Vice President Gore Promises to work with ASA and Other Outdoor groups
ASA's Helen Sevier and Norville Prosser Participate in Hour-Long White House Session
Washington, DC - - A group of key officials from conservation and outdoor organizations, including American Sportfishing Association (ASA) Board of Directors member Helen Sevier and ASA Vice President Norville Prosser met for an hour Thursday with Vice President Gore and other senior Administration officials in the White House's Roosevelt Room to discuss important conservation issues.
"This was an important and substantive first ever meeting between the outdoor groups and the Vice President," said Sevier, the President and CEO of B.A.S.S. Inc. and chairman of the Sportfishing and Boating Partnership Council. "The Vice President was very positive in recognizing what our groups have done and can continue to do to promote sound conservation practices, and promised that the Administration will attempt to develop closer links to our groups".
Other Administration officials who attended the meeting include Katherine McGinty, the Chairman of the President's Council on Environmental Quality, Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbit, Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman and Assistant Secretary of Agriculture for natural; Resources and Environment Jim Lyons.
According to meeting participants, the Vice President lauded Administration proposals to increase spending on many federal fish and wildlife programs and expressed his pride in the President's Executive Orders encouraging fishing and hunting activities within National Wildlife Refuges and directing the Executive Branch to promote "recreational fishing" on Federally managed lands. Gore then promised to continue working closely with the outdoor angling and hunting community as the Administration addresses vital conservation issues in the future.
In her remarks, Sevier, who was designated by the outdoors organization to be a spokesperson, encouraged the President and Vice President to take advantage of the Administration's 1996 Recreational Fishery Conservation Plan by highlighting their commitment to angling in America during National Fishing Week, June 2-8.
In her presentation to the Vice President, Sevier also:
- Recommended that the Administration institute Malcom Baldridge-like awards to recognize outstanding private sector and nonprofit organization conservation achievements.
- Proposed that the Administration bring together the environmental community, the regulated business community and the Federal regulatory officials in an effort to find common ground on Clean Water issues.
- Noted that the angling community wants to see a specific amendment related to achieving the Clean Water Act's stated goal of having all America's waters fishable as part of any Clean Water Act reauthorization bill.
Sevier concluded her comments by challenging the Administration to do as much in outreach with the conservation community as it does with the environmental community.
"We all left the meeting with the understanding that the Vice President is committed to this dialogue," said ASA's Prosser. "The fishing community should be very proud of Helen Sevier's leadership role in this outreach effort as well as of Tom Bedell's (President, Outdoor Technologies Group) pivotal role in arranging for this meeting to be on the Vice President's schedule."
Bedell, chairman of ASA's Government Affairs Freshwater subcommittee, has worked behind the scenes to ensure that the Administration understands the importance of the outdoor community to its conservation aims. Bedell was unable to attend the White House meeting.
ASA is a nonprofit trade association working to ensure healthy and sustainable fisheries resources, increase sportfishing participation and provide valuable services to make its members more profitable. ASA,s Washington, DC staff is involved in education, conservation, promotion and marketing on behalf of the sportfishing industry and America's more than 50 million anglers.