WASHINGTON -- Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced the appointments of 23 individuals to the Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council, an advisory panel created in 1993 to advise the Secretary on nationally significant recreational fishing, boating and aquatic resource conservation issues.
“With its vast experience and expertise in boating, fishing and conservation, the council will continue to play a vital role in achieving the goals of President Obama's America's Great Outdoors initiative to foster a 21st century approach to conservation and outdoor recreation,” Salazar said. “Thanks to the council's ongoing work, the nation is benefitting not only from more opportunities for outdoor recreation but also from the $3.6 billion in economic activity generated by fishing and boating, which supports 68,000 jobs across the nation.”
"In order to maintain the environmental, recreational and economic benefits aquatic resources provide to our nation and local communities, the Fish and Wildlife Service must increase its ability to deliver science-driven conservation at a watershed level," said Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe. "The council's expertise and advice will continue to play a key role in helping us improve program delivery and enhance our work with partners and stakeholders to further our shared goal of the stewardship of these important resources."
Salazar announced the appointment of the following individuals – whose terms begin immediately – to serve on the Council for the upcoming two-year term:
Seven alternate Council appointments, who may attend meetings and vote when the primary member is unable to attend, were also announced.
The alternates are: Janine Belleque of the States Organization for Boating Access; Noreen Clough of Bass Anglers Sportsmans Society; Christopher Edmonston of the Boat Owners Association of the United States; Roger Fuhrman of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife; Michael Grayum of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission; Gary Kania of the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation; and Theodore Venker of the Coastal Conservation Association.
During its 19 year history, the Council's advice and recommendations have played a major role in providing guidance to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on its fisheries program and improving the efficiency of grant programs delivered through the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program.
The Council played a leading role 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 and guidance to the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, a non-profit organization it helped establish and whose mission is to increase the number of conservation-minded recreational anglers and boaters.
In 2012, the Council is expected to undertake a major effort to lend assistance to the Service's fisheries program in updating and revising its strategic vision and plan.
The fisheries program of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in association with state agencies and other conservation organizations, contributes $3.6 billion to the nation's economy and supports 68,000 jobs across the country, according to a 2011 report released by the agency.