Tomorrow I will put on my American Fly Fishing Trade Association hat and join sportsmen from around the country in Washington, DC. We are gathering to tell our elected officials and the President that protecting Bristol Bay in Alaska is a top priority for sportsmen.
Scott Hed, director of the Sportsman’s Alliance for Alaska, shares the importance of our effort in this post from Trout Unlimted’s Save Bristol Bay website
Sportsmen fly to DC to tell President and Congress no to Pebble Mine
Next week, April 16 – 18, about 40 sportsmen from around the country are traveling to the nation’s capitol to let their elected officials and the President know that protecting Bristol Bay is a top priority for sportsmen.
This is an important week to show the folks who have the power to protect Bristol Bay that sportsmen are in this fight. We’ve got folks from Alaska, Montana, Michigan, Colorado, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Texas, Wisconsin, Washington, Oregon, Ohio, North Carolina, California, Missouri, New York, and Virginia representing this great country and the millions of people who want Bristol Bay to be protected.
A recent report by the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation shows that there are 34 million hunters and anglers in the U.S., and we’re a powerful constituency. Every year, we pump $76 billion into the economy in pursuit of our passion, through our spending on gear, licenses, gas, lodging, meals and more. All of that spending and activity directly supports 1.6 million jobs in this country.
We are also an influential group because 80% of sportsmen are likely voters – much higher than the national average. And, we also contribute the most money of any group toward government wildlife conservation programs. So, hopefully if we care about an issue and show our support, the decision makers will listen to what we have to say.
In just a few weeks, the EPA will be releasing a draft of its Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment. This huge scientific assessment will likely guide future decisions about large-scale mining and other industrial development in the Bristol Bay region. If they find that disposal of waste from the mine would adversely harm the surrounding clean waters or natural resources, the EPA can deny or place restrictions on a required dredge and fill permit. If warranted, we hope the Obama Administration would take that step to protect Bristol Bay.
You can support the fight for one of planet Earth’s finest and most productive fishing and hunting destinations by taking action today. Fill out this simple form that will send a letter to the President and your members of Congress asking them to protect Bristol Bay. Let’s carry our sportsmen into D.C. with a lot of momentum.