I am happy to post this latest response from AFFTA regarding their award given to Senator Enzi. I'll be the first to give them credit for admitting to a lack of due diligence in selecting the good senator from Wyoming.
AFFTA’s choice of Sen. Mike Enzi for one of the Jim Range Legislators of the Year award and our reasons for doing so has continued to draw attention from some within the fly fishing community.
We have always said that the AFFTA board welcomes comments and feedback from within the industry, and in this case, we are not turning a deaf ear to the criticism that we have received. We have learned some valuable lessons, and as we said in our response “we are committed to making AFFTA a stronger organization,” for both our members and for the fly fishing industry as a whole. We fully understand that this is an industry that is passionate about the environment.
It's evident we have invoked an ardent response by the choice of this award. It was not our intent to create or incite controversy. Going forward, as the chairman of AFFTA’s Government Affairs and Affiliates Committee, I will personally ensure more rigor and outreach around these types of decisions,” said Mike Gawtry.
AFFTA is committed to conservation and the environment and we understand how important these issues are to our members and to our businesses. We think our track record is pretty good, but we'll fully admit that we can always do better.
We heard you, we will look at how these awards are chosen in the future. As a board and an organization, we will do better next time. We encourage all who commented on this issue to continue to stay involved. Feedback and participation on this level is how together we can move this industry forward.
Jim Klug, Chairman
Randi Swisher, President
Yes,we are an industry that's passionate about the environment but being passionate is not enough, it takes action. I would challenge our industry to use its resources to be even stonger advocates for the environment. If we lend the weight of our industry to the environmental causes that are crucial to the health of our planet it will also be good for the bottom line. As Yvon Chouinard once said, “Every time I've done the right thing for the environment, I've made a profit."