For the third time in six months, North Carolina’s Lake Gaston has produced a blue catfish state record.
, 15, of Benson landed a 117-pound, 8-ounce cat June 11, breaking a record that had just been set in December 2015
Sept 2016, Washington, DC: Don McDowell and Ryan Benson meet with Congressmen and Senators on Sage Grouse, Grand Canyon Watershed Monument and Bears Ears Monument issues and concerns.
What We're Doing
What We're Hearing
The Failures of Government
by Jim Beers
Sen. Mike Lee Announces Senate Field Hearing in Utah on Public Lands Management
“When it comes to how the federal government wishes to dispose of its land in Utah, Utahns deserve to be heard,” Lee said. “This field hearing will provide Utahns a forum to share their views on a possible Bears Ears monument designation. Ideally, President Obama would hold off, and allow a legislative compromise to move forward. Hopefully this hearing will push them towards that course of action. (results to follow)
– A recent poll conducted by Coleman Dahm and Associates found that 71.6% of Arizonans are opposed to the proposed Administrative designation of 1.7 million acres in Northern Arizona as a National Monument. While some special interest groups have claimed that support for a designation is much higher, this new poll makes it clear that Arizonans recognize that the area under consideration is already protected by current law and future management of the lands should be driven by collaborative processes including local stakeholders – not by Administrative fiat.
Don McDowell endorses Gosar:
Prominent Arizona Radio Talk Show Host, Don McDowell of “Shake Rattle and Troll” Outdoor Radio, 15 years on the air, formally has endorsed Congressman Paul Gosar. McDowell is noted for work in the outdoor community against government over reach, failed federal policies, land grabs and keeping access to our public and state lands for the outdoor recreators.
Paul Gosar on Aug 7 SRT Radio
Reps. Jim Jordan and Mike Pompeo issued a scathing proposed addendum to the final report released Tuesday by the House Select Committee on Benghazi, accusing the Obama administration of misleading the public and not doing enough to “rescue our people. [Summary]
Aug 19, 2016 - St. George, UT:
Don McDowell and SRT Strategist Doug Stricker met with representatives from Sen. Mike Lee and Cong. Chris Stewarts office in an initial discussion surrounding the current government over reach efforts in Utah’s Bears Ears and Arizona’s Grand Canyon Monument proposals. Conversation surrounding Buffalo, Sage Grouse and other pressures from the “Green” side were on the table in an effort to find a common purpose between Arizona and Utah and exchange ideas to aid each other states causes and efforts.
SPRINGVILLE - The Utah Wildlife Board
stepped into the fray over a possible monument designation in southeast Utah, voting unanimously Tuesday to voice its opposition in a letter to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell. In the letter, the board asks Jewell to recognize and respect rights of hunting, fishing and trapping. The board stressed that the state must be allowed to continue key conservation practices such as transplants, habitat improvement, watershed and habitat restoration, and the installation of wildlife water facilities such as guzzlers. [Read]
Last Weeks Show
THEFT AT TAXIDERMIST SHOP IN PRESCOTT
A taxidermist's shop in Prescott was ripped off of $30,000 worth of hides and antlers this week.
Speaking with Brian Fisher (owner) this morning, one of the stolen items was a 235" velvet muley skull/antlers. We in the hunting community should keep our eyes open.
Brian can be reached at 928-713-4110
2017 YELLOWTAIL DERBY - Sign up now for savings!
Will you be fishing the San Diego waters during the months of April & June, 2017? Specifically, from April 28th through June 4th?
San Diego's International Yellowtail Derby is a World Class fishing tournament reminiscent of San Diego's famous Yellowtail Derby of the 50s and 60s.
The Derby is for 38 days, but anglers can fish for only one day or for all thirty-six days. And all participants have an chance to win the big prizes because the biggest fish wins!
The Derby is open to both private boaters and individual anglers who will fish aboard the famous San Diego Open Party Fleet.
Don't take the chance you'll land the big one and miss out on the fun and prizes.
AZGFD WANTS SIERRA CLUB TO RETRACT FUNDRAISING LETTER
Solicitation makes statements "not supported by science"
July 28, 2016
GRAND CANYON, Ariz. -- The Arizona Game and Fish Department is asking the Sierra Club to retract a fundraising letter that makes false statements about Arizona's endangered condor population. The department (AZGFD) says untrue claims were made about hazards to condor health in a fundraising letter from Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club. In his June 24 fundraising appeal, Brune claims a link between uranium mining and condor health.
Despite a moratorium against uranium mines in effect until 2032, the Sierra Club's fundraising letter implies numerous times that uranium mining is a specific threat to condors. Michael Brune's letter claims "An estimated 3,000 mines could be opened up. For the 78 remaining critically endangered California Condors that live in the Grand Canyon, that would be nothing short of devastating … radioactive, toxic waste would deluge one of our nation's most iconic, majestic parks and wildlife that live there."
Wildlife scientists working to reintroduce condors in Arizona have made steady progress by limiting condors' exposure to lead, convincing Arizona hunters to voluntarily use lead-free ammunition within condor range and eliminating other impediments to their recovery. But according to Allen Zufelt, condor program coordinator for the Arizona Game and Fish Department, uranium has not been identified as a factor.
"Since 1996, when condors were first released into Arizona, we have had exactly zero cases of morbidity or mortality caused by any sort of uranium poisoning," Zufelt said. "There is no peer-reviewed scientific information that indicates any link. Our condor population faces enough legitimate threats that there's no need to create false scares."
Chris Parish, Arizona-Utah Condor Reintroduction Project Director for the Peregrine Fund, has been a hands-on participant in condor recovery. His organization also takes exception to the Sierra Club's claims. "We have not documented any sickness or death in the Arizona-Utah population of condors caused by uranium," Parish said. "Lead poisoning remains the number one problem for condor survival."
Eric Davis, California condor coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, works closely with AZGFD and the Peregrine Fund on the condor reintroduction project. "Lead poisoning is the biggest threat to California condors. I am not aware of uranium poisoning being a threat to condors," Davis said.
"We have let others debate uranium issues because our primary concern is Arizona's wildlife, not uranium. But when Sierra Club drags wildlife into the argument to raise funds through absolute misrepresentation, we're going to call them on it," said Pat Madden, chairman of the Arizona Game and Fish Commission. "Uranium has been present at the Canyon for millions of years, and nothing the Sierra Club can do in a courtroom will ever change that. Suggesting that sending money to the Sierra Club can protect condors from a non-existent threat is less than honest. This must stop."
For more information on how AZGFD protects and conserves wildlife, visit www.azgfd.gov.
HOUSE PASSES GOSAR AMENDMENT ON EPA's EXPANSION ON CLEAN WATER ACT
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement after the House passed his amendment prohibiting the use of funds to carry out the draft EPA-USGS Technical Report entitled ''Protecting Aquatic Life from Effects of Hydrologic Alteration", unlawful guidance that aims to expand the scope of the Clean Water Act, and successfully attached the amendment to the Department of Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2017:
"The EPA's never-ending obsession to extort private water rights from the American people is bordering on insanity. The management of water rights from all natural streams, lakes and other collections is an authority clearly enshrined in state constitutions and compacts across the West - legal protections explicitly designed to prevent infringement by the federal government.
"Sadly, for water users across the country, these federal water-grabs have been par for the course under the Obama Administration. EPA bureaucrats have proven that they will stop at nothing to push an economically disastrous agenda at the expense of science, the Rule of Law and basic common sense. I'm pleased to see the House join me in taking a stand against this rogue agency. Congress must block this unlawful guidance that aims to expand the scope of the Clean Water Act and federal control over waters currently under the jurisdiction of states."
OPPOSITION TO USE OF ANTIQUITIES ACT IN UTAH
Utah Delegation sends letter to President Opposing Use of Antiquities Act in Utah
Washington - Today, Members of the Utah Delegation sent a letter to President Obama expressing strong opposition to the use of the Antiquities Act to create a national monument within San Juan County. The land in question covers 1.9 million acres in southeastern Utah. The letter encourages the president to support the locally-driven, ongoing Public Lands Initiative (PLI) process instead of unilaterally designating a monument.
Letter signatures include Senator Orin Hatch (R-UT), Senator Mike Lee (R-UT), Rep. Rob Bishop (UT-01), Rep. Jason Chaffetz (UT-03), Rep. Chris Stewart (UT-02), and Rep. Mia Love (UT-04).
Key excerpts from the letter:
"Federal land-use policy has a major impact on the lives of those residing within and near federal lands. We believe the wisest land-use decisions are made with community involvement and local support. This principle is true whether skyscrapers or sagebrush surround the community.
"Use of the Antiquities Act within will be met with fierce local opposition and will further polarize federal land-use discussions for years, if not decades.
"Make no mistake, both the State of Utah and San Juan County value our public lands. With that said, public participation in land-use decisions is critical to their long-term acceptance and success; the most effective land management policy is inclusive and engaging, not veiled and unilateral."
LETTER TO CONSTITUENCY GROUPS FROM AZGFD KURT DAVIS
Letter to Constituency Groups
From Arizona Game and Fish Commission; Chairman Kurt Davis
May 13, 2016
To Whom It May Concern:
The Arizona Game and Fish Commission is very concerned about President Obama's unprecedented, inappropriate and over use of the 1906 Antiquities Act. As Chairman, I must make clear our positon that such use may well derail the multiple-use framework that has been guiding the effective management of lands across Arizona. This framework has served us well since the turn of the twentieth century. I want to share my three fundamental concerns.
First, designations will fundamentally and definitively impact Arizonans' ability to recreate on 1.7 million acres of land in Arizona. Who is going to pay for any new monuments? The federal government is already struggling to maintain the existing national parks and monuments to the tune of $11.5 billion. The 1.2 million acre Grand Canyon National Park has deferred maintenance projects totaling $330 million. Despite the promises we hear, history tells us that lands will be closed or uses restricted. Local economies will be negatively impacted. Over 2.1 million Arizonans and non-resident hunters, anglers, boaters, wildlife watchers and off-highway vehicle enthusiasts contributed over $2.4 billion and supported 27,000 jobs to Arizona's economy in 2011. When the uses of Arizona lands are restricted, the lost revenues will reduce the funding received by our Game and Fish Department used to support wildlife conservation efforts.
Secondly, the Arizona Game and Fish Department is statutorily charged with managing, conserving and protecting Arizona's 800 wildlife species and therefore their habitat. Arizona currently has 18 monument designations, the most of any state. These designations have negatively impacted the Department's ability to manage wildlife, restore habitat, develop and maintain critical water sources and perform wildlife translocations.
Third, the greatest danger to our landscape is wildfire which has devastated more than four million acres of forest since 2000. If the unhealthy buildup of undergrowth is not mitigated and the thinning of overly dense forests is not accomplished, we will lose more stands of trees and precious habitat to massive wildfires, thus putting wildlife at risk, including some species already listed as endangered.
Some of you may not be concerned, but trust me, you need to be. Arizonans need and deserve to have their concerns and fears heard. Without input from our citizens, the stroke of the
presidential pen should not be able to dramatically alter land use here in Arizona. Any effort to use the Antiquities Act must be stopped until a consensus is reached among Arizona stakeholders that protects traditional uses and identifies an adequate federal funding source for any newly designated monuments.
If you feel like I do, I encourage you to stand up and be heard. Write, email or call the President and your congressional delegation. Sign a petition or pass a resolution opposing any new monument designations in Arizona without local concurrence.
Thank you for your serious consideration of this most important issue.
GRAND CANYON CATTALO STATUS OBSURED by SCIENCE
GRAND CANYON CATTALO STATUS OBSCURED BY SCIENCE SHELL GAME
Posted: 31 May 2016 07:04 AM PDT
Press Release from the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility:
Washington, DC - The National Park Service is juggling the fate of a herd of hybridized bison marooned on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park, according to correspondence released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). The agency has withdrawn a controversial report claiming these "cattalos" are wildlife "native" to Grand Canyon, a classification which would prevent their wholesale removal - an action supported by conservationists and the park's own staff.
The decision on what to do with this orphaned herd, introduced more than a century ago for interbreeding with cattle, has been taken out of the park's hands and commandeered by National Park Service (NPS) Headquarters. In 2015, Glenn Plumb, the NPS Chief Wildlife Biologist, issued a document called the "Grand Canyon National Park Bison Technical Assistance Report" which overrode the park's previous stance that the hybridized herd is not native to the park but are exotic animals which should be relocated.
On March 17, 2016, PEER filed a legal complaint seeking the retraction of the so-called "Plumb Report" on multiple grounds, including that it flew in the face of available facts, ignored scientific literature concluding the opposite and violated NPS's own data quality and wildlife management standards. NPS had 60 days to respond to the complaint. Rather than defend the Plumb Report, the NPS punted.
In a May 16, 2016 letter to PEER, John Dennis, the Chief Deputy Scientist for NPS, indicated the agency is working on a new "multi-authored scientific report …intended for peer-reviewed publication." He adds that this new, as yet unrevealed, report is "superseding" the 2015 Plumb Report.
"This latest Park Service bureaucratic shuffle more resembles a game of three-card monte than a legitimate scientific effort," stated PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch, noting that the NPS decided to discard the work of its own Chief Wildlife Biologist without explanation. "This new hide-the-ball report appears to be a nakedly political maneuver to avoid a credible and transparent scientific review."
The stakes are high because the scientific question determines whether the cattalo stay or go: if they are native wildlife, by law they cannot be extirpated; if they are exotic, by policy they must be removed if they harm park resources - and the stagnant herd is unquestionably doing damage by killing rare plants, fouling springs and carving erosive trails into a very fragile part of the North Rim.
Dennis' letter also declares that the issue of what to do with the cattalo herd, now grown to 800 animals, will be deferred to a "planned … bison environmental assessment." These developments suggest that -
With the imminent exit of Superintendent David Uberuaga and his deputy, plus prior senior staff departures, Grand Canyon National Park personnel will play little role in this major, precedent-setting resource management decision within its own boundaries. At the same time, Glenn Plumb is being moved into Grand Canyon as its acting Chief of Science & Resource Management;
The NPS has predetermined the scientific issue of whether the cattalo are native by asserting the new unrevealed report has "fully satisfied applicable … processes and guidance"; and
The public involvement will be confined to short comments on an environmental assessment circuited for quick approval of the pre-selected NPS path - allowing state licensed hunters to pay for the privilege of "culling" this largely stagnant herd.
"The Park Service is desperate to create the illusion that these cattalo are some kind of mystery meat," added Ruch. "There is no mystery that this is all about politics, not science, and that Grand Canyon will be the loser."
And, as is typical, when, as a government insider, when you really screw up, you get promoted.
GOSAR TO PREVENT ABUSE OF ANTIQUITIES ACT
"The president, regardless of political affiliation, should not have the authority to designate millions of acres of land without local public input"
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement after submitting a language request to the House Appropriations Committee asking it to include language that would prevent presidential abuse of the Antiquities Act:
"During his time in office, President Obama has abused the Antiquities Act to designate or expand 22 national monuments and lock up more than three million acres of land. Shamefully, the president recently designated three new national monuments in the California desert encompassing nearly 1.8 million acres. The president, regardless of political affiliation, should not have unilateral authority to designate millions of acres of land without local public input or proper analysis.
"Unilateral designations that circumvent Congress under the Antiquities Act typically result in devastating consequences for local communities that negatively affect their future economic prosperity. These declarations often result in some of the most restrictive land-use regulations possible and also greatly impact hunting, fishing, OHV and other recreational activities. Grazing rights, water rights, wildfire prevention and other land management activities can also be negatively impacted. I will continue to do everything in my power to block presidential overreach and prevent abuse under this outdated 1906 law."
Congressman Gosar's appropriations language request makes a number of reforms to the 1906 Antiquities Act. This effort also explicitly prevents three misguided monument efforts in the Grand Canyon Watershed, the Sedona Verde Valley and in the Northwest Sonoran Desert from circumventing Congress, preventing public input and failing to comply with NEPA.
31 members of the House signed and submitted Congressman Gosar's appropriations language request including: Brian Babin, Dan Benishek, Rob Bishop, Dave Brat, Ken Buck, Jason Chaffetz, Paul Cook, Kevin Cramer, Jeff Duncan, Trent Franks, Paul Gosar, Cresent Hardy, Joe Heck, Tim Huelskamp, Walter Jones, Steve King, Raúl Labrador, Doug LaMalfa, Doug Lamborn, Cynthia Lummis, Martha McSally, Mark Meadows, Dan Newhouse, Steve Pearce, Bruce Poliquin, David Schweikert, Scott Tipton, Greg Walden, Bruce Westerman, Don Young and Ryan Zinke.
The language request was endorsed by: American Farm Bureau Federation, National Cattlemen's Beef Association, Public Lands Council, Motorcycle Industry Council, Specialty Vehicle Institute of America, Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association, Americans for Responsible Recreational Access.
In November of 2015, Congressman Gosar introduced legislation, H.R. 3946, the Protecting Local Communities from Executive Overreach Act, which updates the 1906 Antiquities Act in order to protect property rights, water rights and jobs from presidential abuse of the Antiquities Act. More information HERE.
H.R. 3946 is supported by all five Arizona Republicans and blocks two misguided monument efforts in the Grand Canyon Watershed and the Sedona Verde Valley, both of which have significant local opposition. The bill accomplishes this task by explicitly prohibiting declarations in Coconino, Mohave and Yavapai counties by executive fiat.
GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK, Ariz. - Overlooking the Grand Canyon on Wednesday, multiple sportsmen's groups met with Sen. John McCain to discuss their opposition to designating the Grand Canyon Watershed National Monument, which would greatly impact access to hunting and fishing, and the Arizona Game and Fish Department's ability to properly manage wildlife.
The Arizona Game and Fish Commission is opposed to a proposal that would needlessly create a national monument north of the Grand Canyon. Such a designation would limit the public's access to more than 1.7 million acres of the Kaibab Plateau and will greatly impact local residents, sportsmen and sportswomen, and AZGFD's mission to properly manage the state's wildlife.
"The land is here for the people," Mule Deer Foundation Regional Director Terry Herndon told McCain during a meeting at Grand Canyon National Park with sportsmen's groups, community leaders and business owners. "It is absolutely critical to maintain our access for hunting and fishing, and for the Arizona Game and Fish Department to be able to continue to do their job to manage our wildlife."
Those gathered also expressed concern the designation could impact access to water resources and could block further access to public lands, which will lead to degradation of wildlife populations and habitat on one of the most important hunting areas in the U.S.
Sen. McCain pledged to fight any designation of a Grand Canyon Watershed National Monument and vowed to ask Congress to overturn any such action, if created by President Barack Obama.
"If the president issues this executive order, I promise to make it my highest priority to have it overturned in January," McCain said. "We must weigh the full impact and what we're losing with this designation. This will eliminate a way of life and that isn't fair to our residents or visitors. This will also greatly affect the heritage of our state and those who depend on multi-use areas such as this."
Creation of the Grand Canyon Watershed National Monument could well transfer jurisdiction of the area watershed to the National Park Service, which already has an $11.6 billion maintenance backlog, and will hamper forest thinning projects designed to prevent catastrophic wildfires
September 22, 2016
Local anglers are excited to talk about the recent success of our local anglers. Johnny Johnson from Pinetop recently won the prestigious Western Outdoors News, U.S. Open event on Lake Mead. Over 150 anglers from Arizona, California, Nevada and other western states entered this tournament. Johnny has had a remarkable 2016 season and winning the U.S. Open is certainly one of the highlights.
Moving to the national level of bass fishing, the names of anglers who qualified for the Bassmaster Classic tournament next year have been announced. Representing Arizona will be Dean Rojas, Brett Hite and Clifford Pirch. The Bassmaster Classic participants are the top 52 anglers in the world competing in the super bowl of bass fishing. The 2017 Bassmaster Classic will be held on March 24-26, 2017, on Lake Conroe near Houston, Texas.
BASS fishing conditions for Roosevelt Lake are being reported as very good by local anglers. As ambient and water temperatures drop, fall fishing techniques are more commonly being used. It is not uncommon to see huge schools of baitfish being pursued by schools of bass. If you're fishing one of these areas, remember to cast your bait to the edge of the school rather than into the middle. Bass are opportunistic feeders and will attack an injured looking bait on the edge of the school since it is an easier target. Jerk-baits and crank-baits are very successful for these situations. Remember that a longer fishing rod in the 7'6"-8'0" range will allow longer casts to be made. The weather has remained fairly stable recently so drop-shot, Texas-rig and jig techniques are still very productive if you're looking for good numbers of fish.
The LAKE LEVEL sets another new low record for the year and currently stands at 37% full. The Salt River is flowing at 40% of its normal rate for this time of year while the Tonto Creek has slowed to about 7%. The water temperatures are in the high 70's during the day, while the water clarity remains very clear. Even with the lake dropping a couple of percent recently, the level is consistent with recent prior year levels.
TROUT fishing on the Rim streams and rivers continues to be called excellent. The summer stocking program will end at the end of the month however, the Community Fishing Program will be in about three weeks. Anglers no longer need a special license to fish community lakes, however there are different rules which apply to catch limits and keep out areas. If you're planning on fishing a community lake, be sure read the rules posted near the lake and the fishing regulations issued by AZGFD
click to enlarge
Two things define you: Your patience when you have nothing, and your attitude when you have everything.