Wednesday, April 6, 2016
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Sportsmen for the Boundary Waters

The Power of Partnership

Sportsmen for the Boundary Waters is committed to protecting fish, wildlife and sporting experiences in Boundary Waters Wilderness from the risk of toxic pollution from proposed sulfide-ore mining, but we cannot do it alone. We are grateful for the support of our partners and supporting businesses. Our combined effort and reach gives us a national presence and offers the chance to learn from one another. To date, we’re joined by 12 amazing organizations:

We’re proud to welcome the  American Sportfishing Association (ASA) as our newest partner. The American Sportfishing Association is committed to looking out for the interests of the sportfishing industry and the entire recreational fishing community. ­We especially want to thank them for recognizing the unique values of the Boundary Waters Wilderness in a recent letter to the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service (read here).

"There are few places left in the country quite like the Boundary Waters in the upper reaches of Minnesota. The Superior National Forest, Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW), and the Rainy River drainage basin are comprised of many unique natural resources and teem with walleye, bass, pike, trout, and panfish. Simply put, it is an anglers paradise. Because of its distinction, the debate over the Twin Metals proposed sulfide-ore copper mine is a serious one with long-term implications." -- Scott Gudes, Vice President of Government Affairs for ASA

The entirety of the U.S. fishing tackle industry is now engaged with this important issue, with ASA joining the American Fly Fishing Trade Association as supporters.

Among the 17 supporting businesses on board with Sportsmen for the Boundary Waters is the Twin Cities-based Rapala family of brands, which has worked in partnership with us since our inception. "As the past ASA Board Chair, and someone who has enjoyed fishing this area with my son, I am pleased to hear that the American Sportfishing Association has joined the debate over the future of this unique fishery," said Gregg Wollner, Executive Vice President for Rapala and former Chairman of the Board for ASA.

St. Croix Rods is another fishing company in support of our efforts. "As a company that's based in the Upper Midwest, we are obviously interested in any proposals that have the potential to negatively impact water resources, the fish and the fishing opportunities they support. This idea of allowing a risky type of mining on the edge of one of the country's premier northwoods fisheries is one that should be dismissed quickly, and I'm happy that ASA has weighed in on the matter," said Paul Schluter, ASA board member and president of  St. Croix Rods.

Please join us in thanking these organizations and businesses for their support. It’s always a pleasure to connect with fellow sportsmen. While not everyone we meet has a story about hunting or fishing in the Boundary Waters, we all aim to protect the opportunity to experience and enjoy that pristine Wilderness.

The next time someone asks you what Sportsmen for the Boundary Waters is all about, don’t just take our word for it. Much like Yellowstone, Yosemite, or the Grand Canyon, the Boundary Waters is best experienced in person, and even better when shared. "Given the gravity of the threat, we encourage all hunters and anglers to join this cause and prioritize the protection of the Boundary Waters' more than 1 million acres of clean water and pristine forests and wetlands. This is not simply an issue that matters to Minnesotans," said Collin O'Mara of the National Wildlife Federation and Ted Roosevelt IV, great grandson of the 26th president, in a submission to the Rochester Post Bulletin today.

As we transition into spring, many of us are going through our gear and getting ready for another exciting season. Whether you’re tying flies, fixing reels, or just making sure that your cooler is clean enough to use, be sure to stop and think about how your plans would be disrupted if your favorite fishing spot was inaccessible or polluted beyond repair.

Speak up for the Wilderness you love.