Thursday, May 21, 2009

Five Star Restoration Program Announces New Grants

WASHINGTON - The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, National Association of Counties (NACo) and the Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC) announced that the Five Star Restoration Program will award new grants totaling $765,429 to 27 different community-led wetland and streamside restoration projects nationwide. These communities have committed an additional $2.2 million in local project support.

The Five Star Restoration Program, founded in 1999, receives major funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Southern Company and the Pacific Gas and Electric Company's (PG&E) Nature Restoration Trust. This year, projects in California are also receiving funds from the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation. Since its founding, Five Star has supported 478 projects with more than $4.1 million in federal funds, $900,000 in corporate contributions and $12.5 million in matching funds at the local level.

"America needs more people to step up and become stewards of our precious wetlands," said Jeff Trandahl, executive director of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, "and the Five Star Restoration program specializes in fostering exactly this type of conservation ethic. The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation is extremely proud to collaborate with a diverse range of partners to continue to build community connections across America through the program."

"EPA is proud to support the Five Star Restoration Program because of the opportunities it provides communities acting through partnerships to restore and improve wetlands, streams and coasts," said EPA Acting Assistant Administrator for Water, Michael H. Shapiro.

"PG&E is delighted to support habitat and wetlands restoration projects in the communities we serve," said Steven L. Kline, vice president of corporate environmental and federal affairs for PG&E Corporation. "Environmental stewardship is one of our company's core values, and supporting these projects is one of the ways that we're able to continue to conserve California's diverse habitats."

"Southern Company is proud of its longstanding partnership with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to provide conservation challenge grants to leading organizations throughout the Southeast," said Chris Hobson, Southern Company's senior vice president for research and environmental affairs. "The Five Star grants serve to further the important grassroots efforts working on-the-ground to restore and protect our wetlands, streams and coasts and the wildlife that inhabit them."

"On behalf of the nation's counties, I congratulate the 2009 NACo Five Star grantees," said NACo President Don Stapley, supervisor, Maricopa County, Ariz. "NACo is very proud of its longstanding support of the Five Star Restoration Program. Counties and their partners across the country are fostering environmental stewardship and building diverse partnerships that promise to restore and protect the environment well into the future."

Major funding for the program comes from EPA's Office of Wetlands, Oceans and Watersheds. In addition to federal funding, PG&E has committed $1 million over three years through its Nature Restoration Trust, and Southern Company has committed $1.2 million over five-years to Five Star.

The Five Star 2009 winners were selected from a competitive pool of more than 165 applications. Consideration for funding is based upon the educational and training opportunities for youth and the community at large, the ecological and other cultural and economic benefits to the community. Five Star projects must also involve a high degree of partnership between local government agencies, elected officials, community groups, businesses, schools, and environmental organizations for improving local water quality and restoring important fish and wildlife habitats. For a full list of the 2009 grant winners please visit and .

Project Spotlight
In Northwest Georgia, the Conasauga River Alliance will partner with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, the Tennessee Aquarium Aquatic Research Institute, Badger Farm Bed and Breakfast, Murray County Public Works, and the Limestone Valley RC&D Council to restore the heavily silted Colvard Spring. Cleaning the stream will improve vital habitat for the Georgia-listed Coldwater darter. Georgia Department of Natural Resources proposes to evaluate Colvard as a safe-guard population site for Tennessee yellow-eyed grass, a federal endangered wetland plant of the Limestone Ridge and Valley Province. The project will result in the restoration of a 1.5 acre spring pool habitat and a demonstration workshop for county, landowner, and resource managers.

In New Mexico, the Sky Island Alliance will partner with the New Mexico Environment Department, U.S. Forest Service, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to restore a degraded creek and wetland. This project will reconnect one of the largest desert ciénegas to its subsurface water source and protect a large population of Chiricahua leopard frogs. Cloverdale Ciénega is a historic wetland of approximately 150 acres of which 90 acres has dried. Partners on the project will remove all levees and plug the spillway gully with material from the removal of the levees as a coordinated set of restoration treatments. The water table is expected to rise, and the ciénega surface should become fully saturated, eventually killing the upland species that have invaded the site, as a natural transition back to a wetland plant community occurs over the next decade.

In California, Resource Conservation District of Santa Cruz County will partner with the Water District, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Soquel Neighborhood Alliance, Natural Resources Conservation Service, County Weed Management and several local schools to restore 1.25 acres of degraded riparian habitat. The project will reduce invasive plant species along lower Soquel Creek where the steelhead population is declining. This restoration project will lead to a more educated community with conservation values and place-based connections with Soquel Creek by involving students and the public in hands-on restoration and educational activities.

The National Association of Counties (NACo) is the only national organization that represents county governments in the United States. Founded in 1935, NACo provides essential services to the nation's 3,068 counties. NACo advances issues with a unified voice before the federal government, improves the public's understanding of county government, assists counties in finding and sharing innovative solutions through education and research, and provides value-added services to save counties and taxpayers money. For more information about NACo, visit

The Wildlife Habitat Council is a nonprofit, non-lobbying organization dedicated to increasing the quality and amount of wildlife habitat on corporate, private and public lands. WHC devotes its resources to building partnerships with corporations and conservation groups to create solutions that balance the demands of economic growth with the requirements of a healthy, biodiverse and sustainable environment. More than 2.4 million acres in 48 states, Puerto Rico and 16 other countries are involved in WHC-assisted projects. For more information, visit WHC online at

A nonprofit established by Congress in 1984, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation sustains, restores and enhances the Nation's fish, wildlife, plants and habitats. Through leadership conservation investments with public and private partners, NFWF is dedicated to achieving maximum conservation impact by developing and applying best practices and innovative methods for measurable outcomes. Since its establishment, NFWF has awarded over 10,000 grants to over 3,500 organizations in the United States and abroad and leveraged - with its partners - more than $600 million in federal funds into more than $1.5 billion for on-the-ground conservation. For more information, visit

Press Release found at the Outdoor Wire

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

New Pheasants Forever Chapter Formed

Gillette, Wyoming - Hunters and conservationists from Campbell County, Wyoming have formed the state's newest Pheasants Forever (PF) chapter, known as the Thunder Basin Chapter of PF. The chapter is dedicated to improving habitat for pheasants and other wildlife, as well as providing ways for youth to become involved in outdoor activities.

"One of our tops goals is bringing children to the outdoors through education and participation," said Paul Connelly of Gillette, the Thunder Basin chapter's newly-elected president, "By holding youth outdoor days, working with local schools and also partnering with other organizations in conservation efforts, we feel we can enhance Pheasants Forever's No Child Left Indoors initiative." Launched last year, No Child Left Indoors is part of a national movement aimed at getting youth unplugged from electronics and turned on to the outdoors, nature and wildlife.

"With over 45 people at the chapter's start meeting alone, it's evident there's a spirit for conservation in Campbell County," said Bob Hix, PF Field Representative in Wyoming, "With Pheasants Forever's local model, there's a tremendous opportunity to better wildlife habitat for pheasants, but also sage grouse, chukars, antelope and mule deer." Pheasants Forever and its quail division, Quail Forever (QF), are the only national conservation organizations that empower local chapters with the responsibility to determine how 100 percent of their locally raised conservation funds will be spent. As a result, chapter volunteers are able to see the fruits of their efforts locally, while belonging to a larger national organization with a voice on federal and state conservation policy.

Hix also sees the chapter continuing PF's strong support of the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission's Access Yes program, which provides public hunting opportunities on private lands. On average, every dollar donated to the Access Yes program results in about 4.2 acres of hunting access. Wyoming's PF chapters have donated a total of $39,100 to the program, which translates into over 164,000 acres that PF dollars have helped open up for public access in the state.

The Thunder Basin Chapter of PF has also elected Adam Mathes of Gillette as vice president, Michelle Smith of Gillette as secretary, Greg Smith of Gillette as habitat chair, James Smith of Gillette as youth/education chair and Jaci Mathes of Gillette as treasurer. The chapter will hold its next meeting on Wednesday, May 27th at 7 PM. For more information about the chapter and its upcoming meetings and events, contact Paul Connelly at (810) 614-1672 or via email

Wyoming is home to six PF chapters and over 1,000 PF members. Those chapters have historically spent $675,000 to improve Wyoming wildlife habitat, completing 600 habitat projects benefitting over 13,000 acres for wildlife. For more information about Pheasants Forever in Wyoming, to start or join an existing chapter, contact Bob Hix, PF Field Representative in Wyoming at (303) 743-8957 or via email at

Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever are non-profit conservation organizations dedicated to the protection and enhancement of pheasant, quail, and other wildlife populations in North America through habitat improvement, land management, public awareness, and education. PF/QF has more than 130,000 members in 700 local chapters across the continent.

Press Release found at the Outdoor Wire

Monday, May 18, 2009

SCI Making International Trophy Records Now Available

If you've ever wondered where your big buck, granddaddy elk, or boss gobbler would rank in the record books, Safari Club International (SCI) has all of that information right at your fingertips with the SCI Online Record Book.

The Online Record Book features SCI's full database of trophy records and allows members to search the hunting records of individual species by continent or state/region, measurer, guide service, and method of kill. It also features helpful population density maps and taxonomic information to assist hunters in planning future big game hunts.

The first SCI Record Book entry was submitted in 1977. Today, the Online Record Book has nearly 150,000 entries for more than 100 species from all around the world. It is a great resource to assist hunters in preparing for their next hunting trip, as it provides all of the tools a hunter needs to successfully identify where and when the best opportunity is to harvest a trophy-class animal. Hunters can determine the best areas to hunt a particular species and become familiar with the antler and horn measurements before entering the field. Visitors to the Online Record Book will also soon have the ability to view contact information for guides and outfitters.

For those unfamiliar with the SCI scoring system, the Online Record Book uses a unique, all-inclusive record keeping system to preserve and document our hunting heritage. The SCI scoring system recognizes typical and non-typical animals and also has distinct trophy categories for free range and estate-harvested animals. SCI measurements enforce no deductions on animals with asymmetrical antlers or horns. It is the only world-wide recognized scoring system that does not penalize animals for asymmetry. Green-scored animals can be submitted immediately to the Online Record Book and Top 10 entries are eligible after a 60-day drying period.

The SCI Online Record Book is the only dynamic, automatically updated trophy records system in existence. Every evening, entries to the Record Book are ranked, and approved changes are added to the database. It is an informative and exciting way to monitor trophy records for a specific species or region, and it is available to everyone.

The Online Record Book offers a variety of subscriptions, including a one-time, absolutely free 24-hour trial membership. Discounts are offered to SCI members, but anyone can purchase an annual subscription to the site. A one-year subscription costs $69.95 for SCI members and $99.95 for non-members. A seven-day subscription is also available for $9.95.

To learn more about the SCI Online Record Book and its exhaustive information on trophy records, please visit the site at

Press release found at the Outdoor Wire

Friday, May 15, 2009

TRCP Says Some Sportsmen Programs Get Funding Boost In Obama Budget

WASHINGTON - The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership and its partners lauded key provisions in President Obama's 2010 budget, but also raised concern about some of the cuts and restrictions the President has placed on strategic programs aimed to conserve fish, wildlife and the habitat on which they depend.

"While the sportsmen and conservation community is still examining and digesting the President's budget, we're happy to see that climate change and the Open Fields programs for example are issues that the Obama administration is putting its resources behind," said George Cooper, TRCP president and CEO. "But we're disappointed that the President's budget also includes cuts and restrictions on other programs aimed at conserving habitat on private lands and encouraging property owners to open their lands to hunters and anglers. As the budget goes forward, we look forward to working with the administration and our allies in the House and Senate to ensure that sportsmen programs across the board receive necessary funding."

The highlights of the President's budget include increases in the allocations for wildlife grants to help states implement climate change adaptation programs, comprehensive funding for the implementation of the Magnuson-Stevens Act and support for the new Open Fields program. The lowlights include cuts to Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program and Wetlands Reserve Program.

"Many of the issues that we work on at the TRCP have been affected by the President's budget," said Tom Franklin, TRCP senior vice president. "And whether the change is positive or negative, we're looking forward to working with our partners, the administration and congress to make sure that hunters and anglers will continue to benefit from these important conservation programs."

Here are some of the details from President Obama's budget that affect sportsmen:

Department of Agriculture (USDA) Programs:
Wetlands and Habitat Conservation on Private Lands:
The suite of conservation programs within the USDA represents the largest federal investment on private land, yet still only accounts for roughly 8 percent of the department's budget. A positive increase of more than $11 million to Technical Assistance within Conservation Operations will provide landowners with proven methods to carry out best management practices on their land.

However key habitat conservation programs saw their budgets decrease under the new proposal. Most notably, the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) and the Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP) saw major reductions from last year's levels-levels that are not consistent with the sportsmen and conservation community's recommendations for achieving maximum benefit to fish and wildlife habitat. WRP-the only USDA program solely dedicated to wetlands conservation and responsible for nearly 2 million acres of wetlands since its inception-was cut by $27 million, from $418 million to $391 million. The very popular WHIP program, which focuses on improving key wildlife habitats, has been underfunded from the program's inception, as applications have outnumbered the funding by a 2-to-1 ratio. Unfortunately this program has been cut by 50 percent in the budget.

TRCP was pleased to see that the new hunter access program, Open Fields, is funded at $50 million in the president's request. Passed in the 2008 Farm Bill, this represents an unprecedented added resource to states to promote public access to hunting and fishing opportunities and thereby stimulate local economies.

U.S. Forest Service (USFS):
The USDA budget also included a $60 million increase in available funds for capital improvements, including national forest road maintenance, upgrading, and decommissioning, within the budget for the USFS. Over 380,000 miles of mapped roads currently exist in the USFS. Maintaining these existing roads should be a priority in addition to a focus on conserving the 58.5 million acres of national forest roadless areas in order to provide continued quality access to important hunting and fishing destinations.

Department of the Interior (DOI) Programs
Climate Change:

This initiative has some of the largest increases of any other individual issue in the entire budget. The President included a $133 million department-wide increase in the Interior's budget to combat climate change-including a $15 million increase for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) received the largest increase of any department agency, including a $40 million enhancement to fund State Wildlife Grants. This increase provides the FWS a total of $115 million to help states incorporate climate change adaptation strategies into State Wildlife Action Plans and tribal wildlife plans.

The TRCP lauds the administration for establishing an interagency approach to combat climate change, and establishing a process to monitor resources and recreational uses as agencies move forward with these strategies.

Energy Development:
The proposed budget for the DOI's energy development did not address many fish or wildlife concerns. Two visible changes in the budget from the 2009 fiscal year's budget is an initiative to develop more renewable energy sources and an increase in the fee from $4,000 to $6,500 for the application for permit to drill (APD)-making the fee more in line with cost-recovery policies of other industries and is closer to representing what it actually costs the BLM to process an APD. The budget proposes to sustain the level of funding for its oil and gas program at the same capacity to process the same number of permits as they did during the. Although there is an increase in funding for fish and wildlife programs, it is not commensurate with the increases the energy programs are receiving. TRCP believes that more attention is needed to maintain sustainable fish and wildlife populations on public lands and with ever increasing focus on energy programs that will take time and resources away from the biologists tasked with that job. The recommendations contained in the TRCP's FACTS for Fish and Wildlife principles and CAST principles outline the importance of addressing the approach to energy development on public lands and waters to better manage fish and wildlife during energy development on public lands and the Outer Continental Shelf.

Good news for wetlands conservation appears within the DOI budget proposal where funding for the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) sees an increase of $10 million.

Youth Participation and Education:
In order to encourage more young Americans to get outdoors, the president included a total $38 million directed at programs to increase youth involvement in hunting, fishing and conservation. The largest sum of money, $28 million, will go to states to help them fund programs to educate young hunters, anglers and wildlife managers. An additional $8 million will create a 21st century Youth Conservation Corps to encourage a new generation to pursue public service careers within natural resource management.

Other Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Issues:
The budget did put an emphasis on treasured lands managed by the National Park Service and the BLM's National Landscape Conservation System, where a significant amount of important fish and wildlife resources are found. The budget also allows the United States Geological Survey to take a greater role in the use of science in management actions and provided an increase in funding for the Land & Water Conservation Fund.

Department of Commerce Programs
Marine Fisheries:
Within the Department of Commerce budget, the administration proposed a $56.5 million increase for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to support the Magnuson-Stevens Act (MSA) implementation process. Signed into law in 2007, MSA governs marine fisheries management. The law included many positive changes for recreational saltwater anglers and included all of the SALT Principles recommended by the TRCP's Angling 4 Oceans coalition.

The total budget request for fisheries came to a total of $911.8 million for this fiscal year, which is $32.8 million more than what was enacted in the 2009 fiscal year budget.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Programs
Water and Wetlands Conservation:
The proposed budget for the EPA stands at approximately $10.5 billion for FY 2010. This represents nearly a $3 billion increase over the last fiscal year's enacted budget for the agency. Notably, some 48 percent of this proposal is directed towards Clean and Safe Water goals within EPA including state revolving funds, a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and a Chesapeake Bay program.

One issue that remains very critical to helping restore federal protections for these areas is passing the Clean Water Restoration Act currently under consideration in the Senate and likely to be marked-up in the near future by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. We have been encouraged by supportive statements by EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and others for finding a legislative solution to the problem and we urge the administration to continue supporting the bill as it makes its way through the legislative process.

Press release found at the Outdoor Wire

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

HUNTFEST, Canada's Biggest Hunting Event August 14-16

August in Edmonton will never be the same with the introduction of HUNTFEST 2009, Canada's Biggest Hunting Event, sponsored by Wild TV.

Taking over the Twin Rinks at the River Cree Resort and Casino, and over 6 acres of outdoor space, HUNTFEST is looking to set the standard as a true hunting festival. With over 100 of the top brands in the industry displaying every product a hunter could need, outside archery lanes to try the latest bows, 4x4 mudpit and test drive track, Wild TV celebrities speaking on the hottest topics, topped off with a host tent and live bands, HUNTFEST gives every Canadian hunter the opportunity to let loose and get ready for the 09 season.

"HUNTFEST meets the need for a true hunting event, one that offers something for every level of hunter, making it a great way to kick off the season." says Elizabeth Bolivar, HUNTFEST Show Manager. "Coupled with Wild TV's ability to reach our audience across the nation, HUNTFEST is set up to be a 'can't miss' destination for every hunter in Western Canada."

"Wild TV is proud to be the presenting sponsor of this event," said Ryan Kohler, Vice President, Wild TV. "We have always been committed to delivering in-demand entertainment to the Canadian hunting community and we see our involvement with HUNTFEST as a great way to continue serving our audience in a whole new way."

Already living up to the larger than life reputation, HUNTFEST has secured a display of 10 of the biggest whitetail bucks in North America to act as a focal point of the show. The display, brought in by Artistic Antlers, is sure to have every hunter drooling as they set their sights on their own trophy buck this season.

HUNTFEST is proudly supported by the Alberta Conservation Association, Trijicon Inc., and Western Sportsman Magazine.

Press release found at the Outdoor Wire

Monday, May 11, 2009

Sportfishing Industry Association Launches New Outdoor Sports Show

The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) is pleased to announce the addition of a fourth show to its East Coast-based fishing, hunting and outdoor consumer show roster. The Greater Philadelphia Outdoor Sportshow will take place February 25-28, 2010, at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center at Oaks, a short drive from downtown Philadelphia.

ASA, under its consumer-show management company, ASA/Eastern Fishing & Outdoor Exposition, is a leader in producing sports shows in the eastern United States, showcasing fishing, hunting and other outdoor sports for enthusiasts. In 2006 ASA, the sportfishing industry's trade association, assumed ownership of Eastern Fishing & Outdoor Exposition from founder, Paul Fuller. For more than 30 years, the Eastern fishing shows have entertained and educated hundreds of thousands of sportsmen and women and been host to thousands of exhibitors.

The new show will serve the millions of fishing, hunting and outdoor sports enthusiasts who live in the Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware region who collectively spend over $3.9 billion in pursuit of fish or game each year. The Suburban Philadelphia Market has not had a venue capable of housing a large-venue sports show since 2006 when the Fort Washington Exposition center closed.

"Sportsmen and women will really enjoy this new Philadelphia show," said ASA's Consumer Shows Director Jonathan Sauers. "For over 30 years we have been providing a showcase for the best there is in the fishing, hunting and marine industries. In the tradition established by Paul Fuller, we are going to produce a first class show that will be a key destination for exhibitors and attendees alike. Big name talent, big name features, super seminars and, most importantly, first class exhibitors are hallmarks of ASA's consumer shows and I can assure you that the Greater Philadelphia Outdoor Sportshow will enjoy the same success as our other shows."

"Times are tough, but that's all the more reason to get outside and enjoy the simple pleasures that can be found in our great outdoors," said ASA President and CEO Mike Nussman. "What we're finding is that many folks that have not been afield in some time are returning to the sports they enjoyed in their youth and are bringing the next generation along with them."

With the addition of the Philadelphia show, ASA/Eastern Fishing & Outdoor Exposition will produce four East Cast consumer shows in 2010 serving all of the major metro markets on the eastern seaboard from Delaware to Maine.

The dates and locations of the 2010 shows are:
Eastern Fishing & Outdoor Exposition, Worcester, Mass., Feb. 11-14, 2010
NEW! The Greater Philadelphia Outdoor Sportshow, Oaks, Pa., Feb. 25-28, 2010
World Fishing & Outdoor Exposition, Suffern, N.Y., March 4-7, 2010
The Saltwater Fishing Expo, Somerset, N.J., March 19-21, 2010

The Greater Philadelphia Expo Center at Oaks is one of the largest privately owned exhibition centers on the East Coast with 210,000 square feet of exhibitor-friendly space and is just 20 minutes from central Philadelphia. The Expo Center has the following features:

* Services the tri-state region (Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware) and is within driving distance of all five counties in the Greater Philadelphia area
* Easy access to the building right off the highway.
* More than 5,000 free on-site parking spaces.
* Wireless internet service.
* Eight 14 x 14 drive-in loading dock doors.
* Ceilings that measure 22-45 feet.
* Privately owned by American Expo Corp.
* Managed by experienced professionals from the Fort Washington Expo.

The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) is the sportfishing industry's trade association, committed to looking out for the interests of the entire sportfishing community. We give the industry a unified voice speaking out when emerging laws and policies could significantly affect sportfishing business or sportfishing itself. We invest in long-term ventures to ensure the industry will remain strong and prosperous as well as safeguard and promote the enduring economic and conservation values of sportfishing in America. ASA also represents the interests of America's 60 million anglers who generate over $45 billion in retail sales with a $125 billion impact on the nation's economy creating employment for over one million people.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Pheasants Forever And Trout Unlimited Team For "Ultimate Nature Experience"

Sandstone, Minnesota - Pheasants Forever (PF) and Trout Unlimited (TU) have partnered together for their second-annual youth weekend in the woods. The Ultimate Nature Experience (T.U.N.E.) camp will be a four-day, action-packed outdoor experience at the Audubon Center of the Northwoods in Sandstone, Minnesota, this June 19-22.

T.U.N.E. is a chance for youth entering grades 6 through 12 to explore the outdoors, relax around the campfire and meet new friends while participating in the multitude of activities being offered, including: Fly-fishing with experienced guides, shooting sports, high ropes course, archery target range, canoeing, wetland biology, dog training, pheasant ecology, outdoor survival and much more.

"This weekend promises to be one of the best these campers will have all summer long," said Janine Kohn, PF's National Education Specialist, "Not only will it be extremely educational and informative, but it's going to be fun and exciting for everyone too."

T.U.N.E. underscores PF's No Child Left Indoors initiative, which is part of a national movement aimed at getting youth unplugged from electronics and turned on to the outdoors, nature and wildlife. "It's so important to invest in our future generation of outdoorsmen and women because if we can't instill in them the significance of having and enjoying wildlife habitat, we eventually won't have anyone left to protect it," added Kohn.

The cost of the camp is $350 and limited scholarships are available. For more information about the camp, contact Diane Weyandt at (651) 209-4940 or via email; or Janine Kohn at (651) 209-4971 or via email at Registration materials can be found at

Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever chapters hold more than 500 youth events a year connecting 25,000 plus youth to the outdoors. Many provide educators with scholarships to attendLeopold Education Project workshops. They reach out in their communities to sponsor youth mentor hunts, outdoor conservation days, shooting sports competitive events, conservation camps, youth fishing tournaments, outdoor expos, hunter education classes, schoolyard habitats and much more.

Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever are non-profit conservation organizations dedicated to the protection and enhancement of pheasant, quail, and other wildlife populations in North America through habitat improvement, land management, public awareness, and education. PF/QF has more than 130,000 members in 700 local chapters across the continent.

Press release found at the Outdoor Wire

Thursday, May 7, 2009

NRA's Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program to Tour Phoenix Area Schools

Schoolchildren in Phoenix will soon learn the lifesaving message of the National Rifle Association's Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program. The Eddie Eagle staff, in conjunction with the Phoenix Police Department will be presenting the award-winning program to children in several elementary schools in the Phoenix area from Monday, May 11 through Wednesday, May 13.

Eddie Eagle is a firearm accident prevention program designed for children Pre-K through the 3rd grades. The program teaches children, if they find a gun, to: "STOP! Don't Touch. Leave the Area. Tell an Adult." Now in its 21st year, the program has reached over 22 million children nationwide.

Since the Eddie Eagle program's inception, over 640,925 Arizona children have been taught its lifesaving message. Much of this has been made possible through funds raised by Friends of NRA and grants distributed through The NRA Foundation, which have provided free curriculum materials for instructors of the program.

"We are excited to work with the Phoenix Police Department while helping bring Eddie Eagle's life saving message to the local elementary schools," said Eddie Eagle Program Manager Eric Lipp. "It's great to see local law enforcement's commitment to teaching children firearms accident prevention."

Accidental deaths with firearms have been decreasing for decades and are now at an all-time low among the U.S. population. Among children in the Eddie Eagle age group, fatal firearm accidents have been reduced more than 80% since the program's nation-wide launch. NRA feels that firearm accident prevention programs such as Eddie Eagle are a significant factor in that decline.

The program was created by past NRA President, Marion P. Hammer, in consultation with law enforcement officers, elementary schoolteachers, and child psychologists. It has been endorsed by the Office Of Juvenile and Delinquency Prevention (within the U.S. Department of Justice) and has been praised by a host of national and community organizations, governors, and state legislatures for its effectiveness.

"The NRA is committed to helping keep America's children safe," said Ms. Hammer.
"This program also instills in our youth the important values of leadership, discipline, and personal responsibility that will help our children throughout their lives. It is imperative that all parents be responsible for teaching good judgment and gun safety to their children," she added.

The NRA encourages citizens nationwide to participate in heightening firearm safety awareness within their local communities. Schools, law enforcement agencies, civic groups, and other interested in more information about the Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program should call the Eddie Eagle Department at (800) 231-0752 or visit their Web site at: Eddie Eagle will also be making public appearances at NRA's 138th Annual Meeting and Exhibits, to be held May 15-17 at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, AZ.

Press Release available at The Outdoor Wire

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Zeiss Optics Announces Partnership With The Evans Group

CHESTER, VIRGINIA- Carl Zeiss Sports Optics, a leading manufacturer of binoculars, riflescopes, spotting scopes and opto-electronics products, today announced that it has signed The Evans Group as its national sales agency, effective June 1. This strategic move is a key milestone in the implementation of the Carl Zeiss growth strategy in the United States and ongoing efforts to significantly increase market share through excellence in products and services.

"The Evans Group has a most successful record in representing and promoting leading premium brands in the outdoor, birding, shooting and hunting markets across all 50 states in the U.S.," said Erik Schumacher, president of Carl Zeiss Sports Optics. "We currently have one of the strongest product portfolios in the sports optics market. The excellent relationships of The Evans Group, with independent dealers, chain stores and distributors alike, will help us to further penetrate and grow the network of ZEISS dealers and provide better availability and service to consumers."

The Evans Group has a strong management team led by Mike Evans, and a large national infrastructure that allows them to call on independent dealers, distributors and individual chain store locations and their respective headquarters on a regular basis on behalf of the manufacturers they represent.

"Carl Zeiss is a premium brand with a reputation for unparalleled optical excellence and innovation," said Mike Evans, president of The Evans Group. "In 1979, I bought my first pair of binoculars - a ZEISS 8x30 - and now, 30 years later, they are still in as fine a working order as the day I bought them. They have given me a greater return on "investment" from a sheer use and enjoyment point of view than probably any other piece of outdoor equipment I own."

Evans continued, "With over 160 years of history, the ZEISS brand stands for unrivaled quality and value, and we are extremely proud and pleased to represent them. Our team is fully committed to substantially increase the presence of ZEISS optics throughout the U.S., and we look forward to working with our valued customers to make that happen."

About Carl Zeiss:

The ZEISS brand is synonymous with the world's finest, highest precision optics.

Based in Oberkochen, Germany, the Carl Zeiss Group is a global leader in the optical and opto-electronic industries and an innovative, research-intensive, high-tech company. The Carl Zeiss Group is comprised of five business groups: Semiconductor Technology, Medical Systems, Microscopy, Industrial Metrology and
Consumer Optics/Optronics, each focused on developing the most advanced technology, products and solutions in their fields to enhance people's lives. Carl Zeiss' portfolio of products includes: state-of-the-art medical equipment used in neurosurgery, ENT and ophthalmic surgery and diagnosis; advanced microscopes for medical and scientific research; premium sports optics and opto-electronic products; camera and cinematography lenses; planetariums; eyeglass lenses; anti-reflective lens coatings; industrial metrology solutions for the aerospace and automobile industries; and the highest resolution optics for machines that produce the majority of today's semiconductor memory and processing chips, among others.

As part of the Carl Zeiss Group, Germany, Carl Zeiss Optical, Inc., Chester, Va., is responsible for sales, marketing and distribution of ZEISS sports optics, such as binoculars, spotting scopes, riflescopes and laser rangefinders, throughout the United States. For more information, visit: or call 1-800-441-3005.

Press release found at the Outdoor Wire

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Elk Foundation Grants Benefit 12 Washington Counties

Twelve counties in Washington are slated for wildlife habitat conservation and public education projects using $199,651 in new grants from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

The 2009 RMEF grants will affect Asotin, Clallam, Cowlitz, Ferry, Grays Harbor, Kittitas, Pend Oreille, San Juan, Skamania, Stevens, Thurston and Yakima counties.

Additionally, a biological research project has statewide interest.

"Our volunteers across Washington helped drive the 2008 fundraisers that made these grants possible. This is where Elk Foundation banquets, auctions and other events transform into on-the-ground conservation work, and it's part of the payday for supporters who are passionate about giving something back to the outdoors," said David Allen, Elk Foundation president and CEO.

Elk Foundation grants will help fund the following Washington conservation projects, listed by county:

Asotin County-Identify and treat new weed infestations to improve forage for elk and other wildlife; treat 425 acres of newly discovered invasive rangeland weed (whitetop); treat 240 acres of noxious weeds along Lower Grande Ronde River.

Clallam County-Use herbicides, lime, fertilizer and seed to improve 15 acres of elk forage near Bogachiel River.

Cowlitz County-Harrow, lime, re-seed and/or fertilize 145 acres to reinvigorate herbaceous vegetation and improve elk forage at Mount St. Helens.

Ferry County-Prescribe burn 1,022 acres of elk winter range to reclaim and maintain forage openings in Colville National Forest; enhance and expand Disabled Hunter Access program in Colville National Forest.

Grays Harbor County-Create forage openings in dense tree stands and seed to improve habitat for elk and other wildlife in Quinault River Valley.

Kittitas County-Assist with communication and education materials for Washington Department of Natural Resources' Green Dot Access Management Program to enhance elk habitat in Naneum Ridge and Ahtanum State Forest (also affects Yakima County); prescribe burn 208 acres to reduce fuel loading, control weeds and improve elk habitat in Naneum Ridge State Forest.

Pend Oreille County-Treat 20 acres of noxious weeds with herbicides, and prescribe burn 300 additional acres, to improve elk range in Colville National Forest.

San Juan County-Sponsor youth conservation education camp in partnership with numerous other sponsors.

Skamania County-Thin overgrown forest on 891 acres to improve summer range for elk and other wildlife in Gifford Pinchot National Forest; restore native vegetation and improve winter forage on 1,150 acres in Mount St. Helens mudslide area where elk have been nutritionally stressed in recent years.

Statewide-Use data previously collected from Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming to answer questions regarding roles of climate, wolf predation and habitat quality on elk calf recruitment.

Thurston County-Sponsored youth and family conservation programs in partnership with numerous other sponsors (also affects Stevens and Pend Oreille counties).

Yakima County-Improve elk cover and forage by thinning and prescribe burning 394 acres in Wenatchee National Forest.

Partners for 2009 projects in Washington include Bureau of Land Management, University of Montana, U.S. Forest Service, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Washington Department of Natural Resources, other agencies, corporations, landowners and organizations.

Since 1984, the Elk Foundation and its partners have completed more than 402 conservation projects in Washington with a value of more than $96.8 million.

An additional $43,172 remains in the RMEF budget for additional Washington grants for 2009. Selected projects will be announced later this year.

About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:
Snowy peaks, dark timber basins and grassy meadows. RMEF is leading an elk country initiative that has conserved or enhanced habitat on over 5.5 million acres-a land area equivalent to a swath three miles wide and stretching along the entire Continental Divide from Canada to Mexico. RMEF also works to open, secure and improve public access for hunting, fishing and other recreation. Get involved at or 800-CALL ELK.

Press release found at the Outdoor Wire

Monday, May 4, 2009

Easton Foundation Donates To Grow Archery And Bowhunting

MINNEAPOLIS - The Easton Sports Development Foundation (ESDF) presented the Archery Trade Association (ATA) with a check for $200,000 to support the group's efforts to grow archery and bowhunting through the Community Archery Program.

The $200,000 gift was presented at the ATA's board of directors meeting in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

"We understand the importance of not only introducing our sport to others, but also expanding participation opportunities for archery," said Greg Easton, a director of the Easton Foundations and president of Easton Technical Products, Inc. Mr. Easton also serves on the ATA Board as vice chair."The ATA has been effective in developing community-based programs to grow archery and the support from the Easton Foundation will help to expand these efforts."

The goal of ESDF is to promote the sport of archery and develop Olympic hopefuls at a grassroots level and continue these efforts through college and university programs. The organization is also a catalyst in the development of archery as a mainstream sport and promotes growth at the state, regional and national level.

"Through generous funding from groups like the Easton Sports Development Foundation, we believe we can build archery shooting facilities and archery programs that are very much a part of communities around the country," said Michelle Doerr, the ATA's director of archery and bowhunting programs.

Thanks in part to the ATA's concept of Community Archery Programs (CAP) and support from groups like ESDF, the ATA expects archery facilities to open in East Lansing, Mich. and Juneau, Alaska this summer. In both areas, the ATA has also worked with state agencies to fund and initiate introductory archery programs in the immediate area around the facilities. These on-the-ground archery success stories will showcase how archery can be incorporated into all aspects of the community - schools, recreation programs and facilities. Then, through strong partnerships, resources are combined in collaborative efforts.

The Community Archery Program promotes NASP as a key introduction to archery in schools, works to make archery available in local community recreation programs and funds the shooting facilities all archers need to participate in shooting year round. Since 2004, the ATA has provided funding totaling approximately $884,000- including grants provided through CAP - to initiate the National Archery in the Schools program in the United States, Canada and Australia. It has also contributed nearly $960,000 in Community Archery Program grants, equipment and direct aid to state wildlife agencies to grow archery and expand bowhunting opportunities.

For more information about the ATA's efforts to grow archery and bowhunting, please contact Michelle Doerr at or call (320) 562-2680.

About CAP: The Community Archery Program (CAP), developed in 2005, was designed by the ATA as a four-pronged approach to grow archery and bowhunting participation. The ATA provides funds, expertise, equipment and targets to support state wildlife agencies to lead the CAP initiative and for local communities to develop and manage archery parks and school and after school programs. CAP promotes NASP as a key introduction to archery, works to make the sport available through the After School Archery Program (ASAP) in local community recreation programs and funds the development of shooting facilities all archers need to participate in shooting year round. The fourth leg of the initiative is a supporting role provided by local archery shops, clubs and organizations..

About the ATA: Since 1953, ATA has been the trade association for manufacturers, retailers, distributors, sales representatives and others working in the archery and bowhunting industry. ATA is dedicated to making the archery and bowhunting industry profitable by decreasing business overhead, reducing taxes and government regulation and by increasing participation in archery and bowhunting. ATA owns and manages the ATA Trade Show, the archery and bowhunting industry's longest running and largest trade show worldwide.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Boys Will Be Boys

Two years ago, my wife and I were blessed with a beautiful baby girl and boy...twins. What has amazed me is the fact that being a boy and girl is just born in them. When they eat, she is dainty...he shovels eveything in his face. When they want something, she is polite and he screams. When they go somewhere, she walks...he runs. He is a daredevil...she thinks it out. It truely is amazing and as such, I cut my boy a little slack..."boys will be boys".

So last night I called my best friend from high school, Chuck. We have kept in touch over the years with a phone call every several months or so and it seems like we just pick up the conversation like it was back in the day. I hung up the phone and got to thinking about all the hunting expeditions we've been on together since middle school. One kept making me think how lucky we were and also explains how "boys will be boys".

We were sophomores and hunted together ever Sat. This day was no different as we wanted to hunt pheasants, but also see if we couldn't pick up some grouse and partridge. So we headed south of town to the government pasture towards the Badlands. This is a full day trip which meant a lot of driving and road "hunting". You have to remember we were punk kids...walking a bunch wasn't something we looked forward to. Pick off the easy ones and only walk when necessary was our philosophy. "When necessary" is defined as "the time when you haven't filled your tag and almost home".

So we get on top of the pasture and you're really in the middle of nowhere. The snow on the ground is relatively light, however the pasture trails are covered. We're basically just driving into unchartered territory. I had hunted the general area with my father a few times, but this wasn't somewhere we went every day because dad believed in hunting. Hunting being defined as "walking to flush and kill pheasants, grouse and partridge". This meant you never needed to drive very far away from home. So the area is familiar, but there's nothing but snow and peaks and valleys. Not lost, but not knowing exactly where we were.

As we're driving along, we kick a coyote out of a draw and the chase is on. I was driving a Ford Ranger stick and dropped down a gear to try and get ahead of him. So we're in a open field, no road, snow on the ground, going about sixty, chasing a coyote when we have one of those "OH SH*T" moments. In fact, I think Chuck actually said "oh sh*t". The precise moment came when we got to the bottom of the hill and realized we were about to hit a "wash-out". I don't remeber the actually impact, but recall the after affects vividly.

Chuck was wearing a beanie and it protected him from the glass as his head "spidered" the windshield. I fealt like I had a couple broken ribs from the now bent stearing wheel. The tires looked the ones from the movie "Vacation" after Chevy Chase jumped the car "fifty feet"...and nothing in sight, not even the coyote. Thank god the truck still ran as we just turned around and followed our trail back out the way we came. Windows down to see where we were going...the stearing wheel looking like we were taking a hard left, but going straight...only going about forty...and thinking dad was going to kill me.

Well, we made it home and dad didn't kill me...I think it's because "boys will be boys". Chuck and I definitely took the phrase to extremes over the years, but I think it will make me a better dad. I know about how much slack I'll give my sons (3) before I reel them in and since Chuck and I got into about everything, they won't get away with much. For the most part, I'll just shake my head, look at my wife and say "boys will be boys".

Don't forget to register here for the Free Archery Whitetail and Pheasant Hunt