Middle River Dispatches is a gumbo of posts about fly-fishing, conservation, politics and days afield.

“Just one question?”

Beau Beasley penned an important article, In Cuccinelli-McAuliffe Governor’s Race, Reaching Virginia’s Sportsman Critical to Vote, that ran in the Potomac Local this week.

Here are a few thoughts.

I know Rob Wittman personally, he is the real deal and a stellar example of what is right in our elected officials. In the current parlance, “he gets it.”

It is very unfortunate that Mr. McAullife or his folks didn’t respond. I understand they were asked more than once.

Mr. Cuccinelli’s lack of engagement on the Jackson River case is very disappointing. I understand the state’s position, I think they are wrong and should do more. If you want to know more about what should be done, just Google Beau Beasley and Jackson River.

Beasley is correct when he writes “The problem politicians face is crafting a clear message that appeals to those potential voters without turning away many others.”

What troubles me is that other than Wittman, they show little appreciation for the economic impact outdoor recreation has in the Commonwealth and how dependent that economic activity is on public land.  Outdoor recreation generates $13.6 BILLION in direct consumer spending in Virginia. Hunting and fishing account for $2.38 BILLION.

Seems like that is the foundation for a clear message that is unlikely to turn away voters.

I wonder, again other than Wittman, how much thought they have given to conservation and the environment in relation to the impact it has on our outdoor recreation economy.

Everyone who meets the candidates or elected officials should ask one simple question, “What are you doing to support the outdoor recreation economy in Virginia?

The answers will tell you 1) if the candidate understands the importance of the outdoor recreation economy and 2) what they think can and should be done. I am afraid we may be disappointed at best and more likely troubled by the answers.

Kudos to Beasley for banging the drum.

source: http://potomaclocal.com/2013/10/22/cuccinelli-mcaullife-governors-race-reaching-virginias-sportsman-critical-vote/


  1. Beau Beasley says:

    Tom, thanks for your kind words. I just got back from TRCP’s Saltwater Media Summit and I am convinced more than ever that sportsmen must be engaged in the decision making process of how we will spend our tax dollars going forward. Sportsmen are a HUGE economic factor and our voices need to be heard.

  2. TRCP is doing great work on the economic message

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