years, presidents of both parties worked with bipartisan leaders in Congress to craft the laws that govern the activities of the U.S. Forest Service, National Wildlife Refuge System, National Wilderness Preservation System, and the Bureau of Land Management.

America’s public lands provide important value for all Americans, whether they live in rural or urban areas. These benefits include improving air and water quality, sustaining local water supplies, producing timber, providing grass for grazing, bolstering local tourism economies, enhancing agricultural production through pollination, and supporting a range wildlife and biodiversity.   

America’s hunters and anglers have a special interest in our public lands. Some of our most treasured big game animals depend on the secure habitat and migration corridors that are provided by public land. Many sportfish species depend on cool, clean waters that originate on public lands. Federal public lands also provide free access for tens of millions of Americans to hunt and fish every year. These lands sustain our hunting and fishing heritage and fill our freezers. While all of America owns these lands, their wise stewardship is of particularly vital concern to us.

Managing hundreds of millions of acres of federal land for the public benefit requires a careful balancing of many different uses. It is also essential to ensure that current activities do not impair the ability of future generations to benefit from our public lands. There are no easy answers, but the value of public lands to the American people makes finding common-sense solutions worth the effort.

Your 2016 party platform presents an opportunity to explain to the American people how you will satisfy competing interests and protect our public lands for future generations. Healthy debate about how to manage federal lands is an important part of the democratic process. Your platform can advance that democratic debate by explaining how your party proposes to sustainably develop natural resources, protect wildlife habitat, ensure public access, and maintain our public land heritage for future generations.

At the same time, we do not believe it would be constructive to include broad directives to transfer federal lands to state or local control, sell federal lands to private interests, or otherwise liquidate the national interest in federal land management. These kinds of directives do a disservice to the American people and especially to America’s hunters and anglers. These proposals do not advance the goal of finding meaningful ways to balance competing interests and preserve our national public land heritage for future generations.

Thank you for your commitment to the sound management and conservation of our public lands, which provide so much benefit to all Americans. If you would like to discuss this with us, please contact Collin O’Mara, President and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, at collin@nwf.org, 703-438-6046.

Sincerely, 

The National Wildlife Federation
Boone and Crockett Club
Dallas Safari Club
Ducks Unlimited
National Wild Turkey Federation
Pheasants Forever
Quail Forever
Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership
Trout Unlimited
Wild Sheep Foundation
Wildlife Management Institute
Alabama Wildlife Federation
Arizona Wildlife Federation
Association of Northwest Steelheaders
Colorado Wildlife Federation
Conservation Federation of Missouri
Florida Wildlife Federation
Georgia Wildlife Federation
Idaho Wildlife Federation
Indiana Wildlife Federation
Kansas Wildlife Federation
Michigan United Conservation Clubs
Minnesota Conservation Federation
Montana Wildlife Federation
Nevada Wildlife Federation 
New Mexico Wildlife Federation
North Carolina Wildlife Federation
North Dakota Wildlife Federation
South Carolina Wildlife Federation
South Dakota Wildlife Federation
Tennessee Wildlife Federation
Wisconsin Wildlife Federation
Wyoming Wildlife Federation

July 11, 2016

Graeme Crews

1900 Market St, Suite 300

Philadelphia, PA 19103

gcrews@demconvention.com

Honorable Shirley Franklin

Co-Chair, Democratic National Convention Platform Committee

Democratic National Convention Committee

Honorable Dannel Malloy

Co-Chair, Democratic National Convention Platform Committee

Democratic National Convention Committee

Dear Mrs. Franklin and Governor Malloy: 

Our organizations collectively represent millions of hunters, anglers and other outdoors enthusiasts. Our members, and tens of millions of other Americans, depend on our national forests, parks, wildlife refuges and other federal lands to provide fish and wildlife habitat and access to places to hunt, fish, and enjoy the outdoors. The iconic landscapes of America’s public lands also sustain our economy by supporting an outdoor recreation industry that generates $646 billion in economic benefit annually and supports 6.1 million jobs—and attracting tourists from around the nation.

Our national tapestry of public lands is the product of more than a century of leadership by both Republicans and Democrats. Several of the world’s first national forests, monuments and wildlife refuges were set aside by Republican President Theodore Roosevelt. Democratic President Franklin Roosevelt expanded our National Wildlife Refuge System and National Park System and put millions of Americans to work during the Great Depression restoring and maintaining public lands. Over the years, presidents of both parties worked with bipartisan leaders in Congress to craft the laws that govern the activities of the U.S. Forest Service, National Wildlife Refuge System, National Wilderness Preservation System, and the Bureau of Land Management.

America’s public lands provide important value for all Americans, whether they live in rural or urban areas. These benefits include improving air and water quality, sustaining local water supplies, producing timber, providing grass for grazing, bolstering local tourism economies, enhancing agricultural production through pollination, and supporting a range wildlife and biodiversity.   

America’s hunters and anglers have a special interest in our public lands. Some of our most treasured big game animals depend on the security habitat and migration corridors that are provided by public land. Many sportfish species depend on cool, clean waters that originate on public lands. Federal public lands also provide free access for tens of millions of Americans to hunt and fish every year. These lands sustain our hunting and fishing heritage and fill our freezers. While all of America owns these lands, their wise stewardship is of particularly vital concern to us.

Managing hundreds of millions of acres of federal land for the public benefit requires a careful balancing of many different uses. It is also essential to ensure that current activities do not impair the ability of future generations to benefit from our public lands. There are no easy answers, but the value of public lands to the American people makes finding common-sense solutions worth the effort.

Your 2016 party platform presents an opportunity to explain to the American people how you will satisfy competing interests and protect our public lands for future generations. Healthy debate about how to manage federal lands is an important part of the democratic process. Your platform can advance that democratic debate by explaining how your party proposes to sustainably develop natural resources, protect wildlife habitat, ensure public access, and maintain our public land heritage for future generations.

At the same time, we do not believe it would be constructive to include broad directives to transfer federal lands to state or local control, sell federal lands to private interests, or otherwise liquidate the national interest in federal land management. These kinds of directives do a disservice to the American people and especially to America’s hunters and anglers. These proposals do not advance the goal of finding meaningful ways to balance competing interests and preserve our national public land heritage for future generations.

Thank you for your commitment to the sound management and conservation of our public lands, which provide so much benefit to all Americans. If you would like to discuss this with us, please contact Collin O’Mara, President and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, at collin@nwf.org, 703-438-6046.

Sincerely, 

The National Wildlife Federation
Boone and Crockett Club
Dallas Safari Club
Ducks Unlimited
National Wild Turkey Federation
Pheasants Forever
Quail Forever
Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership
Trout Unlimited 
Wild Sheep Foundation
Wildlife Management Institute
Alabama Wildlife Federation
Arizona Wildlife Federation
Association of Northwest Steelheaders
Colorado Wildlife Federation
Conservation Federation of Missouri
Florida Wildlife Federation
Georgia Wildlife Federation
Idaho Wildlife Federation
Indiana Wildlife Federation
Kansas Wildlife Federation
Michigan United Conservation Clubs
Minnesota Conservation Federation
Montana Wildlife Federation
Nevada Wildlife Federation 
New Mexico Wildlife Federation
North Carolina Wildlife Federation
North Dakota Wildlife Federation
South Carolina Wildlife Federation
South Dakota Wildlife Federation
Tennessee Wildlife Federation
Wisconsin Wildlife Federation
Wyoming Wildlife Federation
Please note: the National Wildlife Federation and the co-signers of these letters do not participate in political campaigns, nor do we endorse, support or oppose any political party or any candidates for elected offices.

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Following nearly two decades fishing with 60-70 of my closest friends in the Louisiana wetlands chasing redfish during Marsh Madness, I’ve seen plenty of gear come and go.

WileyXTeam

From left, Eric Cosby, Top Brass; Lew Carpenter, Vanishing Paradise; Artie Cosby, Top Brass. Photo by Matt Vincent

Marsh Madness attracts many industry manufacturers, outdoor writers and top anglers. Sponsors often bring gear to get in-the-field reviews. And, while it doesn’t always work out – some readers will recall our batch of rods and reels (brand shall remain nameless here) that literally snapped and blew up (respectively) with the force of those powerful fish – some products have not only stood the test of time, but been enhanced by the experience.

 

WileyX has always been the go-to sunglasses for this group. And the company has always been smart about the time spent at Marsh Madness. Case in point: the Venice Gold lens. Designed and rigorously tested in the marshes and offshore reaches out of Venice, Louisiana.

MattVincent

Matt Vincent, the High Plains Drifter. Photo by Lew Carpenter

“It’s not often you get to build a product with the kind of diverse conditions and and expert angler input that we have enjoyed here,” said Ray Hill, WileyX’s director of corporate accounts and outdoor sales. Hill has been in the field continuously making sure his sunglasses are the best in class. He listens, he watches, he catches….

 

ArtieCosby

Artie Cosby, Top Brass. Photo by Lew Carpenter

My personal story with WileyX is one of pain and enlightenment. The pain comes from my stubbornness in a past career as an outdoor editor – clinging to a path of least resistance. My eyeball sockets suffered for years while enduring 60mph runs from the Venice Marina to the Southwest Pass of the Mississippi River. While I would often change out a pair of non-prescription, climate-controlled WileyX glasses for the run, I would then suffer the impact of changing back, feeling the ever-present squint I hadn’t noticed and enduring a fatigue from which I just knew my companions were free. Comfort can’t be denied on the water – blazing sun, brutal side wind and….where’s the fish!

EricCosby

Eric Cosby, Top Brass. Photo by Lew Carpenter

Clearly most important: “Can you see the cut? He’s flying, right there. Right there.” And I saw it a hundred times – The WileyX anglers are watching every detail of the bull’s movement, and the others are lost, firing spinnerbaits at ghosts.

So. Venice Gold. Years of development. Proven results. I’ve been in the fold for more than a year with my own progressives, and can’t imagine fishing any other way. From offshore and wetlands to the high desert of Oregon and all opportunities in between. Here’s a few details for this year’s ICAST:

 

The new-for-2016 WX Boss with Matte Black frame and Polarized Venice Gold Mirror lenses (#CCBOS04) is a pair of sunglasses that delivers the whole package for outdoor enthusiasts — stylish good looks, advanced glare-cutting vision and the proven protection that Wiley X is known for around the world.

WileyXBoss

This powerful combination of features makes this new Climate Control™ model an ideal choice for boating and fishing, target shooting, or anytime you’re outdoors in a highly reflective environment. The WX Boss’ wraparound-style Matte Black frame is the perfect counterpart to Wiley X’s bold and distinctive Polarized Venice Gold Mirror lenses. This attractive frame is designed for larger head sizes, and provides wearers with full coverage and a wide field of vision. With their Amber tint and advanced Filter 8™ polarizing technology, these lenses provide superior visual contrast over a wide range of light conditions, for clearer, distortion-free vision with reduced eye fatigue. They are especially good for helping anglers read the water and spot fish in the shallows, whether it’s bass hiding behind sunken logs or bonefish prowling the saltwater flats. Wiley X’s proven T-Shell™ lens coating resists scratching in even the most extreme environments, so you can work or play as hard as you want.

 

These “eye-catching” mirrored lenses also deliver 100-percent protection against the sun’s damaging rays — but this is just part of the story. The new WX Boss meets stringent ANSI Z87.1-2010 High Velocity and High Mass Impact Safety standards, as well as US Federal OSHA 1910.133(b)(1)(1) Standards, providing true occupational grade eye protection for active outdoor enthusiasts. Wiley X is the only premium sunglass brand with this level of protection in every adult eyewear style it makes — a key reason why the company is a leading provider of vision protection gear to the U.S. military, law enforcement and other tactical wearers.

 

Like all Climate Control Series styles, the WX Boss features Wiley X’s patented, removable Facial Cavity™ Seal that blocks out wind, dust and reflected light for clearer vision, enhanced comfort and relief from “dry eye syndrome.”

 

Like the majority of Wiley X eyewear styles, the new WX Boss is also Rx-ready using the company’s innovative DIGIFORCE™ digital Rx lens technology, combining state-of-the-art Wiley X vision protection with superior visual clarity over the widest possible field of vision.

 

To learn more about the new Climate Control WX Boss with Polarized Venice Gold Mirror lenses —or the company’s complete line of advanced eyewear products providing outdoor enthusiasts with Absolute Premium Protection — visit http://www.wileyx.com. Or contact Wiley X at 7800 Patterson Pass Road, Livermore, CA 94550 • Telephone: (800) 776-7842.

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Big Deal for Merica’s Fish and Wildlife

Great Lakes Outdoors

Yesterday evening, Congressman Don Young (R-AK) and Michigan’s (and my Congresswoman) Debbie Dingell (D-MI) introduced a bill that would direct existing funding from oil and gas leases to increase funding for proactive wildlife conservation.  This is a big deal for the future of our Great Lakes and Merica’s fish and wildlife. 

migrate-magnetic-Ducks

Below is the joint release about the bill…

Young, Dingell Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Enhance Funding For Fish and Wildlife

“A once in a generation opportunity to save thousands of at-risk wildlife species” – Collin O’Mara

Washington, DC (July 7, 2016) – Congressman Don Young (R-AK) and Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-MI) have introduced the bipartisan Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (H.R. 5650) calling for $1.3 billion in existing revenue from the development of energy and mineral resources on federal lands and waters be dedicated to the Wildlife Conservation Restoration Program to conserve a full array of fish and wildlife.

“Hunters…

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