Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne today announced 24 appointments to the Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council, an advisory panel created in 1993 to offer counsel to the Secretary on nationally significant recreational fishing and boating and aquatic resource conservation issues. The announcement was made in Sanibel, Florida, at the Sportfishing Summit, the annual business meeting of the American Sportfishing Association.
The new members will begin their terms in November, and Kempthorne told Summit attendees he is looking forward to working with the Council in the months ahead to address issues such as boating and fishing access and participation.
"For more than 100 years, anglers have been among our nation's foremost conservationists. It is impossible to overstate the vital role they and the sportfishing industry play in the conservation of our lands, waters and wildlife," said Kempthorne, commending the Council for its work in helping increase recreational fishing opportunities.
The Secretary announced the appointment of the following individuals to serve on the Council for its upcoming two-year term: James Anderson of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission; Douglass Boyd of the Coastal Conservation Association; Terry Boyd of the States Organization for Boating Access; Jeffrey Crane of the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation; Thomas Dammrich of the National Marine Manufacturers Association; Betty Huskins of the Southeastern Tourism Policy Council; Ryck Lydecker of BoatUS; John L. Morris of Bass Pro Shops; and Michael Nussman of the American Sportfishing Association.
Also appointed were James Range of the American Fly Fishing Trade Association; Geoff Ratte of Water Gremlin Company; Tom Ricks of Bass Anglers Sportsman Society/ESPN Outdoors; John Sprague of the Marine Industries Association of Florida; and Dr. William Taylor of Michigan State University.
The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA) appoints two State directors to serve on the Council, a coastal state representative and an inland state representative. AFWA recommended Kenneth Haddad of Florida for reappointment and Curtis Taylor of West Virginia for appointment to a vacant slot.
Over its 14 year history, the Council?s advice and recommendations have played a vital role in helping the Fish and Wildlife Service shape the new strategic focus of its Fisheries Program and improve the efficiency of grant programs delivered through its Federal Assistance Program. Recently, the Council was a leader in the development of the National Fish Habitat Action Plan, a groundbreaking, partnership-driven strategy to restore fisheries and aquatic habitat across the nation. It also continues to offer support for and guidance to the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, a non-profit organization that it helped establish and whose mission it is to increase the number of conservation-minded recreational anglers and boaters. Perhaps the Council?s most enduring legacy is the enhanced partnerships it has fostered among the recreational angling and boating industries, conservation NGOs, states, tribes and the federal government for the purpose of increasing angling and boating participation, and resource conservation.
Six alternate Council appointments were also announced. Alternates can attend meetings and vote when the primary member is unable to attend. Alternates are: Edward Poolos of the States Organization for Boating Access; Gary Kania of the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation; Mathew Dunn of the National Marine Manufacturers Association; Martin MacDonald of Bass Pro Shops; Gordon Robertson of American Sportfishing Association; and Christopher Horton of Bass Anglers Sportsman Society.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 97-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 548 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resource offices and 81 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Assistance program, which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.
For more information about the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,
visit our home page at http://www.fws.gov/
Nicholas Throckmorton 202-208-5636