Spring Trout Tips

Ryan Brooks with an opening day rainbow -Jason Brooks

Ryan Brooks with an opening day rainbow -Jason Brooks

Spring trout fishing brings back a lot of memories for most of us as this is where we learned to fish. Getting up an hour before the sunrise and heading to our local lake to fish for the planter rainbows, filling our stringers and having fried trout for dinner. Today this tradition is still going strong and creating memories for generations of anglers. To increase your catching here are a few reminders and pointers.

 

A feisty rainbow makes it fun -Jason Brooks

A feisty rainbow makes it fun -Jason Brooks

1. Know where the fish are

By first checking the fish plantings for your local lakes at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/ you will have a better idea of how many and when the trout were planted. The “when” is the most important as it takes a few weeks for the fish to acclimate to the lake after being raised in holding ponds at the hatchery. Trout typically stay near the surface when recently planted and as the days go by they slowly make their way to a more comfortable thermocline and adjust to finding the food sources the lake offers. If the lake was recently planted, fish near the surface, if it’s been over a month deeper.

 

Pro-Cure jars of single salmon eggs with UV are a great trout bait -Jason Brooks

Pro-Cure jars of single salmon eggs with UV are a great trout bait -Jason Brooks

2. Baits

It seems Powerbait by Berkley has almost “dummied” the angler as that’s all we use. But it wasn’t too long ago that we used salmon eggs and did just as well. Since the trout are near the surface after planting try using a slip float and go back to salmon eggs, as Powerbait floats and is hard to fish under a bobber. Pro-Cure makes jars of salmon eggs with added scent as well as being UV enhanced, I don’t know any other salmon egg on the market that does the same thing right out of the jar! Also try nightcrawlers, small pieces of prawns or cooked salad shrimp. I always douse my baits with scents to give them that extra advantage.

 

The Super Duper by Luhr Jensen is one of the author's favorite trout lures -Jason Brooks

The Super Duper by Luhr Jensen is one of the author’s favorite trout lures -Jason Brooks

3. Trolling lures

Speed is key when trolling. Slow is the name of the game for spring fishing, no matter if it’s for rainbows or kokanee. The slower you can troll and still keep your gear near the surface the more fish you will catch. My top lures are gold or silver 1 ¼” Super Duper’s by Luhr Jensen, black ¼ ounce Roostertail’s by Yakima Bait Company, and Double Whammy Wedding Ring Spinners by Mack’s Lure. In fact the Wedding Ring has probably caught more trout than any other lure when tipped with a piece of nightcrawler.

 

The whooly bugger, Mack's Smile Blade Fly, and Chironomids are productive flies for trout -Jason Brooks

The whooly bugger, Mack’s Smile Blade Fly, and Chironomids are productive flies for trout -Jason Brooks

4. Fly Fishing

Casting and slowly stripping in a fly or trolling them; using flies in the right water conditions and the right time of day is a lot of fun and very effective. This time of year it’s a wet fly game unless you get a really warm day and just at dusk and start to see fish rising. My main flies are the Mack’s Lure Smile Blade Fly (a whooly bugger with a small smile blade at the eye of the hook), Carey Specials, and Chironomid’s.

 

Adding scents attract fish and also cover any unwanted smells you put onto your baits or lures -Jason Brooks

Adding scents attract fish and also cover any unwanted smells you put onto your baits or lures -Jason Brooks

5. Scents

When bait fishing, trolling lures, or even fly fishing and I am planning on keeping the trout for the frying pan or smoker I always use extra scents. The main reason why I put on scents is to attract more fish to my hook. Especially when bait fishing as it will draw in a lot more fish and increases your catch rate. For trolling it creates a scent trail and I will often do a figure eight pattern with my boat as the fish will be attracted to the area of the lake I just trolled through. The other reason to use scents is to help mask any other scents you put onto your gear. You just touched a lot of stuff while getting your boat in the water and it can repeal fish away from your hook if they smell it. Pro-Cure’s Super Gel’s stick to your bait or lure and cover any unwanted scents.

Give the Gift of Bobblehead this Christmas

In case your wondering what to get the fisherman in your family for Christmas, well, here it is!!!

Their very own custom fisherman bobblehead. All you have to do is submit a photo of him or her and ElyBobblehead will custom sculpt a head in their likeness.

Custom Bobble Head

Custom bobblehead’s run $79. Jump on this link to order yours today:

Custom Fisherman Bobblehead

Rob Endsley
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle

Christmas Gift Idea – Age Your Own Whiskey

Heritage Distilling in Gig Harbor has put together the perfect Christmas gift for the whiskey lover in your life. I can’t think of too many of my fellow sportsman that don’t like a fine whiskey on the rocks after a long day in the field. I know I do!

With this handy kit you can age your own whiskey at home until it reaches the perfect aroma, taste, and richness that we all love in a good whiskey. Acquiring this taste generally takes about two months…if you can wait that long.

Heritage’s kit sells for $125 and the 1.25 litre cask will produce about two 5th’s of whiskey. Best of all, they can ship it just about anywhere!

heritage_distilling_webThey also have a Cask Club and they offer classes that allow you to distill your own custom blend of whiskey, gin, or vodka from start to finish. The classes are approximately three hours long and sound like a heckuva lot of fun.

Can you tell I’m excited about having a distillery just miles from my house? Heritage Distilling…check it out!

Rob Endsley
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle
www.theoutdoorline.com

Boat trailering: Cougar Style!

Meet Robert Lee Tobeck:

His resume is very impressive. Academic All American lineman at Washington State University, Pro Bowl center of the Seattle Seahawks during the highpoint of the franchise history: the 2006 Superbowl and former host of The Outdoor Line Radio Show.

Unfortunately, none of this tremendous life experience has prepared him for what has now become the greatest challenge of his life: Boattrailerautism.

Boattrailerautism or “BTA” is a fisherman’s developmental disorder that appears in the first 3 years of boat ownership and affects the brain’s normal development of mechanical, spacial and navigational skills. Most fishing buddies of the boattrailerautistic suspect that something is amiss when angry motorists pull up alongside, gesturing and yelling. In extreme cases of BTA, one may even observe the occurance of the dreaded “missing fender” syndrome.

Quite unfortunately, I was to bear witness to Tobeck’s latest BTA flare-up on what was to be merely a simple transducer installation. We met at his marina and due to high winds, Robbie was unable to get the boat on the trailer by himself so he requested my assistance and I was only too happy to help my friend out.

Tobeck’s trailer for his 30-foot Seaswirl Striper “Salmon Hawk” is a monster 5th wheel style extra heavy duty model with a “goose neck” design which requires the hitch to be placed directly above the rear axle to reduce tongue weight and increase trailer maneuverability.

While I remained ground level to crank the trailer up to above the ball height, Tobeck backed the truck up and then jumped in to hook up the lights, safety chains and secure the hitch…or so I thought…

We towed the empty trailer about 100 yards to the ramp and I jumped in Robbie’s boat to drive it on the trailer. Once the boat was secured to the trailer winch and cranked up tight, Tobeck returned to the truck. Little did we know that the unfortunate malady BTA was about to rear it’s ugly and mortifyingly embarrassing head.

I remained aboard as Robbie pulled the boat and trailer up the ramp. As the trailer started bearing the weight of the boat, I happened to be looking forward and BOOM!!! Simultaneously the trailer hitch jumped off the ball, landing in the bed of his truck as a geyser of Starbucks coffee hit the inside of Tobecks windshield.

Someone other than my friend Tobeck then emerged from the truck, hurling a blue streak of epithets and dripping with the remains of his mocha.

“Thank goodness for safety chains” was all I could utter as the bed of Tobeck’s new truck now appeared to be,…well… used.

As we cranked the tongue winch up, the hitch came up alright but the truck bed remained somewhat depressed.

Once we got the hitch back on the ball we found that Tobeck has a little bowl in the center of his truck bed that, once filled with rainwater, will be a handy and very mobile bird bath!

Always good natured -until he’s not- the Crimson Crusader takes his Boattrailerautism in stride and lets this latest “flare-up” roll off his back.

The rest of the morning and the transducer installation proceeded without incident. Heck, it could have been a lot worse….It could have been my fault!!!

Tom Nelson
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle
www.theoutdoorline.com

 

Build an Insulated Box for your Little Chief Smoker

The ability to have fish, fowl, game and even cheese, turn out consistently good in your smoker comes down to a few control measures. I’m not going to waste your time telling you the absolute best wet or dry brine for fish. I am also not going to tell you how fantastic your duck will turn out when wrapped in thick cut bacon…. You can read my smoked duck blog on that one..

I am, however, going to tell you or more importantly show you the importance of temperature control.

I have a Luhr Jensen Little Chief smoker. I’ve had it for years and it does a great job. Back when it was new and when I was smoking fish in the fall and winter I would follow the manufacturers recommendation and use the box it came in as an insulator. The smoker itself is not insulated so the recommendation in cold weather is to place the box over the smoker to help keep some of the heat in.

Once the box wore out, I actually used an old sleeping bag. I did this for a couple years until I finally decided that there had to be a better way.

It always amazes me the idea’s a guy can come up with by simply by walking through a Home Depot or Lowes. There is so much stuff in there it’s just a matter of time until you find everything you need for any project.

Now I was thinking insulation, as in insulating my smoker, when I was walking thru the store. So, I found myself standing in the area of Home Depot that has anything to do with everything in the realm of insulation. I decided to go with structural foundation insulation foam.

To build this insulator box, here is what you will need…
-4 X 8 sheet of one inch thick R. Tech Insulation Foam
-10 ft. of 1 ¼ in. corner molding
-Lock Tight Power Grip multi-purpose adhesive. Make sure it is foam compatible
-Duct-Work aluminum tape (aluminum foil tape)
-Hardware components and grommets

There are several different models of the Little Chief and Big Chief smokers. You need to measure your individual smoker, length and width, to get the accurate measurements. Check if your smoker has handles on the sides or front that you measure the overall width to accommodate for them. When your insulated box is finished, it slides down over the top and it needs to clear the width of the handles.

Cut your four panels using a straight edge with a very sharp fillet knife. I found that when I used a utility knife I had to cut each side of the panel. The utility knife cannot go completely through the one inch thick foam from one side.

The length of your panels should be about 24 inches. The length of your 1 ¼” corner trim should be about 26 inches. The important thing here is that the length of your corner pieces are two inches longer then the panels.

Next you’ll need to take two of your panels and cut a one inch recess along both edges of the panel. Make sure it’s the two panels that are aligned opposite. For example, you should have two panels that are 14. 5 inchs in width and two that are 16 in. Pick a set and make your cuts along each edge. The other set you can leave full dimension. This is so you can glue the panels together and the corner trim will fit evenly.

This is an example of how the corners will fit together, with the recess cut and the corner trim in place.

Once I have the four panels cut and trimmed, it’s time to glue it all together. I put a bead of Lock Tight along the cut-out edge that I made. I also put a thin bead along each side of the corner trim. I put all the pieces together and try to keep it square.

I then wrap the heck out of the box with a heavy string or small diameter rope. I make sure I pull it tight as I continue to wrap and again try to keep it square. The pressure of the string against all four corners will ensure the box holds together tight as the glue drys. I give it at least 24 hrs. to dry. You may need to move it into the house to dry if you are building your box in the fall or winter. The garage may be a bit to cool.

While I have the box wrapped and squared up I measure and cut the top to fit.

The fact that this is styrofoam, I don’t like to leave the edges unprotected. I found that duct-work aluminum foil tape works great for covering all foam exposed edges.

Basically I was able to do the lid with one long strip. You can do it in sections if you prefer.

Next you will also want to do the top edge of your box and the bottom. Again, I tape any exposed foam on the edges.

Next I need to cut a hole in the top for the heat vent. I use a quart jar, narrow neck lid. I make sure the hole that I drill is a bout a ½ inch smaller in diameter then the lid. I want to make sure my vent cover actually covers the hole when I need it to. Also, I need room at the edge to anchor the vent lid.

To make sure I can spin or pivot the vent cover open I use stainless components and plastic grommets.

I drill a hole through the top and reinforce the hole on both sides with some aluminum foil tape. Then, push a plastic grommet in both sides of the top.

I attach the vent cover lid with the stainless screw, nut, and washers. Next I drill a hole and insert a grommet for the thermometer. Depending on the model of smoker you have you can align the thermometer hole with one of the vents in the lid of the smoker. Or if there are no vent slits, you will need to drill a hole in the smoker lid.

If there is a vent, simply open it up a bit with a screwdriver so that your thermometer will fit through the lid. Having the thermometer through the lid and into the actual smoker is key. After-all, this entire project is all about temperature control…

The final two steps are to simply measure your smoker for the location of your pan door on the front and power cord on the back.

Measure and cut out both front and back and reinforce the edges with the foil tape. Again, having no exposed styrofoam makes for a stronger box.

That is pretty much it. This is one of those projects that takes a little time to complete, but it’s so well worth it. You will have an insulation smoker box with temperature control that will last you for years. If you’re like me, sometimes do-it-yourself projects are actually kind of fun.


Good luck and if you decide to build one, make sure you post some pictures on the Outdoor Line forums or over on our Facebook  page.

Duane Inglin
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle
www.theoutdoorline.com

My Top 4 Breakfast Joints

Maybe I was thinking about this because I just polished off my boring breakfast of oatmeal and fruit. At the ripe old age of 41 I’m trying to watch my diet a little closer these days, but don’t think for one furry second that I’ve forgotten about the memorable morning meals I’ve had at these four brekky joints.

Someday and someday soon I’ll once again find myself staring wide-eyed at the menu at one of these places…wife permitting. These restaurants know how to turn what is normally the most boring meal of the day into a breakfast you’ll never forget. That’s why they made the top of my list.

Without further adieu…

Mckay CottageBend, Oregon
The first time we visited McKay Cottage for breakfast in Bend, Oregon I ate so much I could hardly shuffle out of the place. There’s so many tastie dishes on their breakfast menu that my wife, her best friend Brandy, and I decided to order breakfast “family style” so we could sample as much of their grub as we could.

We greased up the skids before the main course arrived with mochas from the espresso bar and a plate of fresh raspberry scones from McKay’s awesome bakery. Most people would have called in quits there, but I had my sights set on a full blown Thanksgiving style, lay-on-the-floor-with-my-pants-unbuttoned food coma.

It wasn’t long after we ordered before the kitchen door flew open and hot plates began to hit the table. Our outdoorsy and fit waitress presented us with Smith Rock Benny, pumpkin pancakes, Joe’s Special scramble, and a breakfast burrito before hustling off to keep up with the orders. How these waitresses stay in such great shape with all this awesome food around is beyond me. I was sitting with two ladies that also eat like birds and my food coma dreams were about to come true.

Breakfast was nothing short of oh-mazing and my plans for an active day in the Oregon outdoors quickly evaporated. Mass rump was destined for a couch. I’m ashamed to admit that I watched football the rest of the day. Next time I’ll go hiking girls…I promise!If you visit McKay Cottage plan on getting there early and bring an appetite. Don’t forget to try one of their scones while you wait!

Duck Brand Hotel and CantinaWinthrop, Washington
My wife and I make frequent trips to Winthrop, Washington to hike, hunt, and relax in what can only be described as a little slice of Montana. When we’re there we always make a point to visit the Duck Brand Hotel and Cantina for a Mexican style breakfast. The Duck Brand has seating inside the main restaurant and plenty of outdoor seating so you can enjoy the warm Eastern Washington mornings out on the deck.

The breakfast menu here has a Mexican twist and most of the dishes come with a side of black beans, which is a different but totally awesome addition to breakfast.

My favorite breakfast thus far at this place is the Eggs McDuck, but the Huevos Rancheros is a very close second. Unlike my visit to McKay Cottage I leave the Duck ready to clamber up any of the scenic ridges in the Methow Valley.

I like breakfast joints that are hustle-bustle and the Duck Brand doesn’t disappoint. Spoons clanging into coffee cups, short order cooks hollering at waitresses, and lots of outdoorsy folks waiting to fuel up for the day. It’s busy for a reason…the food is yummers!

Blue Star Cafe-Seattle, Washington
I was going to keep this list to just my favorite small fishing town breakfast joints, but I simply couldn’t resist adding the Blue Star in Seattle’s Wallingford District to my list because of it’s totally ri-donk-ulous breakfast menu. The Blue Star is also a bar, so you can grab a Bloody Mary and watch football pre-game shows before the Smokey Mountain scramble or Eggs Seattle arrives.

The Smokey Mountain Scramble is one of the most memorable egg dishes I’ve ever inhaled. It consists of as many eggs as you’d like, pepper jack cheese, and Little Smokee sausages. Pure genius!

Or if you’re in a more eclectic Northwest’y mood you can order the Eggs Seattle, which is smoked salmon on an English muffin with a poached egg and hollandaise sauce. This one’s also a dandy!

There can be a long wait on weekends at the Blue Star so get there early. The wait, however, is well worth it!

Forks Coffee Shop-Forks, Washington
The Coffee Shop’s montra is “Nobody Leaves Hungry” and that ain’t no bull. Both fisherman and loggers alike need to prime the pumps early in the morning for a long day in the woods or on the water and the breakfast plates here are served accordingly.

I can polish off a lot of brekky before hitting the water and I’ll be darned if the servings here don’t test me every time.

My favorite brekky chow here is the Sol Duc scramble, which consists of veggies, country sausage, and hash browns scrambled together with eggs and served with toast. Douse it with Tabasco sauce and you’ll be ready for a day of steelhead fishing on one of the many nearby rivers.

Most of the locally famous Forks river guides meet their guests at the Coffee Shop in the morning, so if you want the latest fishing intel this is the place to be before the sun rises on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula.

If you’ve got a favorite breakfast spot that I should be checkin’ out please don’t hesitate to let me know. I’m always on the hunt for good fishing…and good food. Adios muchachos!

Rob Endsley
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle
www.theoutdoorline.com

Of Phones and Facebook

BY JEFF LUND.

To understand fully the quandary I faced Saturday, I’ll have to volunteer that the first time I remember my cell phone ringing while fishing was in 2007. I was trout fishing on the Klawock River back home, where reception is spotty at best. But the call made it through and lit up my pocket. Though I was fishing and I risked setting a precedent, I answered. After all, it was my mom and it was about dinner.

From this has stemmed a habit I am not particularly proud of, but not especially worried about. I send river-side text messages of fish to friends that aren’t fishing. It’s cruel, yes, but it’s reciprocated and accepted among my angling friends.

Saturday afternoon the phone wasn’t already out to take a picture of a trout and the ring wasn’t from mom, but I answered anyway. The business was a solid seven out of 10 on the urgency scale. It could have waited I guess, but the fish weren’t biting.

I kept fishing.

With one hand I drifted my nymph in the current then tossed it back up river with sedate enthusiasm now that I was distracted by speaking into my hand.

A fish took.

I had too much slack in my line, so I lifted the rod and arched backward nearly dropping my phone. The fish jumped and I stumbled, nearly dropping my rod. “Man I have to go. It’s a huge fish.”

I was pressing the fly-line to the rod with my finger to keep tension, but with an active fish early in the fight unforgiving tension is an ultimatum. I ended the call, knelt down and put my phone on the rock behind me, then reeled up the slack, backed off the fish a bit and started playing.

The trout wasn’t as big as I initially thought. I released it then went to work on the vicious knot created by the slack between the first nymph and the trailing midge.

Once all that was done, I finished the conversation.

To assume that all lovers of wild things are immune to the temptations of the sometimes sickening availability of technological advancement is absurd.

Though the cry of solitude is what is most commonly cited as the reason for getting out, technology has infiltrated the experience but hasn’t ruined it. Guide buddies of mine send updates from the water. Location is always a secret, but for potential clients watching from home, it whets the appetite and greases the credit card. Others utilize mobile social media just because it’s there.

Since I had no real reason to answer civilization and I did, I wondered, what had I become?

I decided to enlist professional, fail-proof help — Facebook.

Facebook is great because it reduces everything; faith, politics, philosophy and culture into manageable cartoons so you don’t have to actually read or understand anything anymore. You can make voting, spiritual and relational decisions based on how many other people “shared” and “liked” things and keep the brain free of pesky things like critical thinking.

So I decided to post the abstract of my phone answering/fishing ordeal and let others tell me what I should think.

Some were almost offended, as if I was the type of guy that would eat a tuna fish sandwich, drink a pot of coffee then take a nap before going to the dentist. Others friendly chided.

I’m still not clear on the issue, and I will probably still bury my phone and wallet in my gear rather than lock it in my truck, but one thing is certain, it would take a lot more than a phone to ruin a day on the water.


Jeff Lund
Teacher/Freelance Writer
Manteca, CA

"Its the coming back, the return which gives meaning to the going forth. We really don't know where we've been until we've come back to where we were. Only, where we were may not be as it was, because of whom we've become. Which, after all, is why we left." – Bernard Stevens  Northern Exposure

Words You Never Want to Hear in a Duck Blind

So, it’s been a while since I’ve written a blog of any significance. I write the Northwest Outdoor Report every week, but other than that my blog writing time has been limited for a month plus. By what? You axe. The usual culprits. Fishing, hunting, preparing for our busy summer charter season in Alaska, and the arrival of our new bundle of joy literally any day now, to name a few.

What on earth prompted me to write a truly worthy blog then. Well, I was sitting in a duck blind with some chums last weekend and a word was spoken that made me cringe. It wasn’t a four-letter word, nor was it a curse word of any kind. It was just one of those words that just doesn’t belong in a duck blind, or a boat, or spoken amongst outdoorsman in any setting for that matter.

That word was “probe” and it got’s me thinkin’ about a few other words that hit me in the funny bone. When a fellow outdoorsman speaks these words in any context I always think…well, lets forget what I think.

Heres a few words that don’t belong in the duck blind:

Ointment
Moist
Alimony
Fester
PETA
Probe
Rad
Panties
Stoked
Sick (Not ill…Sick!)
Cope
Job
Phat
Home
Now

There you have it. A truly meaningful blog packed with invaluable information. I bet you have some words. I know you do. Lets hear’em!

Rob Endsley
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle
www.theoutdoorline.com

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Well, Are We Ready?

BY JEFF LUND. Are we standing on top of a grassy hill, fishing rods, hunting rifles, mountain bikes, ab-rollers, recycling bins and piggy banks raised above our collective heads, calling out “Freedom” like William Wallace, ready to attack the new year like “warrior poets”?

Hope so.

By this time next year we will surely be fulfilled in ways we only dreamed about, or thought only applied to Chuck Norris and The Most Interesting Man in the World. Yes, thanks to promises we’ll make this weekend, in twelve short months we’ll all look back on our old stagnant lives and wonder how we survived – like trying to talk to girls before Facebook or getting them to like you before Axe products.

Since 2011 has essentially ended I have tabulated the numbers and calculated a somewhat ambiguous fishing plan, or resolution, that allows for wiggle room this coming year.

I can’t say that it is a clear-cut “I want to fish more in 2012”, because liking something is no excuse to abandon financial prudence, but I do want to broaden my range a bit after looking back on my fishing log.

I fished nine fewer days in 2011 (74) than 2010 (83). If ‘the ocean’ can count as a body of water like that ditch in a field Barnes and I fished for carp, I fished 16 pieces of water in 2011. I didn’t differentiate between the middle and north fork of the Stanislaus though they are separate rivers, they do have the same name and some days I hit one or more rivers.

The most frequented water was the Thorne River in Alaska. I spent at least a part of 19 days on its shores and wading in its current. The Klawock (Alaska) and Stanislaus (California) rivers were close behind at 14 apiece. Rounding out the significantly visited flows were the Upper Sacramento River and Neck Lake back home. I saw each of those ten days last year. I spent a few days here and there on the rest including striper fishing with my fly rod on the San Joaquin in which I caught a trophy-sized old wash cloth.

It certainly does seem like I fished a lot, but at the same time, I always feel like I am not fishing. Sadly there are a ton of rivers to which I say, “never fished it”, even though it is reasonably close. I want to fix that this year. Not so I can brag to others, but so I can get that feeling when I slowly sink my boots into water surrounded by nature I have not seen.

As Donald Miller wrote, “If you don’t get to a beautiful place every couple years, you get to thinking everything is urban, as though when God made creation He just made some medium-sized buildings, a bowling alley and a burger place.”


Jeff Lund
Teacher/Freelance Writer
Manteca, CA

"Its the coming back, the return which gives meaning to the going forth. We really don't know where we've been until we've come back to where we were. Only, where we were may not be as it was, because of whom we've become. Which, after all, is why we left." – Bernard Stevens  Northern Exposure

One-Thousandth Group Joins Coalition as Leaders Focus Congressional Attention on New Economic Report

WASHINGTON – One-thousand groups and businesses have joined in urging Congress to consider the economic impacts of the great outdoors and historic preservation as it makes critical decisions concerning America's fiscal health, the recently formed national coalition "America's Voice for Conservation, Recreation and Preservation" announced today.

At a press conference held at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., by the coalition on Monday afternoon, Theodore Roosevelt IV joined CEOs from prominent AVCRP organizations to cite strong new evidence of the employment opportunities and economic growth driven by natural resource conservation, outdoor recreation and historic preservation in America. Read a transcript of today's event and view video as it aired on C-Span 3.

Roosevelt, a leading figure in American conservation and the great-grandson of President Theodore Roosevelt, noted America's long-standing tradition of conservation. "For more than a century, conservation is part of what has made America unique," Roosevelt said. "From our public lands tradition to the ethic of private land stewardship, conservation has enjoyed broad support with the public and bipartisan support from their congressional representatives. As the Southwick Report clearly shows, conservation is an economic driver, accounting for more than 9.4 million jobs. I hope we reinvigorate our bipartisan commitment to conservation as we work to reduce the budget deficit."

Congress is currently determining federal funding of conservation, recreation and preservation programs in the bicameral, bipartisan "Super Committee" as well as in fiscal year 2012 appropriations bills.

AVCRP is a national coalition of organizations and businesses representing tens of millions of citizens with diverse political backgrounds and areas of interest. AVCRP members are united in a shared understanding that federal investments in natural resource conservation, outdoor recreation and historic preservation programs are vital to the future of our great nation. The 1,000 supporting entities signed a letter urging Congressional leaders to sustain the federal funds that are critical to the American way of life.

AVCRP represents an extraordinarily broad and diverse set of interests ranging from conservation and the environment to hunting, fishing and many other forms of outdoor recreation as well as historic preservation. AVCRP is made up of nonprofit organizations as well as major American businesses. Read the AVCRP letter and a list of signatories.

Other speakers at today's event included Dale Hall, CEO of Ducks Unlimited; Bill Meadows, president of The Wilderness Society and AVCRP co-chair; Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation; Mark Tercek, president and CEO of The Nature Conservancy; and Whit Fosburgh, president and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership.

"The Economics Associated with Outdoor Recreation, Natural Resources Conservation and Historic Preservation in the United States," a report released this month by Southwick Associates and commissioned by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, was highlighted by Roosevelt and AVCRP leaders at the Washington, D.C., press conference. The study defines the huge economic stakes associated with continued federal investments that are leveraged and matched with private funds.

The study cites the following compelling figures for the combined value of outdoor recreation, natural resource conservation and historic preservation:
• 9.4 million American jobs
• $1.06 trillion in total economic impact
• $107 billion annually generated in tax revenue

"From an economic perspective, the bottom line is clear – America's natural resources are a critical part of our national economy. Investments in nature produce a great return. Federal spending on conservation and protection of our natural resources should not be singled out for disproportionate cuts in the budget," said Tercek. "Americans across the country agree, as you can see from support by more than 1,000 organizations joining together to call upon Congress to address the federal deficit while still investing in critical conservation programs."

"This economic report highlights how cost-effective conservation and preservation programs make a clear profit for the U.S. taxpayer and benefit our nation's economy," said Hall, who is also former director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. "This coalition has come together because all of us understand how critical conservation, outdoor recreation and historic preservation are to America's legacy, economy and people."

"This study shows just how historic preservation has proven its value many times over," said Meeks. "The remarkable impact of the federal historic rehabilitation tax credit is just one example, creating over 2 million jobs since its inception and leveraging $90.4 billion in private investment. Preservation projects not only generate economic activity – it brings people together and creates a legacy for future generations."

Contact:
Vaughn Collins, 202-639-8727, vcollins@trcp.org
Alan Rowsome, 202-429-2643, alan_rowsome@tws.org