The Professional Outfitters and Guides of America, of which MOGA is a member, joined nine other National sportsmen-conservation organizations that have announced their support of the GO Act (Senate Bill 2335) introduced by U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds of South Dakota and co-sponsored by Sens. James E. Risch (ID), John Thune (SD), and Steve Daines (MT). These 10 organizations represent tens of thousands of hunting and conservation organizations.
The outfitting and guiding industry is a highly regulated partner to federal land managers. The use of licensed and permitted outfitters provides many Americans the opportunity to experience firsthand their vast public lands and national treasures. Providing for these experiences keeps these national treasures and the agencies that manage them relevant today.
The Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act and the outfitter and guide permitting authority it contains will expire on Sept. 30, 2019. In addition to reauthorization of permitting authority, the GO Act will correct key permitting problems that threaten access for the public and impact many small businesses operating under federal permits. The GO Act will enhance opportunities for other organized groups to run trips as well as facilitate responsible access for new activities.
In addition to renewing Forest Service and BLM permitting authority, the GO Act will:
– reduce federal costs by encouraging the use of previous environmental analyses when issuing permits for the same or similar activities
– establish a reasonable permit use review formula to allow for consideration waivers due to a lack of available hunting licenses or the impact of natural disasters like drought and fire
– require agencies to reduce permit processing times
– allow extensions of existing permits for periods up to five years
Other sportsmen-conservation organizations joining the Montana Outfitter and Guides Association in support of passage of the GO Act include The Professional Outfitters and Guides of America, Archery Trade Association, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, Conservation Force, Houston Safari Club, National Rifle Association, Quality Deer Management Association, Sportsmen’s Alliance and Safari Club International.
Passage of the GO Act will serve as an important step to ensuring that the public has access to its national public lands and that the industry that supports that access is sustained.
Staff Sergeant Nathaniel Shurter was honored last week for his military service and sacrifices for our country.
Big Hearts Under the Big Sky and the Montana Outfitters and Guides Association gathered together to honor the veteran.
Around a dinner table at the Montana City Grill and Saloon Tuesday night, Shurter, his wife Olivia and outfitters and guides that are part of the Big Hearts Under the Big Sky program shared stories from their Montana adventures.
(Helena, Mont.)—Mac Minard, Executive Director of Montana Outfitters and Guides Association (MOGA), and chairman of Professional Outfitters and Guides of America (POGA), have been invited to present a paper entitled Economic Value of Outfitter Donated Trips at the 14th Annual National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses – Legislators Summit being held in Traverse City, Michigan. The theme of this year’s summit is Celebrating the American System of Conservation Funding: 80 Years of Success.
“This is a terrific honor and a unique opportunity to share the role Outfitters play in funding wildlife and fisheries conservation in the United States. I doubt most people know just how much popular conservation organizations like Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and Safari Club International depend on outfitter donations to underwrite their important activities. This forum, because of the theme, and the presence of many State Legislators, provides an excellent opportunity to share that information,” said Minard.
The paper Minard will present summarizes results of a recent study that demonstrates Outfitters, as a group, are the largest donor block to Conservation organizations in the nation. Results from an eight-state survey of 4,000 Outfitter businesses showed that in 2016, 90% of Outfitter businesses surveyed donated hunting or fishing trips to 44 Conservation organizations and the retail value of those donations exceeded $25 million dollars US.
The National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses (NASC) serves as the single source of information on a broad number of sportsmen’s issues for the 48 state legislative sportsmen’s caucuses. The NASC also serves as the unifying entity for these caucuses which allows for interaction and idea exchange among state legislators. Additionally, NASC functions as a liaison between the state caucuses, governor’s offices, and numerous industry representatives and corporate partners by facilitating their interaction and by providing forums for information and idea exchange.
Minard will be presenting on behalf of the Professional Outfitters and Guides of America.
“The proceeds from this event support the Big Hearts Under the Big Sky program so we can continue to provide one of a kind outdoor experiences at no cost to those who have provided extraordinary military service or who are battling a life threatening illness,” said Mac Minard, the Executive Director of the Montana Outfitters and Guides Association. “The Big Hearts program is about making a difference one family at a time, and the trap shoot reflected that mission by bringing together families and community members to support this great program.”
Big Hearts under the Big Sky is the ‘giving-back’ arm of the Montana Outfitters and Guides Association (MOGA). The Big Hearts program works to provide fully guided and outfitted outdoor trips, at no charge, to children diagnosed with life threatening illness, women suffering from breast cancer, and military veterans who have provided extraordinary service to our country.
As of this writing, Disaster Emergency Services (DES) reports that the Lodgepole Fire Complex, located 52 miles W/NW of Jordan and 15 miles east of Winnett, has burned more than 200,000 acres and is still not contained. It was started as a lightning strike.
According to on the ground reports as many as five ranches have suffered complete losses. Help is needed now and will continue to be needed in the future.
MOGA members have expressed an interest in helping their fellow Montanans during this time of crisis.
According to Wagner Harmon, MOGA President-Elect, “This is one of the driest years on record and outfitters and landowners are in desperate need of help now and in the future”.
“Many MOGA members are ranchers and farmers as well as outfitters. As members of these communities we have always stood with those in need and. I am asking the MOGA membership, across the state, to stand with the folks of Garfield County in their time of need” said Harmon.
The Garfield County Fire Foundation has been set up to receive cash donations. According to Rex Phipps with the Garfield Bank, 100% of the donations will be applied to fire relief. Distribution of the finds will be overseen by a local committee to ensure the money goes where it is needed most.
To Make a Donation
Please send checks to:
Questions about donating may be directed to Rex Phipps
at the Garfield Bank at (406) 557-2201
The following sections of rivers will be closed to fishing daily from 2 p.m. to midnight until conditions improve effective Wednesday:
These restrictions come two weeks later in the year than the first restrictions seen in 2015 and 2016.
Regional Fisheries Manager Travis Horton said, “We’ve been fairly fortunate so far this year with flows in general, but temperatures are high and could stay that way for a while.”
Additional restrictions are possible on other stretches of these or other southwest Montana rivers in the coming weeks.
For up-to-date information on restrictions related to drought, visit http://fwp.mt.gov/news/restrictions/.
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