Conservationist of the Year?


Back in 2011, we took AFFTA to the woodshed for giving one of their Jim Range Legislator of the Year Awards to Wyoming Senator Mike Enzi. Enzi’s atrocious  record on the environment should have disqualified him from winning a conservation award from a trade association whose members rely on healthy fish and habitat.

Now in another striking example of environmental tone-deafness, the Center for Sportfishing Policy has given their “Conservationist of the Year Award” to US Rep. Rob Bishop of Utah. Mr. Bishop was given the award  for “championing policies promoting healthy fish and wildlife populations and access to America’s public lands and waters.”

Sounds great, until you look at Bishop’s environmental record.

Bishop has earned a lifetime rating of 3% from the League of Conservation Voters and a 0% rating for 2015. The reason Bishop earned this award from the CCC because he supports legislation that seeks to weaken federal law mandating the conservation and rebuilding of marine fish stocks. This legislation is supported by the CCC, the National Marine Manufacturers’ Association and the American Sportfishing Association, the trade association for the fishing tackle industry who also host AFFTA’s fly fishing industry trade show.

Bishop is also one of the founders of the Federal Land Action Group, a group of members of Congress who want to transfer public lands to local ownership and control. Bishop also has devoted a great deal of time to dismantling the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

He has also authored a provision that would sell off 3,100 acres of a Puerto Rican wildlife refuge to private interests.

Charles Witek has a detailed overview of the absurdness of giving a “conservation” award to Rob Bishop.

Maybe CCC should consider taking a lesson from AFFTA who recently awarded Senator John Tester (D-MT), Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) conservation awards. Those three worthy recipients have League of Conversation Voters lifetime ratings of 86, 97 and 94% respectively.


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