Public Service Announcements (UAPSA)

Outdoor Recreation is big business

Anyone who reads the Unaccomplished Angler with any sort of regularity knows that we here in the editorial office don’t take ourselves too seriously. We rarely tackle any subject matter that deals with significant and important issues. But when we do, you can rest assured it’s for good reason. And so when a report from the Outdoor Industry Association came across the newswires, we couldn’t let it fade into internet obscurity without giving it some attention.

Those of us who recreate outdoors, be it hiking, camping, boating, hunting, fishing, etc, understand the value of being able to do so. But most of us don’t look beyond the social importance of outdoor recreation and consider the economical value, unless we somehow work in the outdoor industry. Outdoor recreation is big business.

Direct consumer spending in the outdoor recreation industry is $646 billion (a figure that would blow Dr. Evil’s mind). That’s more than Pharmaceuticals ($331B); Motor Vehicles and parts ($340B); Gas and other fuels ($345B); Household utilities ($309B).

There are more than 6 million jobs directly dependent on outdoor recreation. That’s greater than Real Estate/Rentals & Leasing (2M). Bigger than Oil & Gas (2.1M). Information (2.5M). Education (3.5M). Transportation and Warehousing (4.3M). Construction (5.5M). Finance and Insurance (5.8M). That’s a whole lotta people earning a living in the outdoor industry.

You get the point. Outdoor recreation is huge. So, all is peachy keen in the industry, right?  Not so fast. Economic activity in the outdoor industry is directly tied to habitat. Without habitat there is no opportunity for said recreation. Starting to make sense now?  As a passionate fly anglerman, I understand the importance of having a a healthy river system to support the very fish that I persue; the availability of having a place to go wave my stick. Without either of those two components, we anglers wouldn’t be anglers.

We need local, state and federal publics lands and waters. This is a network that is as important to the economical health of our country as other public works infrastructure such as schools, water treatment, roads and airports that we all depend on. Outdoor recreation is not a boutique industry.

So, what about all this?  What does it mean for you?  Tom Sandler says it best on the Middle River Dispatch:

When the policy makers and politicians demean our public lands they show either their ignorance (to be charitable) or there political bigotry (more likely). While politicians can be expected to say what they think will get them elected, ignorance has no place in policy making. This report is a powerful, factual tool that should be part of every debate on the value of our public lands and the importance of conservation of those resources.

Thanks to Tom (AKA Wyatt Earp), for providing a lot of this information that was paraphrased here, and for fighting the good fight and bringing this matter to the forefront of the blogasphere.

Recreational venues in our nation, such as seashores, forests, parks, and wilderness, must be recognized for the important role they play in the economy. These public venues form the foundation of a national outdoor recreation system. Our policy makers should invest more, not less in these important assets to our nation’s economy.

This new report arms us with facts that must be used to show our elected officials just how important outdoor recreation is to our economy. These are undeniable economic, social and health benefits that are no longer “nice to have,” they are a “must have.”

I’m just helping to spread the word. You can help by emailing the report (here’s the link) to your elected officials. Just tell them: “Outdoor recreation means business, read this!”

Thank you. As you were.

There’s an app for that

 

As much as I try my darnedest to segregate endeavors, I would be remiss if I didn’t announce the availability of my recently-launched apps for iPad: Olive the Woolly Bugger and Chuckin’ Bugs.

Olive the Woolly Bugger is an interactive book app based on my print book series. In addition to the entertaining and educational story, there are several interactive pop-up screens that describe certain aspects of fly fishing: fly patterns, insects, fish, water currents, etc. Additionally there are a bunch of fun animations to further entertain young readers.  Speaking of young readers, there are two modes for reading the app. Those old enough to read on their own can do so, while younger kids can have the story read to them thanks to recorded narration.

Download Olive the Woolly Bugger for $1.99

There is also a bonus feature included in the Olive app: Chuckin’ Bugs. This is a simple yet challenging game in which kids (and big kids) help Lefty Crayfish toss buzzing bugs to feeding fish. This game is also available as a standalone app.

Download Chuckin’ Bugs for free

Rather than tell you all about the apps, this video does a much better job of showing you.

 

Sportsmen Descend on DC to Save Bristol Bay ~ Pass it Along

I’m not even changing the headline because in this case redundancy is a good thing. In fact, all I am doing is copying and pasting what was posted over on The Outdooress blog today, which was first posted on the Outdoor Blogger Network.

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The following is a guest post available to all outdoor bloggers who have an interest in the Pebble Mine/Bristol Bay issue.
Please feel free to re-post it on your blog. 

(Passed along from the conservation section over on the OBN ~
Go check it out, copy it from here, copy it from there, but let’s spread the word)

Sportsmen fly to DC to tell president and congress to say no to Pebble Mine

Fly FishingPhoto by B.O’Keefe

Starting Monday, April 16, more than 30 sportsmen from around the country are traveling to the nation’s capitol to let their elected officials and the president know that protecting Bristol Bay is a top priority for hunters and anglers.

This is an important week to show the folks who have the power to protect Bristol Bay that sportsmen are in this fight. We’ve got folks from Alaska, Montana, Michigan, Colorado, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Texas, Wisconsin, Washington, North Carolina, California, Missouri, New York, and Virginia representing this great country and the millions of people who want Bristol Bay to be protected and left just like it is today–pristine and productive.

recent report by the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation shows that there are 34 million hunters and anglers in the U.S., and we’re a powerful constituency. Every year, we pump $76 billion into the economy in pursuit of our passion, through our spending on gear, licenses, gas, lodging, meals and more. All of that spending and activity directly supports 1.6 million jobs in this country.

We are also an influential group because 80 percent of sportsmen are likely voters – much higher than the national average. And, we also contribute the most money of any group toward government wildlife conservation programs. So, hopefully if we care about an issue and show our support, the decision makers will listen to what we have to say.

In just a few weeks, the EPA will be releasing a draft of its Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment. This huge scientific assessment will likely guide future decisions about large-scale mining and other industrial development in the Bristol Bay region. If they find that disposal of waste from the mine would adversely harm the surrounding clean waters or natural resources, the EPA can deny or place restrictions on a required dredge and fill permit. If warranted, we hope the Obama Administration would take that step to protect Bristol Bay.

You can support the fight for one of planet Earth’s finest and most productive fishing and hunting destinations by taking action today. Fill out this simple form that will send a letter to the President and your members of Congress asking them to protect Bristol Bay.  Let’s carry our sportsmen into D.C. with a lot of momentum.

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Go ahead: Copy and paste. Fill out the form on the Trout Unlimited website and submit it. Keep the ball rolling. Stop the Pebble Mine.

 

Stop this dam project before it gets going

 

I rarely post topics like this, but this one I can’t let pass unannounced.

I was recently contacted by a friend who I went to high school with. She wrote me to let me know that she recently gave up a good-paying job in LA to move back to the Pacific Northwet for the sole purpose of fighting a dam proposal on her favorite river, the Skykomish, on which she learned to fly fish.

The lower Skykomish is only 8 miles from where I live and I’ve fished it many times for steelhead, having even been successful on one occasion. I also caught a bull trout/Dolly Varden once, so I guess that’s two successes. But I digress…

The Snohmish County PUD has filed for a preliminary permit to build a small hydroelectric dam on an upper stretch of the Skykomish. It’s just insane to even be thinking about adding dams in this day and age where there is widespread opposition to any structures that block fish passage and flowing water. This dam would produce an insignificant about of hydro power but would damage a river that is only one of 4 rivers designated as Wild and Scenic Rivers by the  Washington state legislature.

Please take a moment to visit the website for Save the Skykomish and sign the petition.

This damn idea is bad and needs to be stopped.

Thanks for your help.

I like Canada

In response to a bit of an uproar (from at least two readers, that is) regarding last week’s post about the Pebble Mine, I wanted to go on record as stating that I have issues with neither Canada nor it’s fine citizens. In fact, Canada has always been very good to me.

When I was a kid traveled to BC to play in a youth soccer game, and I remember the host family to have been the kindest of folks. When I was about 9 years old I endured a family trip to Victoria to visit Butchart Gardens. It wasn’t what I would exactly call an enjoyable time, but it was a forced family vacation to see decorative foliage so how what do you expect? Certainly it was no fault of Canada that I didn’t enjoy myself. That unfortunate trip was offset by another youthful trip on which I visited Bowron Lake Provincial Park to partake of a 10 day canoe trip with the Boy Scouts. That trip left me with fond and permanent fly fishing memories and was largely responsible for my current obsession. On at least two other occasions since then I’ve enjoyed the hospitality of Canada’s good people, most recently a year ago when I fished Nootka Sound. And I hope to be allowed back across the border for a trip or two to fish again in the future.

Canada is a great country with good people, and one needn’t look very far before it becomes readily apparent that Canada has greatly contributed to the world. In addition to this list of well known Canadians, I’d also like to add April Vokey.

I like Canada. I like Canadians. And I’d like to go fishing with April Vokey.

But for the record I do not like the Pebble Mine.