February 29, 2012
Conservation Update: Sportsmen Ask BLM to Walk the Talk of the Boss
By Bob Marshall
Hunters and anglers are learning that the head does not always speak for the body when it comes to the Bureau of Land Management.
Back in 2010, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar cheered the conservation community by implementing a series of energy development reforms long sought by sportsmen and others. But late last year, the BLM, which is housed at Interior, made two decisions that ran counter to those reforms, placing large areas of prime fish and wildlife habitat at further risk.
Thankfully, Sportsmen for Responsible Energy Development was on the job. SFRED fired off a letter to BLM Director Bob Abbey to file an onjection earlier this month.
As the SFRED experience points out, sportsmen were caught in a no-win game, sort of: heads-you-lose, tails-you-lose too!
This isn't coming from "obstructionists," but from a group that only wants the feds to develop energy in a way that is responsible to the laws that protect fish, wildlife and human habitat. A recent survey conducted by the College of the Rockies discovered that this group includes the great majority of voting age westerners.
IGFA's New Rules and Tips Make for More and Safer Fish Releases
Kudos to the International Game Fish Association for passing rules that call for specific release procedures during tournaments.
As the group explains, if anglers are making the call for more and better science to strengthen the health of fisheries the world over, they must also move to "reduce the impact of their hobby on game fish species."
By establishing a definition for an “official IGFA release," the organization hopes it "will not only institute a standard by which anglers can compare releases, but also, and more importantly, encourage anglers to continue releasing fish."