Westminster, Colo. – AFFTA President, Randi Swisher, announced today the formation of a matching fund to be used to support the Utah Stream Access Coalition’s challenge to the constitutionality of Utah’s Public Waters Access Act. “We are going to match up to $2,500.00 in contributions from our members who contribute to the fund,” said Swisher. “We know our members care about access, we have heard that loud and clear and we are asking them to join with us in this financial support.”
AFFTA is asking its members to notify AFFTA when they make a contribution to the coalition. AFFTA will match that contribution dollar for dollar up to a total of $2500.00. The money will be used by the coalition for court costs, witnesses and other related litigation expenses. Without financial support from industry and anglers it maybe a lost cause. “We don’t have a huge financial war chest for things like this,” said AFFTA Treasurer Scott Harkins. “But we want our members to know we will support important challenges to our businesses like this one if they will.”
The coalition has filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Utah’s Public Waters Access Act passed last year. The coalition filed the suit because the Act effectively prohibits public access to hundreds of miles of rivers and streams in Utah.
Access to fishing opportunities is an essential element to the financial well being of AFFTA member companies. AFFTA’s mission, to promote the sustained growth of the fly fishing industry, is threatened when fishing opportunities are limited, or in worst cases, denied. “From the perspective of the fly fishing industry as a whole, the multiplier effect of anglers traveling to and fishing in Utah is important, impacting not only guides, outfitters, retailers, and other businesses in Utah, but hundreds of other fishing-related businesses throughout the country,” said AFFTA Chairman Jim Klug.
For more information about the Utah Stream Access Coalition go to www.utahstreamaccess.org
AFFTA is the sole trade organization for the fly fishing industry, working to promote the industry’s sustained growth. AFFTA represents more than 300 small businesses including, manufacturers, retailers, guides and media operating in more than 42 states.