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February briefs

Freeman takes seat on OWAA’s board

Active member Mark Freeman accepted a board seat after second-year board member Dave Stalling resigned from the board, citing personal reasons, his recent relocation to Washington, D.C., and that he’s no longer working in the wildlife conservation or outdoors profession. “For those reasons, combined with time and financial restrictions, it would not be fair to the organization nor me to continue on the board,” Stalling wrote. Freeman was a candidate for the board in last May’s board election, and according to OWAA bylaws, the person who received the next-most votes is offered the seat. Freeman accepted and will serve Stalling’s remaining term, which is a little less than two years. He has withdrawn his name from the 2009 board candidate race. Freeman is a staff writer and columnist for the Medford, Ore., Mail Tribune, has been an OWAA member since 1993, and is a member of three OWAA committees, including the Newspaper Section, Contest Committee and National Affairs & Environment Committee. ♦

Update your info

If you have not done so, we encourage you to review and update your membership directory listing. Return the update form that was inserted with your dues invoice to Robin Giner at OWAA, 121 Hickory St., Suite 1, Missoula, MT 59801, or fax 406-728-7445, or e-mail changes to rginer@owaa.org. ♦

Berg takes helm at Bowhunting

InterMedia Outdoors has hired Christian Berg as editort of Petersen’s Bowhunting, North America’s largest archery hunting magazine. In his new role, Berg will oversee Bowhunting’s editorial staff and all aspects of editorial content. Berg is based out of InterMedia’s Harrisburg, Pa., office. “Taking the reins of a nationally recognized brand like Petersen’s Bowhunting is an exciing opportunity and a humbling honor,” Berg said. Berg previously served as outdoor writer at The Morning Call newspaper in Allentown, Pa., where he worked for 11 years. During his time at The Morning Call, his work was honored with 17 state and national writing awards, including eight OWAA Excellence in Craft awards. An OWAA active member since 2004, Berg also serves on the board of directors of the Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association. ♦

Anyone know a good agent?

Chip Gross recently lost his literary agent and is looking for a new one. He’d like to speak with anyone in OWAA who uses a literary agent. If you know someone, give Gross a call at 419-512-6064 or e-mail him at chipgross@hughes.net. ♦

Free DVDs available for review

Rocky Mountain Television is offering outdoor communicators complimentary copies of two new DVDs for review and possible mention in writings or broadcasts. High-quality digital images of the DVDs are available. The DVDs are “Danny King’s Catfishing – BIGGEST Secrets,” featuring over an hour of catfish-catching action including tips, tactics, equipment and techniques; and “Word Wranglin’ & Wrymin,’” the best of outdoor, pack-string, cowboy poetry and prose by John Nelson. To receive one or both of the DVDs, e-mail your name and postal address to Kathy Mattoon, general manager, Rocky Mountain Television/Productions, at Kat@RMTV.net. RMTV’s Web site is www.rmtv.net. ♦

Book entries due March 31

The National Indie Excellence 2009 competition presents an opportunity for authors and independent publishers seeking more recognition within the publishing industry.

International publishers and authors are also welcome to submit their books. Winners and finalists will receive national media and industry exposure.

Grand prize: Planned Television Arts (www.plannedtvarts.com), the nation’s largest and oldest book promoter, will provide a customized media campaign valued at $4,200.

First prize: Event Management Services (www.emsincorporated.com), an industry leader in the promotion of books, will provide a comprehensive print publicity campaign valued at $3,695.

Visit www.indieexcellence.com for a list of categories, submission information and a full description of the prizes. Entry deadline is March 31, 2009. ♦

Technophiles

• Calls of the wild. Since 2006, the Center for Biological Diversity has offered free ringtones of the authentic sounds of endangered species – 80 in all. Two of the latest: peregrine falcon and elephant seal pup. To date, 200,000 of the wild calls have been downloaded, according to a Jan. 2 article in the New York Times. Check out the ringtones at www.rareearthtones.org.

• Blogging for dollars. Not sure that blogging is worth the bother? Read what Slate senior editor Michael Agger discovered about what it takes to make the big bucks blogging: www.slate.com/id/2201325/.

• Blogging for a job. If you can’t make your millions blogging, it may at least get you noticed by a prospective employer. Careerbuilder.com has some tips on turning your blog into a roving resume: http://msn.careerbuilder.com/custom/msn/careeradvice/viewarticle.aspx?articleid=1751.

• Web siting. If you’ve ever copied text and then needed to capitalize sentences or convert line breaks, then Text Fixer can save you a lot of needless manual labor. Find out what it can do at www.textfixer.com. ♦

Liere wins Wrangler column contest

Alan Liere, a Spokane, Wash., outdoor writer and photographer, won the 2008 Wrangler ProGear “Garments are Gear” Column Contest with his vivid tribute to Cordura-faced hunting pants used to fend off cactus spines in Arizona and ugly thorns in Alaska.

Launched in 2007, the contest is open to all OWAA members and is intended to challenge writers to creatively and skillfully illustrate how garments are gear.

A panel of judges determined Liere earned first place, winning a year’s supply of Wrangler ProGear garments. Four other authors, Jay Strangis, Milt Rosko, Gail Jokerst and Jerry Dennis, earned second through fifth places, respectively, also winning Wrangler ProGear clothing.

Judge Chris Batin, editor and publisher of Alaska Angler and Alaska Hunter, complimented Liere for his use of “humor to convey the main point and exaggeration to punch it home.” Other contest judges included Jay Cassell, deputy editor of Field & Stream; John Marsh, freelance editor and writer; Ron Schara, columnist and host of TV’s “Backroads with Ron & Raven”; and Wayne van Zwoll, author, freelance writer and photographer.

“Wrangler ProGear congratulates the winners and genuinely thanks all members of OWAA who entered. We hope to see everyone again next year for the third annual Wrangler ProGear ‘Garments are Gear’ Column Contest,” said Joanna Bragdon, marketing coordinator, Wrangler Outdoor Brands.

The Wrangler ProGear brand produces specialized garments for hunting and shooting sports including pants, field shirts and jackets in the most popular camo patterns. ♦

Feds want feedback on habitat incentives

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is asking for public comment on changes to the Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP), designed to develop and improve fish and wildlife habitat on eligible land and water areas.

USDA released an interim final rule in January that contains the legislative changes to WHIP. The rule, published in the Federal Register, is open for public comments. Public comments must be submitted by March 17.

“This highly effective and widely accepted program helps conservation-minded landowners establish and improve high quality fish and wildlife habitat on their land,” Schafer said. “Changes to this program are designed to enhance fish and wildlife habitat on private agricultural lands.”

The WHIP interim final rule can be viewed at the USDA National Resources Conservation Service Web site (www.nrcs.usda.gov); at the official government regulation Web site (www.regulations.gov); and at the Federal Register (www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/).

This interim final rule will incorporate statutory changes and establish the program’s proposed policy for the life of the 2008 Farm Bill. Public comments on this interim final rule will be used to develop the final rule for WHIP.

USDA-NRCS administers WHIP, a voluntary conservation program that provides financial and technical assistance to private landowners to develop and improve high-quality habitat for fish and wildlife. Producers receive assistance to develop upland, wetland, riparian and aquatic habitat areas on their property. WHIP agreements generally last from one year after the last conservation practice is completed up to 10 years from the date the agreement is signed. USDA-NRCS can pay up to 75 percent of the cost to apply or install conservation practices for permanent fish and wildlife habitat. Agreements of 15 years or longer are available for essential plant and animal habitat.

The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, or 2008 Farm Bill, reauthorized and amended WHIP. There are now three categories of eligible land for this program – private agricultural lands, non-industrial private forest lands and Indian lands. The new Farm Bill excludes non-agricultural lands and publicly owned lands (federal, state, county or local) from eligibility.

Up to 25 percent of WHIP funds will now be available for long-term agreements (15 years or longer) to protect and restore essential plant and animal habitat. Previously, the amount available for these types of agreements was capped at 15 percent of WHIP funds. USDA-NRCS can pay up to 90 percent of the cost to apply or install conservation practices for essential plant and wildlife habitat. Essential plant and animal habitat includes critical habitat designated under federal and state law, locations of listed or candidate species that can be improved with specific practices, or particularly rare and unique habitats that could support at-risk species.

Another statutory change specifies that payments to an individual or legal entity cannot exceed $50,000 annually. Projects that support state, regional or national initiatives will be given priority under certain conditions.

For additional information about WHIP, visit www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/WHIP/ or call 202-720-1844. ♦

Flanigan to conduct seminar at sports show

Wildlife photographer Timothy Flanigan will share his knowledge during a seminar at the 2009 Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show Feb. 7-15 at the State Farm Show Complex, Harrisburg, Pa. Flanigan will present a seminar on “Tips for Successful Outdoor Photography.” Flanigan has been shooting wildlife photos for the print media for more than 30 years with photo credits in numerous books, magazines, newspapers, greeting and postcards, calendars and travel brochures. His photography and writing have garnered numerous national, regional and state awards. Flanigan is the southcentral field editor for the Pennsylvania Outdoor Times, a contributing photographer to The Upland Almanac, The Ruffed Grouse Society, Buckmasters and Buckmasters On-Line. He is published in Wildfowl Carving Magazine, North American Whitetail Magazine, Westsylvania Magazine and Game and Fish Publications. His photography can also be seen on the covers of the Pennsylvania Game News Magazine and its annual calendar. The Eastern Sports & Outdoor Show is the largest consumer event of its kind in North America. Attracting outdoor sports enthusiasts from Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware, New Jersey, New York and Washing-ton, D.C. ♦

Stu Apte tournament scheduled for April

The fourth Annual Stu Apte Fly Fishing Sailfish Tournament has been rescheduled to April 2009 in order to properly prepare for the Guatemala tourney, which had been planned for January. The new dates are April 25-30 and include one pre-fishing day and three days of tournament fishing. Early registrants will have their airfare from Miami paid for. The rules and new schedule are listed online at www.stuapteflytournament.com. ♦

U.K. Web publisher lands Fish & Fly Magazine

Fish & Fly Ltd, owners of the popular U.K.-based online magazine www.fishandfly.com, have acquired the rights and title of its print namesake in the USA, the award-winning Fish & Fly Magazine, from Turnstile Publishing Co. of Orlando, Fla.

Richard Hewitt, chairman of Fish & Fly Ltd., said: “We have long admired Fish & Fly Magazine and the work of founding editor and publisher, Tom Pero, and his talented colleagues. It is a beautiful, top-quality publication featuring adventure fly-fishing for genuine enthusiasts like us. Acquiring this award-winning title is a dream come true and will accelerate our plans to build Fish & Fly into a worldwide fly-fishing brand.” ♦

Deadline nears for Metcalf Institute Diversity Fellowships

The deadline for a 2009 Metcalf Fellowship for Journalists is quickly approaching. Applications for the Metcalf Institute Diversity Fellowships in Environmental Reporting, September 2009-June 2010, must be postmarked by Feb. 23, 2009.

Metcalf’s Diversity Fellowships support minority journalists to study marine and environmental science topics in a one-month independent study, and cover science and the environment at a news outlet such as: CNN, NPR’s Science Friday, PRI’s The World, The Providence Journal, Chicago Tribune or The Boston Globe.

Pending funding, the Diversity Fellowships are available to traditionally under-represented racial or ethnic minority journalists in all media with U.S. citizenship. Each 10-month fellowship comes with a $30,000 stipend and travel support.

Details are available at www.metcalfinstitute.org or by contacting fellowships@metcalfinstitue.org or 401-874-6211. ♦

1,000 miles of rivers in 7 states to be protected as wild, scenic

WASHINGTON – The second-largest wild and scenic package in history passed the Senate on Jan. 15, safeguarding more than 1,000 miles of rivers in Oregon, Idaho, Arizona, Wyoming, Utah, Vermont and Massachusetts. S. 22, the bipartisan Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009, includes important protections for 270,000 acres of land along 82 new wild and scenic rivers. The legislation also contains new wilderness designations for more than 2 million acres of public land.

“We applaud the Senate for demonstrating its commitment to protect the nation’s rivers and clean water, and our priceless natural heritage for future generations. We especially appreciate the leadership of Sen. Harry Reid and Sen. Jeff Bingaman in passing this legislation,” said David Moryc, senior director of river protection at American Rivers. “These rivers are the best of the best and wild and scenic designations will help many communities by safeguarding clean drinking water and boosting recreation and local economies.”

A wild and scenic designation creates a protected buffer along both sides of a river, blocks dams and preserves a river’s free-flowing nature. It also helps protect and improve water quality, as well as the river’s unique historic, cultural, scenic, ecological and recreational values.

The law was enacted in 1968 and three years ago American Rivers set the goal of designating 40 new wild and scenic rivers by the 40th anniversary of the law. Passage of this package marks the achievement of that goal.

For more information visit www.AmericanRivers.org. ♦

50,000 sign wetlands petition

WASHINGTON – The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership last month announced that its “We Are Wetlands” petition drive has reached 50,000 signatures, illustrating the deep desire of the American public to see Congress pass strong new clean water protections.

TRCP initiated the petition drive in April 2008 with a goal of adding 80,000 names – one for each acre of natural wetlands that our country loses each year – to the call for legislation that restores the integrity of the Clean Water Act.

“At a time when a series of Supreme Court decisions and subsequent rulemakings have dramatically weakened the Clean Water Act,” said TRCP initiative manager Geoff Mullins, “we need our leaders to take decisive actions to restore its original scope. Nothing short of a critical resource for millions of waterfowl and countless aquatic species hangs in the balance.”

“America’s hunters and anglers know full well the importance of wetlands to the resources they revere,” said TRCP President and CEO George Cooper. “Five to 7 million waterfowl annually use wetlands as feeding and resting areas, and nine of every 10 fish caught recreationally depend on wetlands at some point in their lives. Put simply, it’s impossible to overstate the value of wetlands to our nation’s fish and wildlife – and the American sportsman.”

“In addition to their importance to sportsmen, it must be understood that wetlands matter to everyone because they are nature’s water filters,” said Tom Franklin, TRCP senior vice president. “As our population grows, preserving our natural wetlands means preserving clean drinking water supplies for all Americans.”

To sign the “We Are Wetlands” petition, visit www.wearewetlands.org. ♦

Comments sought on Healthy Forests Reserve Program

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is soliciting public comments on the Healthy Forests Reserve Program. HFRP was signed into law as part of the Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003 and was reauthorized by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Farm Bill). A proposed rule for the program was published in the Jan. 14 Federal Register.

“Through HFRP, landowners can restore and enhance forest ecosystems to promote the recovery of threatened and endangered species, improve biodiversity, reduce the risk of catastrophic fire, and enhance carbon sequestration,” said NRCS Chief Arlen Lancaster.

To be eligible to participate in HFRP, land must restore, enhance or measurably increase the likelihood of recovery of a threatened or endangered species, and must improve biological diversity, and be privately owned or owned by an Indian tribe.

The proposed rule may be viewed at: www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/. Comments must be received on or before Feb. 13, 2009.

For more information on NRCS, HFRP, and conservation programs available in your community, visit NRCS online at: www.nrcs.usda.gov. ♦

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