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  • December 18, 2012

    A Bold Plan to Save America's Backcountry

    By Hal Herring

    The wild red and yellow-rock canyon of the Yampa River appears beneath the little plane, the river shadowed and darkest green, the sandbars at the bends a deep maroon. North of the river is Dinosaur National Monument, and west the smoke and steam plumes of the Bonanza coal-fired power plant at Vernal, Utah. As we bank south towards the White River, we fly over a wild corrugated country of pinon and juniper, bitterbrush, mountain mahogany, and high plateaus of sagebrush and grass. The steep coulees are blanketed by aspen groves, leafless and stark in December against the bare earth. The Red Cliffs loom, Moosehead Mountain towers. This is Colorado’s Unit 10. It looks like spectacular elk country, and it is. The region is home to some of the biggest trophy bull elk in North America.

  • December 17, 2012

    Sportsmen Urged to Call About Farm Bill

    By Bob Marshall

    The Sportsmen’s Act may be heading to an unwarranted and unnecessary grave, but sportsmen still have something really important to fight for in the last weeks of this Congress: the Farm Bill.

    Conservation groups are asking hunters, anglers, and anyone else who cares about fish and wildlife to contact their congressional delegations and urge them to support passage of a bill that includes two essential features.

    The first would link full payment of crop insurance subsides to compliance with Sod Saver and Swamp Buster conservation measures in the Farm Bill. The second would make the new Sod Savers provision apply to all regions of the country.

  • December 11, 2012

    Lessons To Be Learned from the Demise of The Sportsmen's Act

    By Bob Marshall

    Advocates for The Sportsmen's Act of 2012 are publicly saying there's still a mathematical chance the legislation could find its way to the Senate floor next week. Privately, they're admitting it's time to get ready for The Sportsmen’s Act of 2013.

    So what can we learn from this sad chapter?

    First, the defeat of this bill is arguably the greatest legislative disappointment ever for sportsmen. I say that not just because of the important habitat conservation initiatives that will die or be postponed by the loss, but because of the way this defeat unfolded.

  • December 4, 2012

    Will The Senate Let The Sportsmen's Act Die?

    By Bob Marshall

    The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership today sent out a bulletin titled “Time Is Running Out for the Sportsmen’s Act.”

    Here's another bulletin I'd suggest for sportsmen and others who care about fish and wildlife habitat: “Time Should Be Running Out For Senators Who Put Political Revenge Over Sportsman's Interests.”
     
    There's no other way to report this. Last week the most important fish and wildlife conservation measure of the year - and many previous years - was torpedoed by GOP Senators who previously had supported The Sportsman's Act because of a heated debate with Democrats on an unrelated issue – proposed changes in the Senate filibuster rules.