December 14, 2019

The Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation needs your help!

Press Release from the Sportsmen’s Alliance:

The Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation needs your help! We are seeking event coordinators to help plan activities and recruit volunteers for a national family event being held on July 9 at the following Cabela’s locations.

Event Coordinators will work with individual stores for the event and be responsible for the recruitment of event volunteers. Volunteers need to be experienced in archery, shooting, fishing, game calling, hunting dogs or other outdoor related activities. Volunteers can be recruited from local gun clubs, sporting clubs, fishing clubs, and local conservation group chapters (DU, Delta Waterfowl, RMEF, NWTF, etc.)

Coordinators will receive compensation for their efforts and some expenses will be covered.

If you’re interested in voluntering as an event coordinator, please contact Frank Price at fprice@sportsmensalliance.org.

Sincerely,

Frank Price

SAF Director of Education

Share

Alliance Submits Comments on Delisting of Grizzly Bears

Press Release from the Sportsmen’s Alliance:

The Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation recently submitted comments in favor of delisting of the grizzly bear as a threatened species under the federal the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Alliance supports the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service findings that the bear population has recovered and stringent ESA protections are no longer necessary.

“Grizzly bears have undeniably recovered in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, and their removal from the Endangered Species Act is long overdue,” said Evan Heusinkveld, President and CEO of Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation. “It is well within in the authority of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to delist this distinct population of bears. In fact, at this point it’s incumbent upon them to do so as outlined in the ESA.”

The result of a 30-year collaborative effort between federal and state agencies, and using the best available science and wildlife management principles, all evidence suggests Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem grizzly bear populations have surpassed recovery goals by 25 percent and have remained stable and above recovery goals for nearly a decade while also tripling their occupied range.

Not only has the grizzly bear population recovered and stabilized, threats to that population have been mitigated to the point that they no longer meet the definition of endangered, or even threatened.

“All available evidence suggests that this grizzly bear population will continue to flourish after delisting,” said Heusinkveld. “That’s a testament to decades of work by USFWS and its partners, and which includes post-delisting monitoring and management plans that will ensure the species is never again threatened with extinction in the Lower 48 states.”

Clearly outlined in the Endangered Species Act are requirements for U.S. Fish and Wildlife to, at any time, remove a species, subspecies or distinct population segment of a species from the protections of the act once recovery goals have been met.

Once delisted, the Sportsmen’s Alliance encourages the U.S. Forest Service, National Wildlife Refuges and other federal land managers to defer to state wildlife population management to the maximum extent permitted by law.

“The National Parks Service and U. S Forest Service manage 88 percent of lands within suitable grizzly habitat,” said Heusinkveld. “Those federal agencies should respect state management goals and future hunting seasons by not passing any special rules or policies that would encroach on the ability of Idaho, Montana or Wyoming to manage grizzlies within the current federal framework.”

One remaining threat, however, is a lawsuit from animal rights and anti-hunting organizations. “These groups have shown that population recovery is simply not enough to meet their insatiable demands,” said Heusinkveld. “Just like with wolves, no level of recovery will ever satisfy their desires to keep the bears listed as a threatened.”

As with wolves currently, keeping grizzly bears listed as threatened or endangered compromises other populations of predator and prey species, even the very habitat itself, found within the completely managed ecosystems.

Share

Sportsmen’s Alliance Appoints Heusinkveld as President, CEO

Press Release from the Sportsmen’s Alliance:

The Sportsmen’s Alliance and Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation are pleased to announce the appointment of Evan Heusinkveld as president and CEO. The appointment is effective immediately.

Heusinkveld, who has served as interim president and CEO since Dec. 1, has been with the Sportsmen’s Alliance for the past nine years, most recently serving as the vice president of government affairs. During his tenure, Heusinkveld has led the organization’s legal and legislative divisions. He brings more than a decade’s worth of experience in government affairs, public policy and campaign management.

“Evan has shown key leadership qualities that should take the Sportsmen’s Alliance to a new level,” said Mason Lampton, Chairman of the Sportsmen’s Alliance Board of Directors. “His knowledge of the issues that surround hunting gives him the ability to hit the ground running. He is aware of the fraud that surrounds the anti-hunting movement and, likewise, he knows how positive hunting is for the environment.”

Evan Heusinkveld
His recent work to protect hunting, fishing and trapping at the local, state and federal levels, includes managing the strategy that defeated the Humane Society of the United States when they initiated a ban on hunting and trapping bears in Maine and overseeing the appeal of the gray wolf court ruling that returned the apex predators to the protections of the Endangered Species Act.

Heusinkveld has also been key player in paving the way for the next generation of American hunters to take to the fields through his work to enact Families Afield legislation, which reduce barriers for new hunters seeking to experience the outdoors.

“It’s an honor and privilege to have the opportunity to lead our team of professionals in protecting our hunting heritage,” said Heusinkveld. “Hunting and wildlife conservation as we know are under constant attack from animal rights and anti-hunting extremists. Our adversaries are extremely well funded, and they will stop at nothing to end our way of life. It’s imperative that hunters, anglers and trappers work together and fight to protect what’s right.”

About the Sportsmen’s Alliance: The Sportsmen’s Alliance is a 501 (c) 4 organization that protects and defends America’s wildlife conservation programs and the pursuits – hunting, fishing and trapping – that generate the money to pay for them. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation is a 501 (c) 3 organization that supports the same mission through public education, legal defense and research.  Its mission is accomplished through several distinct programs coordinated to provide the most complete defense capability possible. Stay connected to Sportsmen’s Alliance: Online, FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Share

Sportsmen’s Alliance Launches Spring Sweepstakes

Sportsmen’s Alliance, a nonprofit dedicated to the protection and promotion of hunting, fishing and trapping, recently launched a “Spring Sweepstakes” that includes a slew of remarkable prizes from iconic outdoor manufactures, such as YETI, Legendary Arms Works, Havalon Knives and ScentLok. One lucky grand-prize winner will hunt Idaho black bear over dogs or bait at world-class Table Mountain Outfitters, where hunters mostly harvest color-phase bears.

 

Sportsmen’s Alliance is requesting a small donation of $10 for each entry into the sweepstakes. For $50, donors will receive a one-year individual membership. To enter, visit http://www.sportsmensalliance.org/spring-sweeps/

“Thanks to the generosity of sponsors such as Table Mountain Outfitters, Yeti and others, we’ve been able to put together an amazing prize package that will give people multiple chances to win,” said Brian Lynn, Sportsmen’s Alliance Vice president of marketing and communications. “Every donated dollar will go to protect hunting, fishing and trapping, but will especially help protect sportsmen’s interests when it comes to the management of apex predators such wolves, bears and mountain lions.”

Nine prizes will be given out over the course of four weeks, with the bear hunt winner being selected on May 13. For a complete listing of the rules and drawing dates, please visit http://www.sportsmensalliance.org/spring-sweeps/

Share

U.S. Senate Committee Approves Top Sportsmen’s Priorities

Press Release from the Sportmen’s Alliance:

On Jan. 20, the U.S. Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee approved a bill containing some of the top priorities of the hunting and fishing community, including the Sportsmen’s Alliance.

S. 659, the second half of the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2016, includes a key provision sponsored by Sen. John Barrasso (R- Montana) directing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to remove gray wolves from the Endangered Species List. Despite greatly exceeding population targets for delisting, anti-hunting groups successfully persuaded a federal judge to keep wolves protected. The amendment returning wolves to the state management, which has been advocated for and supported by the Alliance, passed on a voice vote.

The committee also rejected an attempt by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-California) that would have stripped language preventing the EPA from regulating lead in ammunition. Ammunition for hunting is already regulated at the state level, and by the Fish and Wildlife Service where appropriate. The amendment was defeated 9-11. Sen. Boxer also tried to remove language allowing polar bear trophies that were taken prior to their listing on the Endangered Species List from being brought into the United States. The amendment was rejected by the same 9-11 margin.

“This moves us one step closer to passage of the Sportsmen’s Act,” said Evan Heusinkveld, Sportsmen’s Alliance interim president and CEO. “These bills include the most critical items for the hunting and conservation community. This is not a Republican or Democrat issue. It’s a hunting and conservation issue. We’re hopeful that the Senate will look past partisan differences and take up the full package in the near future.”

Sen. Cory Booker (D- New Jersey), also threatened to include a ban on trapping on the 150-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, but failed to attract support and ultimately withdrew the amendment.

The Senate will now take up the entire package. Included is a major priority of the Sportsmen’s Alliance known as “Open Until Closed.” For decades, anti-hunting organizations have used the courts to block the opening of public lands that could, and should be, open to hunting. Language in the Sportsmen’s Act would mandate that federal public Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service Lands be open to hunting unless federal wildlife managers find cause to close them. The language will protect hunting and increase hunting access on millions of acres of public land.

Sen. Boxer, a regular opponent of pro-hunting measures, committed to publicly fight the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act on the floor, and is seeking to organize a filibuster. Sportsmen calls are needed immediately.

Take Action: Call both of your U.S. Senators today. Ask them to support the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act. Contact information for your U.S. Senator can be found in the Sportsmen’s Alliance Legislative Action Center.

Share

Wisconsin Families Afield Bill Approved by Senate Committee

Press Release from the Sportsmen’s Alliance:

On Jan. 5, the Wisconsin Sporting Heritage, Mining and Forestry Committee approved legislation that would allow parents to decide at which age their kids begin to hunt. The bill also removes a prohibition that prevented both mentors and newcomers from using a firearm or bow on a hunt. Senate Bill 301 represents the latest progress by Families Afield, a national coalition founded by the Sportsmen’s Alliance, the National Shooting Sports Foundation and the National Wild Turkey Federation. The coalition’s mission, which is also supported by the National Rifle Association and Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, is to lower the barriers that prevent newcomers from trying hunting.

Wisconsin originally became a Families Afield state in 2009 by establishing a mentored hunting program that allowed an experienced mentor to take a newcomer hunting prior to the completion of hunter education. Previously, young people could not begin hunting until age 12, and were required to complete hunter education to be eligible.

However, the legislature left two significant restrictions in place that need to be addressed. While mentored hunting is permissible, the state requires that participants must be at least 10 years of age. Only seven Families Afield states have an age restriction this high, while 34 allow parents to make the decision about when their kids begin to hunt. Second, Wisconsin is one of only four Families Afield states that prohibit both the mentor and the apprentice to possess a firearm or bow. The rest allow the mentor to make that decision. Both of these restrictions are a disincentive to hunting participation. Research continues to prove year after year that mentored hunters are the safest hunters in the woods.

Senate Bill 301, sponsored by Terry Moulton, R-Chippewa Falls, would remove both the 10-year-old restriction and the one-gun requirement. The changes, which brings Wisconsin in line with neighboring Michigan and Minnesota, were approved by the committee by a vote of 3-2. SB 301 is supported in Wisconsin by the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association, Wisconsin Bowhunters Association and the Wisconsin Chapters of Safari Club International.

Share

Sportsmen’s Alliance Files Brief in Great Lakes Wolf Case

Press Release from the Sportsmen’s Alliance:

On Dec. 8, the Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation and our partners filed its brief before the U.S. Court of Appeals in the long-running Western Great Lakes wolf lawsuit. The case, brought by Humane Society of the United States and their anti-hunting allies, sought to reinstate federal Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin. The Alliance and our partners are fighting to ensure wolves are delisted and returned to state management.

“The science is settled and the experts agree, wolves are recovered, period,” said Evan Heusinkveld, head of government affairs and interim president and CEO of Sportsmen’s Alliance. “We should be celebrating this as a great victory of the Endangered Species Act, but instead we’re forced to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars fighting anti-hunting interests in court just to ensure the ESA is applied correctly.”

Despite wolf numbers at record levels well-beyond what was required when originally listed as endangered in the late 1970s, U.S. District Court Judge Beryl A. Howell returned wolves to the endangered species list in late 2014. The ruling effectively requires wolves to be recovered in their entire historic range before they can be considered recovered in the Great Lakes states.

“It makes absolutely no sense to require wolves be reestablished as Judge Howell ruled. It was never the intent to have wolves returned to places like New York, Chicago or Seattle,” continued Heusinkveld. “This ruling not only contained both legal and factual errors that could spell disaster for the future of the Endangered Species Act, but if allowed to stand, wildlife management efforts — specifically endangered species recovery — will be greatly impacted.”

Joining the Sportsmen’s Alliance in the appeal of the lower court’s decision are Safari Club International, National Rifle Association, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association, Michigan United Conservation Clubs, Wisconsin Bowhunters Association, Upper Peninsula Bear Houndsmen Association and the Michigan Hunting Dog Federation.

Share

Cabela’s Supports Sportsmen’s Alliance with $1 Million Donation

Cabela’s, the World’s Foremost Outfitter of hunting, fishing and outdoor gear, has renewed its pledge to support and protect America’s heritage of hunting, fishing and trapping with a $1 million donation to the Sportsmen’s Alliance and Foundation.

Through Cabela’s Outdoor Fund, which began in 2010 and is largely funded by retail customers who round up their purchases to the nearest dollar, Cabela’s has been able to support conservation and advocacy organizations that leave a long-lasting impact on the outdoor community by providing and enhancing opportunities to enjoy the outdoors.

The $1 million grant will support the Sportsmen’s Alliance mission of protecting and advancing hunting, fishing and trapping in all 50 state legislatures, at the federal level, in the court system and at ballot boxes when animal-rights groups attempt to pervert the political system to advance their own agendas.

“We are very thankful for the support Cabela’s executive leadership and Cabela’s Outdoor Fund board provides.” said President and CEO of Sportsmen’s Alliance, Nick Pinizzotto. “Sportsmen are the nation’s true conservationists, and as more resources are dedicated to protecting their rights to hunt, fish and trap, sportsmen will be able to give back more to the outdoor passions we all share.”

The partnership between the Sportsmen’s Alliance and Cabela’s is nothing new. Dick and Mary Cabela became involved with the Sportsmen’s Alliance in the 1980s and Cabela’s has provided funding since 1995. Dick joined the Sportsmen’s Alliance Board of Directors in 1999, and served as the Chairman of the Board from 2001 until shortly before his death in 2014.

“Cabela’s Outdoor Fund is proud to support the Sportsman’s Alliance and the positive impact it has on the interests of outdoor enthusiasts,” said Scott Williams, Cabela’s Chief Commercial Officer. “For decades they have shared Cabela’s passion for preserving the outdoor lifestyle and we are pleased to continue supporting their efforts.”

“The renewed pledge and increased support from Cabela’s has a significant impact on carrying forth the Sportsmen’s Alliance mission.” said Sportsmen’s Alliance Vice President of Membership and Development, Sean Curran. “We are able to enhance existing youth and advocacy programs and devote resources to expanding new initiatives that benefit sportsmen across the country.”

Due to Cabela’s consistent support for protecting America’s outdoor heritage, including hunting, fishing and trapping, in 2005 the Sportsmen’s Alliance established the Cabela Lifetime Business Achievement Award. The award is presented to companies that demonstrate the same passion and commitment to defending and advancing those outdoor activities.

Share

Sportsmen’s Alliance Calls in the Big Guns, Federal Premium® Ammunition Answers

Press Release from the Sportsmen’s Alliance:

Companies like Federal Premium Ammunition are rallying under the Sportsmen’s Alliance banner and supporting our mission to create a unified voice for sportsmen everywhere. By joining at the President’s Club level, Federal Premium Ammunition helps Sportsmen’s Alliance become a more effective advocate when addressing legislation aimed to limit or eliminate activities of hunters, anglers and trappers.

“Federal Premium Ammunition has a deep commitment to conservation and protecting the wild places where our customers hunt and shoot,” said Ryan Bronson, Director of Conservation for Federal Premium Ammunition. “More and more we are seeing political threats to hunting and outdoor recreation and we appreciate the efforts of the Sportsmen’s Alliance to provide leadership in that arena from coast to coast.”

In addition to supporting the Sportsmen’s Alliance, Federal Premium Ammunition has forged strategic partnerships with conservation groups such as the National Wild Turkey Federation, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Pheasants Forever and Delta Waterfowl. Federal Premium Ammunition supports their efforts through royalties on ammunition sales and displaying organization logos on packaging.

“Recruiting hunters and conservationists is one of many core philosophies shared between Federal Premium Ammunition and Sportsmen’s Alliance,” said Sportsmen’s Alliance Vice President of Membership and Development, Sean Curran. “Continuing Business Partner support from Federal Premium Ammunition allows Sportsmen’s Alliance to continue working conservation initiatives such as Families Afield, which to date has introduced more than 1.5 million new hunters to our outdoor heritage. Since the founding days of Sportsmen’s Alliance, Federal Premium Ammunition has supported our mission. Our gratitude for their level of dedication cannot be understated.”

Share

Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation Charity Shoot a Success

Press Release from the Sportsmen’s Alliance:

Many a clay pigeon turned to dust at the Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation Charity Shoot, sponsored byShumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP. The recent event held at Cardinal Shooting Center in Marengo, Ohio, was one of our most successful fundraisers yet.

All the fun started at 9 a.m., with each participant enjoying a 100-bird round of sporting clays. Teams of five were created to promote friendly competition among attendees. Corporate sponsors such as BNY Mellon Wealth Management, Law Office of Sean McCarter, Steelcase/Loth, Dick Wills Construction and many others vied for both bragging rights and coveted trophies donated by the Ohio Gun Collectors.

By lunchtime, famished shooters sat down to a mouthwatering spread courtesy of Anheuser-Busch and Buckeye BBQ.  A silent auction for hunting trips and raffles were held afterwards. Prizes included firearms and a wide variety of hunting gear donated by Siberian Coolers, Eagle Claw, Wildlife Research Company, Hodgdon Powder Company, Otis Technology and Cardinal Shooting Center.

“Our participants really have a great time shooting and socializing, while at the same time knowing they’re supporting the Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation youth programs,” said Jeff Watkins, Director of Field Services. “It is the dedication of the Trailblazer shoot committee that makes the annual fundraiser so successful. We have to thank the men and women who volunteer their time and energy, along with the event and team sponsors, that make this event so special.”

Special thanks to event sponsors Nemacolin Woodlands Resort and Columbia Gas of Central Ohio, as well as the silent-auction sponsor Flyway Outdoors. Their support and commitment to the Charity Shoot make the event undeniably successful and memorable.

Share