WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne today announced 24 appointments to the Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council, a panel created in 1993 to advise the Secretary on nationally significant recreational fishing, boating and aquatic conservation issues.
Kempthorne made the announcement 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 2007, and the Secretary told Summit attendees he is looking forward to working with the Council to address current issues, such as recreational boating and fishing access and participation.
“For more than 100 years, anglers have been among our nation’s foremost conservationists,” said Kempthorne, “It is impossible to overstate the vital role they and the sportfishing industry play in the conservation of our lands, waters and wildlife.” He commended the Council for its work in helping to increase recreational fishing opportunities.
The Secretary announced the appointment of the following individuals to serve on the Council for its coming 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 American Sportfishing Association.
Also appointed were James Range, of 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 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to 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. The Council also continues to support and offer guidance to the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, a non-profit organization that it helped to establish and whose mission 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 to increase 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.