ADVOCATE OF THE YEAR is defined as any individual that has engaged in political advocacy for the betterment of wildlife conservation and in the support of the mission of the AZ Game & Fish Department.
Don regularly promotes the efforts of the Arizona Game & Fish Department on his radio show, website and newsletter promoting conservation topics that includes Operation Game Thief, AZGFD Tournament Assessment, Operation Reef Ball, AZGFD Urban Fishing and stocking programs, Sport Fishing Education, Boating Safety and Adobe Mountain Wildlife Center.
In the past year, Don’s radio guests included the following people and the associated discussion topics that focus on environmental and conservation efforts for both Arizona and nationally:
- Aug 9, 2015: Commission Chairman Kurt Davis – Wolves
- Oct 25, 2015: Chief Cantrell – Fishing issues and concerns
- Nov 11, 2015: Cong. Paul Gosar – Government Land Grabs and Antiquities Act
- Feb 2, 2016: Sen. John McCain – Grand Canyon Watershed Monument, Burrow Management, Bison Management in the GC
- Mar 27, 2016: Scott Lavin – AZGFD Expo
- Apr 10, 2016: Commission Chairman Kurt Davis – Davis, Unmacht meet with Cong. Gosar in Kingman on Grand Canyon Watershed Monument.
- Apr 24, 2016: Cong. Paul Gosar – Lake Havasu boating closures on the Colorado River; Grand Canyon Watershed Monument update.
- May 22, 2016: Chief Cantrell & Dave Weidman – Fishing and Biology issues / concerns.
- Jun 5, 2016: Jim Beers – Mexican Gray Wolf update; government influence and control
- Jul 3, 2016: Scott Lavin – AZGFD Events
- Aug 7, 2016: Cong. Paul Gosar – Grand Canyon Monument Polls, Utah’s Bears Ears Monument, Antiquities Act, Government land grabs in the Sonoran Desert, Sedona and Organ Pipe.
Promoting Conservation Agenda In Washington DC
In 2016 both Don McDowell and John Koleszar have been intimately involved with the commission, commission members, local meetings and political meetings and agenda’s surrounding the persistent pressure by the U.S. Government, Fish & Wildlife Service and multiple environmental groups to over ride states rights to manage lands and wildlife. These include:
May 2016 McDowell and Ryan Benson CEO Big Game Forever, BGF’s Attorney and Lobbyist met with Arizona Senator’s John McCain and Jeff Flake, Congressmen Paul Gosar, David Schweikert, Matt Salmon and Utah’s Congressman Rob Bishop in Washington, D.C. on the Grand Canyon Watershed Monument, Bison and the Nation Defense Authorization Act relative to the Greater Sage Grouse language and issue.
McDowell understanding the North American Model of Conservation is nationally at risk, AZGFD and Arizona States right to manage wildlife and habitat, a full on push back against federal agencies has begun to hold them accountable for their failed actions and policies, waste and states’ rights abuse with a proposed Congressional Oversight Hearing with USFWS on misappropriation of funds used on the MDW program, the true cost of the MGW program failed science and genetics, general abuse of authority of not adhering to the their own rules. Holding Tonto National Forest accountable for planning and not being transparent with stake holders developing more plans and restrictions to be implemented in the TNF over and above current Travel Management Plans.
August 2016 takes McDowell to meetings in Utah with Senator Mike Lee and Southern Utah Director, Bette Arial and future meeting with Utah Congressman Stewart on how can we, sportsman in Arizona, best partner with our neighbor, Utah, both facing problems of land grabs and millions of acres of federal and monument restrictions. These are ongoing efforts that will continue with the above politicians and to include the Utah Department of Natural Resources at some point.
Using Don’s Radio Show as a platform to inform and educate the listeners and public on conservation efforts and concerns, expose the environmentalist claims of failed and inaccurate polling on the Grand Canyon National Monument, tainted science and inaccurate science as it pertains the Gray and Mexican Gray Wolves, lack of science on Uranium impacting the California Condors, habitat impact of feral horse and burros. And most importantly the actions of federal agencies managing by restriction and closures. Explaining the overall big picture of the puzzle of a Mexico/Canada Corridor with the missing pieces being the Grand Canyon 1.7 million acres, Bears Ears9 million acres of new monument, the addition 165 million acres in 11 states of a phony ESA listing of a bird that has been proven to have healthy reproductive numbers, the Greater Sage Grouse.