Senate Passes a Sweeping Land Conservation Bill

WASHINGTON — The Senate on Tuesday passed a sweeping public lands conservation bill, designating more than one million acres of wilderness for environmental protection and permanently reauthorizing a federal program to pay for conservation measures.

The Senate voted 92 to 8 in favor of the bill, offering a rare moment of bipartisanship in a divided chamber and a rare victory for environmentalists at a time when the Trump administration is working aggressively to strip away protections on public lands and open them to mining and drilling.

“It touches every state, features the input of a wide coalition of our colleagues, and has earned the support of a broad, diverse coalition of many advocates for public lands, economic development, and conservation,” said Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, the majority leader.

Western lawmakers of both parties have been working for four years on the bill, which will next be taken up by the House of Representatives, where it also enjoys bipartisan support.

Among the most consequential provisions is the permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a federal program established in 1964 that uses fees and royalties paid by oil and gas companies drilling in federal waters to pay for onshore conservation programs.

Although the program has long enjoyed bipartisan support, Congress typically renews it for only a few years at a time, and it expired on Sept. 30 and has not been renewed. The new public lands package would authorize the program permanently, ending its long cycle of nearing or passing expiration and awaiting Congressional renewal.

 

“Today’s vote is a big step toward ending the cycle of uncertainty that has plagued America’s best conservation program,” said Kameran Onley, director of United States Government Relations at the Nature Conservancy. “At no cost to the taxpayer, the Land and Water Conservation Fund has helped expand national parks, preserve pristine landscapes, and create trails and athletic fields across the country.”

The bill designates 1.3 million acres in Utah, New Mexico, Oregon and California as “wilderness,” the most stringent level of federal land protection. It prohibits any development and the use of most motorized vehicles. And the bill creates less-stringent but permanent protections of land in Montana and Washington state.

With the passage, the core group of lawmakers responsible for the negotiations was jubilant. Staff members fist-bumped in the hallway as the lawmakers — all from Western states except for Senator Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia and the new ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee — celebrated the bill’s passage.

“It took public lands to bring divided government together,” said Senator Steve Daines, a Montana Republican.

Emily Cochrane contributed reporting.

For more news on climate and the environment, follow @NYTClimate on Twitter.

Coral Davenport covers energy and environmental policy, with a focus on climate change, from the Washington bureau. She joined The Times in 2013 and previously worked at Congressional Quarterly, Politico and National Journal. @CoralMDavenport Facebook

per https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/12/climate/senate-conservation-bill.html

Bonefish Connectivity by Dr. Aaron Adams, BTT Director of Science and Conservation

There are two ways that fish populations in different locations can be connected – by migrations of adults and by the transport of fish larvae by ocean currents. Learning how, and to what extent, bonefish, tarpon, and permit populations are connected is important for conservation because this information allows us to design the most effective management plans.

On the local scale – say an island in the Bahamas, or the Florida Keys – bonefish in different locations are connected by spawning migrations. Tagging and tracking of bonefish in the Bahamas, Belize, and Florida Keys shows that for most of the year adult bonefish stick to a small area. In other words, if you fish a flat often, you are probably fishing to the same local population of bonefish. But during spawning season, these bonefish undergo long-distance migrations to spawning sites – we’ve tracked bonefish migrating 70 miles from their home flat to a spawning site, and then returning to their home flat. This means that during the spawning season, bonefish from a wide region can mix.

This leads us to the regional scale – say between Mexico, Belize, Cuba, Florida. Gathered in large groups, bonefish swim offshore at night to spawn. They spawn in the top 200 feet or so of water that is thousands of feet deep. They use a method called broadcast spawning – they eject eggs and sperm into the open water, where fertilization occurs. The fertilized eggs hatch in about 24 hours, and the tiny larvae live as plankton in the open ocean for between 41 and 71 days. During this oceanic phase, ocean currents can act to retain the larvae near their parents’ location, or the currents can transport the larvae long distances. So a larvae that is spawned in south Andros, the Bahamas, might end up becoming a juvenile in Andros, or it might end up on another island in the Bahamas or on the north coast of Cuba. The end result is that bonefish in separate locations are essentially part of the same regional population.

What does this mean for conservation? On the local scale, habitat conservation and protection must focus on adult home flats, spawning migration pathways, spawning sites, and juvenile habitats. On the regional scale, we have to make sure that bonefish populations are healthy in all locations, even if we only have one favorite fishing location. And that the local conservation measures, like habitat protection, are adequate in all locations to ensure that the local populations are healthy. In other words, every location where bonefish live is important to having a healthy regional population, and your local fishery depends on a healthy regional population as well as local conservation measures.

Article via Bonefish & Tarpon Trust

BrandBuilders Podcast + ReelTrail

BrandBuilders Podcast with Ryan & Kirk Leaphart from ReelTrail

 

September 13, 2018  |  BrandBuilders  & Dunstan Group
If you’re an outdoor enthusiast or weekend warrior, you’ve probably got a bunch of used gear in your garage that you hate to throw out. Ebay, Amazon, Craigslist, and even Nextdoor are all options… but they all have their drawbacks, too.
Enter father and son consignment shop owners from Charleston who thought there had to be an easier way — so they designed ReelTrail, a buying and selling website and app that also gives back to environmental causes. Ryan and Kirk Leaphart joins us on the Brandbuilders Podcast with The Dunstan Group!

 

 

Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 25:37 — 35.2MB)
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http://dunstangroup.blubrry.net/2018/09/13/ryan-and-kirk-leephart-reel-trail/

Women In The Outdoors: Female-Focused Programs For a Fuller Life

 

It’s 2018. The world has changed from the closed-minded appeal of businessmen and housewives to an open, joyful, and exhilarating world where everyone has the chance to get active and be rewarded with the fulfilling opportunities nature provides us. As part of the movement to empower and encourage women to get active and start participating in outdoor activities like hunting and fishing, multiple state programs have been founded to educate women on water fowling, fly fishing, big game hunting, and a variety of other activities.

These programs range from one-day outdoor classes to multi-day camping trips. Through these programs, women are becoming engaged in the outdoors and are learning key tactics like wilderness survival. It’s through these programs that many women are beginning to see how fulfilling an outdoor lifestyle can be. Since many women lack good role models to teach them about the outdoors, these programs are excellent for all ages. Younger girls can even find similar experiences through youth hunting courses and other outreach programs.

Local & National Programs

Almost every state now offers a program aimed at women to teach them how to survive in the wilderness, hunt, or fish. The programs include a variety of skills and the are quickly gaining in popularity. One of the fastest growing programs in the country is the Women In The Outdoors Program offered by the National Wild Turkey Foundation. Before implementing the program, NWTF also supported many smaller programs offered through various foundations. With the national program, they are able to reach that many more women.

The issues that used to plague smaller programs—like lack of media attention—are no more. Since popularity of this kind of program began growing a few years back, multiple programs have taken off at the local, state, and national level. For instance, one newly founded organization, Women Outdoors, works across the nation to promote friendship, adventure, and leadership through programs that organize hiking, kayaking, biking, and cross-country skiing events.

 

The purpose of these programs is to engage, inspire, and empower women to get active in the outdoors. Many towns and counties themselves have been inspired by the success of national organizations to create their own activities for women. In fact, there’s a good chance you can find a Women In The Outdoors program in your area to teach all sorts of outdoor skills.

What’s Covered?

Every program varies by interest, region, and the organization running it. Some wildlife refuges have sponsored water fowling and hunting clinics for women, while Fish & Game boards across the country have founded multiple fishing and hunting clinics that range from fowling to big game tracking. But, not all programs are devoted to fishing and hunting activities. Many, such as those provided by the Women Outdoors organization, are focused on athletic outings like biking and kayaking. Other programs are not so much focused on teaching the skill itself, but on teaching other skills—such as communication and leadership—through activities such as skiing and hiking. The latter type of program are taken at the community-level and give women an outlet to find friends and network with other women in their area.

How Can I Join One?

If you’re interested in joining a Women In The Outdoors program, there are many ways to see what’s available to you. Depending on the type of program you’re seeking, you can call up your local Fish & Game office directly to see what they have or check online to see if one of the many national organizations has a program in your region.

If there aren’t any programs being offered yet, don’t be discouraged. In fact, you could be the one to start. Even if you don’t have the know-how to lead the class, you can bring a chapter to your region by getting in touch with an organization who offers programs you’re interested in. Just reach out to them and let them know there are interested people in your area who want a program in your town. They can help you assemble a program and find the people you need to lead it.

You can also contact your Fish & Game office and see about having an Officer or Forest Ranger come speak with you and the other people who are interested in your area. If you can get even a short list of interested women who would like to see a local program, they might even be able to set one up for you.

Before You Go

If you’re planning on joining one of these programs, make sure to get the gear you need! At ReelTrail, you can score great deals on new and used hunting, hiking, fishing, climbing, and snow gear for everyone in your house. Some gear has never been worn while other pieces may already be broken in for you!

Browse ReelTrail for all your outdoor needs, from night vision goggles, to kayaks, snowboards and skis, to backpacking and climbing equipment.

Have a closet full of gear you don’t use? Sell it on ReelTrail for the lowest fees around. Only pay when your item sells, and print discounted shipping labels directly on our website and app! Download the app for free in the App Store and Google Play Store.

Ever Wanted to Bow Fish?

Also known as Bow fishing, this is a sport wherein a fisherman uses archery equipment to fish.

A regular hunting bow can be used for fishing by simply attaching a reel to the front of the bow grip.

Archery fishing is especially favored by regular hunters when regular game like deer are off season. This way they can continuously hone their skills for whatever season it may be.

Before engaging in archery fishing, one must first take into consideration the following:

1. A fisherman must be duly licensed. Some states require that an individual have a state license to fish.

2. Equipment; Most states have a predetermined set of approved equipment for archery fishing.

3. Archery Safety Course; Still, some states require that an individual go through an approved safety course for archery fishing to ensure that the individual is well versed with the proper safety precautions and information regarding applicable laws in fishing.

4. Seasons; Bow fishing in some states can only be done in certain seasons. This is to allow the fish to spawn.

5. Species of fish; Some states have rules forbidding archery fishing for some species of fish.

The following skills are necessary for an individual to obtain and practice:

Knot tying. Though it may seem like a simple task, tying knots that will not slip (line for the arrow) are crucial in bow fishing.

Tuning; Tuning is making sure that the bow is at its best working condition. To ensure this, one has to continuously adjust the rest and calibrate the nock.

For a faster tuning process, one may shoot a regular bow-fishing arrow (without the tip) onto a target made of cardboard.

Marksmanship or targeting; Bow fishing and bow hunting, though similar on some aspects, really do differ on many things. Arrows for bow fishing are heavier, have larger arrow tips and, the most obvious one, has a string attached to the arrow.

And since fish are shot in the water, resistance differs as when compared to shooting in the air (for bow hunting of games)

There are various methods or ways of archery fishing. This includes the following:

1. Still hunting; A fisherman selects a place by a salt or freshwater creek or the lake in which he would wait for passing fish to shoot its bow at.

2. Stalking; This can be done on foot or while on a boat. One is in constant motion in an attempt to locate fish.

3. Ambush; Fish that are best ambushed are the ones that are spawning since they tend to crowd thus increasing chances of target.

What are you waiting for, go try it out!

Browse ReelTrail for all your outdoor needs, from night vision goggles, to kayaks, snowboards and skis, to backpacking and climbing equipment.

Have a closet full of gear you don’t use? Sell it on ReelTrail for the lowest fees around. Only pay when your item sells, and print discounted shipping labels directly on our website and app! Download the app for free in the App Store and Google Play Store.

Plan a Trip, Get Outside, Enjoy Nature

Are you interested in taking an outdoors trip? Whether you want to your trip to be alone, with your friends, with your family, or even just with your romantic partner, you will need to find a place to visit, as well as activities to participate in. If you have yet to decide what you would like to do for your next trip, have you ever though about going camping and hiking? When alone, camping and hiking are both fun filled activities, but when combined, they are, literally, the perfect combination.

Although it is nice to know that hiking and camping are the perfect combination, you may be wondering exactly why that is. If you are, you will find that there are an unlimited number of reasons as to why hiking and camping are the perfect fit for each other and the perfect way to spend your next vacation. For reasons as to why you should give camping and hiking a try, you will want to continue reading on.

As previously stated, camping and hiking are things that just seem to fit together. This is apparent in a number of different ways. For instance, hiking trails are commonly found in areas or establishments that are referred to as hiking parks. Hiking parks, especially large popular ones, often have their own onsite campgrounds. You will also find that most public campground parks have at least one or two hiking trials on them. The fact that hiking and camping experts automatically pair hiking and camping together is a sign that camping and hiking really are the perfect combination.

Another reason why camping and hiking may be perfect for your next trip or vacation is because they are both designed for individuals of all ages. This is important, especially if you are looking for something to do with your family. Children of all ages, as well as adults, enjoy both camping and hiking. In fact, in the United States, you will find that hiking trials come in a number of different difficulty levels. For instance, it is more than possible to find hiking trails that are designed for beginners. These types of hiking trials would be ideal, in most cases, for young children or elderly individuals.

The cost of hiking and camping are another one of the many reasons why they make the perfect combination, as well as why they may be perfect for your next trip, vacation, or adventure. Hiking and camping are both affordable activities for you to participate in. In fact, if you decide to make a reservation at a public campground park, you will likely find that you are able to go hiking, on an onsite trail, free of charge. The same may even be said for if you visited a hiking park and decided to stay overnight. While many activities may end up being free for you, you will see that it all depends on the establishment in question.

If you are interested in combining hiking and camping to make the perfect adventure for you, your family, your friends, or you and your romantic partner, you may want to think about making your arrangements in advance. Hiking and camping are both popular activities in the United States. While you may not necessarily need to make reservations to go hiking, you may need to make them if you plan on camping overnight at a hiking park or in a public campground. In fact, the earlier that you make your reservations, the more choices you may have, as many establishments allow you to handpick your own camping spots.

As you can see, there are a number of different reasons as to why hiking and camping make the perfect combination, as well as why they would be great for your next vacation, trip, or adventure. Hiking and camping is something that you may at least want to think about discussing with your traveling party. Once it is mentioned, you may be surprised with just how many people would like to give this perfect combination a try.