Drilling in National Parks?

Oil and gas development already is harming dozens of national park sites around the country. It could get much worse.

Just how many national park sites are affected by domestic oil and gas development? 12 have active oil and gas operations on privately owned lands inside their borders, and 30 more parks could follow. At least 68 coastal national parks could be harmed by an offshore drilling plan President Donald Trump’s administration submitted in the beginning of the year. Since the start of 2017, the Trump administration has proposed oil and gas leasing close to more than 18 national parks in the West. At least 14 proposed major pipelines are in the works across the country, and some of them could end up going through national park sites.

Oil and gas development in and around park lands can harm fragile ecosystems, fragment wildlife habitat, pollute air and water, interfere with viewsheds, degrade visitors’ experiences, and ultimately hurt the economies of local communities that rely on park tourism. Pipeline construction requires developers to permanently clear land, and pipes running through parks could explode or rupture, devastating the landscape and jeopardizing human health and safety.

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Author: Mike Wirth

Source: https://www.npca.org/articles/1916-drilling-in-national-parks

25 Reasons Why Hunting Is Conservation

Reason No. 1 why Hunting Is Conservation: In 1907, only 41,000 elk remained in North America. Thanks to the money and hard work invested by hunters to restore and conserve habitat, today there are more than 1 million.

Reason No. 2 why Hunting Is Conservation: In 1900, only 500,000 whitetails remained. Thanks to conservation work spearheaded by hunters, today there are more than 32 million.

Reason No. 3 why Hunting Is Conservation: In 1900, only 100,000 wild turkeys remained. Thanks to hunters, today there are over 7 million.

Reason No. 4 why Hunting Is Conservation: In 1901, few ducks remained. Thanks to hunters’ efforts to restore and conserve wetlands, today there are more than 44 million.

Reason No. 5 why Hunting Is Conservation: In 1950, only 12,000 pronghorn remained. Thanks to hunters, today there are more than 1.1 million.

Reason No. 6 why Hunting Is Conservation: Habitat, research and wildlife law enforcement work, all paid for by hunters, help countless non-hunted species.

Reason No. 7 why Hunting Is Conservation: Through state licenses and fees, hunters pay $796 million a year for conservation programs.*

Reason No. 8 why Hunting Is Conservation: Through donations to groups like RMEF, hunters add $440 million a year to conservation efforts.*

Reason No. 9 why Hunting Is Conservation: In 1937, hunters actually requested an 11% tax on guns, ammo, bows and arrows to help fund conservation. That tax, so far, raised more than $11 billion for wildlife conservation.*

Reason No. 10 why Hunting Is Conservation: An 11% tax on guns, ammo, bows and arrows generates $371 million a year for conservation.*

Reason No. 11 why Hunting Is Conservation: All together, hunters pay more than $1.6 billion a year for conservation programs. No one gives more!*

Reason No. 12 why Hunting Is Conservation: Three out of four Americans approve of hunting, partly because hunters are America’s greatest positive force for conservation.

Reason No. 13 why Hunting Is Conservation: Every single day U.S. sportsmen contribute $8 million to conservation.

Reason No. 14 why Hunting Is Conservation: Hunting funds conservation AND the economy, generating $38 billion a year in retail spending.*

Reason No. 15 why Hunting Is Conservation: Female participation in hunting (3.35 million) is on the rise thanks to a 10% increase from 2008 to 2012.

Reason No. 16 why Hunting Is Conservation: More than 95 percent of our 222,000 members are passionate hunters. More people hunt (19.3 million) each year than play soccer (13.7 million), tennis (13.6 million) or baseball (12.1 million).

Reason No. 17 why Hunting Is Conservation: A wildlife management tool, hunting helps balance wildlife populations with what the land can support, limits crop damage and curtails disease outbreaks.

Reason No. 18 why Hunting Is Conservation: Hunters help manage growing numbers of predators such as cougars, bears, coyotes and wolves. Our government spends millions to control predators and varmints while hunters have proven more than willing to pay for that opportunity.

Reason No. 19 why Hunting Is Conservation: Hunting has major value for highway safety. For every deer hit by a motorist, hunters take six.

Reason No. 20 why Hunting Is Conservation: Hunting supports 680,000 jobs, from game wardens to waitresses, biologists to motel clerks.

Reason No. 21 why Hunting Is Conservation: Hunters provide for conservation—and for their families. Hunting is a healthy way to connect with nature and eat the world’s most organic, lean, free-range meat.

Reason No. 22 why Hunting Is Conservation: Hunters are the fuel behind RMEF and its 7 million plus acres of habitat conservation. More than 95 percent of our members are passionate hunters.

Reason No. 23 why Hunting Is Conservation: Avid hunter Theodore Roosevelt created our national forests and grasslands and forever protected 230 million acres for wildlife and the public to use and enjoy.

Reason No. 24 why Hunting Is Conservation: With funding from hunters, RMEF helped restore wild elk herds in seven states and provinces.

Reason No. 25 why Hunting Is Conservation: As society loses its ties to wildlife and conservation, the bonds with nature formed by hunting are the greatest hope for creating the next generation of true conservationists.

*financial info via America’s Sporting Heritage: Fueling the American Economy (January 2013) & Hunting in America: An Economic Force for Conservation (January 2013)

*article via http://www.rmef.org/conservation/huntingisconservation/25reasonswhyhuntingisconservation.aspx
*pictures via http://sportingclassicsdaily.com/hunting-is-conservation/

BTT Conservation Partner SweetWater Brewing Co. Participates in Juvenile Tarpon Tagging Efforts

Before the holidays, BTT Juvenile Tarpon Habitat Program Manager JoEllen Wilson and Director of Development Mark Rehbein were accompanied by SweetWater Brewing Company’s Jake Basnett and BTT member Mark Spurgeon on a juvenile tarpon tagging trip. An arduous day of seine netting in southwest Florida yielded a batch of tarpon 12 inches or less that made for viable Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tagging candidates. After four productive years, this tagging effort marked the completion of BTT’s tarpon nursery habitat restoration project at Coral Creek Preserve.

An abandoned residential development with saltwater access, Coral Creek Preserve houses 6 adjacent canals connected by a main canal withan inlet to the west branch of Coral Creek. The original restoration plan was to fill in the canals and return them to their natural pine flatwood topography. But after realizing that juvenile tarpon inhabited one of the canals, the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) decided to change tact and hand creative license of the restoration design over to BTT. SWFWMD’s decision to entrust an outside source was unprecedented. With habitat in Florida already drastically reduced, informed restoration of degraded habitat provides the best opportunity to increase the amount of juvenile tarpon nursery grounds available.

The six canals will serve as monitoring locations for testing various tarpon nursery habitat designs. Over the next 12-18 months, BTT will be using PIT tags and antenna arrays provided by sponsors like SweetWater Brewing to gather data on growth rates and survival rates, and to track tarpon movement throughout the various treatment groups as juveniles emigrate out of the canals and into Coral Creek. 

With the support of SweetWater’s #fishforafish campaign, BTT has been able to tag a juvenile tarpon for every photo of SweetWater’s stacked Goin’ Coastal series of tarpon cans tagged on social media. And with every juvenile tarpon tagged, BTT will be better able to determine which habitat characteristics are most important to a nursery habitat’s success. The completion of Coral Creek and ongoing monitoring efforts will ultimately help inform future decisions regarding critical habitat restoration design elements.

If you’d like to learn more about this project and others, please join us at our Boca Grande Event on Friday, February 1st. Visit our website at www.btt.org/bocagrandefor more information.

Photo Credit: JoEllen Wilson

PC 1: JoEllen Wilson preparing to surgically implant a PIT tag into a juvenile tarpon

PC 2: A stack of SweetWater Brewery’s Goin’ Coastal cans

Credit: https://www.bonefishtarpontrust.org/blog/2019-01-09-btt-conservation-partner-sweetwater-brewing-co-participates-juvenile-tarpon-tagging

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)
Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSS | More
http://dunstangroup.blubrry.net/2018/09/13/ryan-and-kirk-leephart-reel-trail/

Kayak Fishing Tips

It takes a long time to become an expert in kayak fishing. The period of apprenticeship, which must be served in order to transform the novice into a veteran kayak angler can be discouraging and often runs into years.

About the nearest thing to a short cut is to have an old-timer take the first-timer under his wing and let the novice accompany him on kayak fishing trips

Basically, kayak fishing is gradually making a name in the industry. Its popularity is steadily creating sustainable gratifications aside from the fact that kayaks have long been used in fishing.

History has it that even in the early times; kayak fishing has long been the primary source of fish supply ranging from the ìflatfish halibutî to other kinds of big fish. These activities, which happened from the mid 18th Century until the late part of it, were all noted by the Russian Orthodox priests. These turn of events are now known as ìThe Native History.

From then on, kayak fishing continued to dominate the fishing industry, where once, people were doubtful if it could really aid the anglers to catch some fish. The steady feature brought about by its ìsit-onî type has long been the primary characteristics of kayaks that made it an ideal fishing boat.

However, with kayak fishing, the angler has to learn how to steady the kayak as he tries to paddle through the waters, in which it is considered as part of the whole process.

Therefore, for people who wish to know some tips about kayak fishing, hereís a list that may help them enjoy this tricky activity.

1. Safety first

Like any activity, it is necessary that before an individual plunges into action, he or she must first observe some safety measures and background checks to ensure security and protection against any imminent danger.

The angler must check the weather condition, the tide, and other elements concerning kayaking.

2. Hatches should be closed at all times

The angler should always keep in mind that it is best to keep the hatches closed while fishing. Water can never seep through the kayak if the hatches are kept closed.

3. Steady fishing

When the angler is already in the midst of the waters, it is better to have an anchor to keep the kayak steady while on the verge of catching fish.

Best of all, before an individual goes out to the waters, it would be better if he let somebody know his whereabouts. In this way, somebody will be able to keep track of your activity.

As they say, safety should always come first.

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.

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.