Industry figures among 23 named to panel

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Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced the appointment of 23 people to the Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council, an advisory panel created in 1993 to advise the secretary on nationally significant recreational fishing, boating and aquatic resource conservation issues.

Among the appointees are several representing the recreational boating industry, including Thom Dammrich, of the National Marine Manufacturers Association; John Sprague, of the Marine Industries
Association of Florida; Ryck Lydecker, of BoatUS; and James Adams, of the States Organization for Boating Access.

“With its vast experience and expertise in boating, fishing and conservation the council will continue to play a vital role in achieving the goals of President Obama's America's Great Outdoors initiative to foster a 21st century approach to conservation and outdoor recreation,” Salazar said in a statement. “Thanks to the council's ongoing work, the nation is benefiting not only from more opportunities for outdoor recreation, but also from the $3.6 billion in economic activity generated by fishing and boating, which supports 68,000 jobs across the nation."

Those appointed to the council will serve for the upcoming two-year-term. In addition to Dammrich, Sprague, Lydecker and Adams, they are:

John Arway, executive director of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission

Douglass Boyd, Coastal Conservation Association

Jeffrey Crane, Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation

Roy Elicker, director of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

Frederick Harris, American Fisheries Society

Betty Huskins, Southeastern Tourism Policy Council

Scott Kovaravics, Izaak Walton League of America

Eugene "Mac" McKeever III, L.L. Bean

Jerry McKinnis, Bass Anglers Sportsman Society

Michael Nussman, American Sportfishing Association

Geoffrey Ratte, FishingKids

James Zorn, Great Lake Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission

Seven alternate appointees, who may attend meetings and vote when the primary member is unable to attend, were also announced.

They are Janine Belleque, of the States Organization for Boating Access; Noreen Clough, of Bass Anglers Sportsmans Society; Christopher Edmonston, of Boat US; Roger Fuhrman, of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife; Michael Grayum, of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission; Gary Kania, of the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation; and Theodore Venker, of the Coastal Conservation Association.

During its 19-year-history, the council's advice and recommendations have played a major role in providing guidance to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on its fisheries program and improving the
efficiency of grant programs delivered through the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program.

The council played a leading role in the development of the National Fish Habitat Action Plan, a strategy to restore fisheries and aquatic habitat across the nation. It also continues to offer support and guidance to the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, a non-profit organization it helped establish and whose mission is to increase the number of conservation-minded recreational anglers and boaters.

In 2012, the council is expected to lend assistance to the service’s fisheries program in updating and revising its strategic vision and plan.

“I am delighted to accept this appointment and represent recreational boating and NMMA as a part of the Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council,” Dammrich said. “Recreational boating directly contributes an estimated $72 billion annually to the U.S. economy and approximately 353,600 jobs across the nation; the work we’ll do with the council to improve recreational fishing and boating will only further the benefits to the U.S.”

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