In late April, the American Fly Fishing Trade Association board of directors traveled to Washington, D.C. to lobby for and raise awareness of the fly-fishing industry. After a board meeting Monday night, the board then spent Tuesday and Wednesday lobbying for those things that enable those in the fly-fishing industry to make a living: clean water, access to public lands, and healthy fisheries.
AFFTA Chairman of the Board Michael White noted, “I am grateful to the AFFTA Board of Directors for committing their time and own dime to deliver a consistent message to our government. A clear message that the business of our members is enhanced by policies that provide public access to clean water, healthy habitat and healthy fisheries. This message was delivered through numerous meetings over the course of three days of lobbying on behalf of the trade.”
Conversations centered around the importance of preserving and continuing to expand habitat to public lands and clean water. The Outdoor Industry Association announced their 2017 Outdoor Recreation Economy report numbers at the National Press Club in D.C. on Tuesday morning, unveiling an impressive $887 billion in consumer spending annually in the outdoor sector. The report also noted the 7.6 million American jobs also attributed to the outdoor industry. The timeliness of the report only served to drive home the conversation points of AFFTA board members in meetings throughout the week.
“The fly fishing industry is an important segment to the overall economic impact of the broader outdoor industry,” noted AFFTA President Ben Bulis. “Our members are dependent on clean water and access to healthy fisheries, which lead to economic opportunity. This message was delivered clearly to elected officials in our nation’s capital this week.”
AFFTA board members present included: Colby Trow (Mossy Creek Fly Fishing), Rob Parkins (Jack Dennis High Country Outfitters), Michael White (Blue Ribbon Reps), Jennifer Lavigne (Waterworks-Lamson), Tom Sadler (Marine Fish Conservation Network), Brandon Shuler (Ocean Conservancy), Larry Barrett (Farbank Enterprises), Lise Lozelle (Maven Fly), Sam Lungren (Backcountry Hunters & Anglers) and Brent Bauer (Umpqua Feather Merchants).