Category Archives: Industry News

Cabela’s Coming To Eugene Area

Cabela’s today announced plans to open a store in Springfield, Ore., next year, according to a press release from the company.

The Beaver State’s first Cabela’s, the 58,000-square-foot facility will be located in the Gateway Mall at 3000 Gateway Street.

Construction is expected to begin in mid-August.

The Sidney, Nebraska-based company has three other stores in the Northwest; Lacey, Wash. (185,000 square feet), Boise (175,000 sq. ft.) and Post Falls (125,000 sq. ft.), Idaho.

The new store will include an aquarium, conservation-themed wildlife displays and trophy animal mounts as well as a gun library, fly fishing shop, general store and bargain cave.

For the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, it presents another group to work with as it tries to get more folks outside.

“Cabela’s brings a strong tradition of supporting hunting, fishing and camping through clinics and classes. We look forward to possibly partnering with them to get people outdoors,” says David Lane, the agency’s marketing coordinator in Salem.

RMEF Vols Impact 1 Acre Of Wildlife Habitat Every 6 Hours

Volunteers for the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation are helping to enhance or conserve one acre of wildlife habitat for every six hours worked, according to a press release today from the Missoula-based conservation organization.

The stats were released ahead of National Volunteer Appreciation Week, April 18-24, 2010, first designated in 1974.

“Our organization depends on volunteers who are passionate about conserving elk country, and we do our best to deliver efficient, measurable, on-the-ground results. I’m proud of our numbers over the past year,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO.

According to RMEF, the organization has more than 10,000 volunteers nationwide who conservatively average 80 hours of donated labor a year, everything from coordinating banquets and other fundraising events to assisting wildlife and land managers by building wildlife watering devices, conducting elk research, removing unneeded fencing and countless other jobs.

Last year, the 800,000 hours of donated labor conserved or enhanced 132,000 acres of habitat for elk and other wildlife.

“Together we’re impacting more than just habitat for elk and other wildlife. We’re also ensuring a future for the experiences and lifestyles and values that are borne of elk hunting,” Allen said.

Since launching in 1984, RMEF has tallied 5.7 million acres of mostly public-land habitat enhanced or conserved, and 585,000 acres opened or secured for public hunting.

R.I.P. Marlin North Haven, Conn.

Word from the other end of the U.S. today has it that the North Haven, Conn., plant of venerable Marlin Firearms is closing.

“As far as we thought we thought we were doing good, and then it was like boom,” said a worker interviewed by local TV media outside the facility after a company meeting this afternoon.

The announcement affects over 250 employees, and begins in May with final plant closure in June 2011.

Marlin was bought by Remington which was in turn bought by Freedom Group, which owns a mess of gun and ammo brands.

The Associated Press reports that a Freedom Group spokesman provided the following explanation for the move:

“Although long term prospects of the business look positive, economic factors beyond Freedom Group’s control related to increasing costs and pricing pressures within the firearms industry are impacting the entire Freedom Group of companies.”

Reports from Field & Stream and Outdoor Life blogs indicate that while the plant is closing, the manufacture of Marlin rifles will continue at a new location.

RMEF Fires Back On Wolf Groups’ ‘Disingenuous’ Use Of Its Data


In letters to legislators and newspapers across the West, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is calling out groups like Defenders of Wildlife, Western Wildlife Conservancy and others for their disingenuous use of data on wolves and elk.

The RMEF action was prompted by each group’s recent op-ed articles in the media, as well as testimony before Utah lawmakers by Western Wildlife Conservancy Executive Director Kirk Robinson. All cited RMEF statistics to argue that restored wolf populations have somehow translated to growing elk herds in the northern Rockies.

“The theory that wolves haven’t had a significant adverse impact on some elk populations is not accurate. We’ve become all too familiar with these groups’ tactic of cherry-picking select pieces of information to support their own agenda, even when it is misleading,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “We will not allow that claim to go unchallenged.”

RMEF population data, which come from state wildlife agencies, show that elk populations are expanding the most in areas of the northern Rockies where wolves are not present.

However, where elk share habitat with wolves, such as the greater Yellowstone area, some elk populations are declining fast. In fact, since the mid-1990s introduction of gray wolves, the northern Yellowstone elk herd has dropped from about 17,000 to 7,100 animals – a 58 percent decline. Other localities in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming also are documenting precipitous downward trends.

Additionally, some research shows that elk remaining in areas of concentrated wolf populations are suffering nutrition loss, lower body weights and decreasing birth rates.

Allen said, “Every wildlife conservation agency, both state and federal, working at ground zero of wolf restoration – Idaho, Montana and Wyoming — has abundant data to demonstrate how undermanaged wolf populations can compromise local elk herds and local livestock production. There’s just no dispute, and emotion-over-science is not the way to professionally manage wildlife.”

RMEF continues to support state-regulated wolf management to include hunting and other viable methods. This position is supported by new reports of diseased wolf populations in the Yellowstone area.

“When wolves are too abundant, they’re more susceptible to diseases, just like all wildlife. The viruses and mange now spreading through wolf packs is another sign of way too many wolves,” said Allen. “Defenders of Wildlife would like to spin sick wolves as a reason to end hunting. But real conservationists know that diseased wildlife populations need better management. Hunting as a management tool delivers that, period.”

He added, “Remember, pro-wolf groups make their living by prolonging this conflict. There is no real incentive for them to admit that wolves are overly recovered. Fundraising is their major motive and they’ve built a goldmine by filing lawsuits and preaching that nature will find its own equilibrium between predators and prey if man would just leave it alone. That’s a myth. The truth is that people are the most important part of the equation. This isn’t the Wild West anymore. People live here – actually quite a lot of us. So our land and resources must be managed. Wildlife must be managed. Radical spikes and dips in populations show that we should be doing it better. It’s not profitable for plaintiffs, but the rest of us would be better served if the conflict ended and conservation professionals were allowed to get on with their business of managing wildlife, including a well regulated hunting strategy.”

In 2009, RMEF got involved in the ongoing wolf litigation, supporting defendant agencies by filing legal briefs used in federal court to help delist wolves and proceed with hunting – “facts conveniently ignored by groups who misuse our name, data and credibility to prolong the conflict. We stand for elk and other wildlife and what is happening right now is simply not good wildlife management,” said Allen.

Poker, For A Cause

Got a good poker face, know the difference between a royal and straight flush, AND want to benefit Northwest sport fishing advocates?

You, my friend, may be perfect for the 1st Annual Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association Poker Tournament Fundraiser, presented by Three Rivers Marine & Tackle in Woodinville, Wash.

The event will be held March 5. It’s limited to 80 players, and seating begins at 6 p.m., shuffle up and deal at 7 p.m.

Buy-in is $100. All benefits go to the NSIA.

A partial list of the prizes include York Central AC Unit (installed), Silver Horde tackle package, private guided duck hunt, Scotty 1106 Electric Downrigger, a Sandy River steelhead trip, custom graphics, Sypher Custom Foot Orthotics, Lamiglas Rods and Yakima Bait tackle bags.

Sponsors include Three Rivers Marine, G. Loomis Rods, Daiwa Reels, Dick Nite Spoons, Trevor’s Guide Service, All Sports, Bob’s Heating & Air, Posey Company and Yakima Bait.

Three Rivers is located at 24300 Woodinville Snohomish Road, Woodinville, 98072. For more, call (425) 415-1575.

RMEF Projects In OR, WA Announced


Wildlife conservation projects in 12 Oregon and 17 Washington counties have been selected to receive grants from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation in 2010.

In the Beaver State, funding totaling $153,500 will affect Benton, Crook, Curry, Deschutes, Douglas, Grant, Harney, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Union and Wallowa counties.

In the Evergreen State, $186,270 will go towards projects in Asotin, Chelan, Columbia, Ferry, Garfield, Jefferson, King, Kittitas, Lincoln, Pacific, Pierce, Pend Oreille, Skamania, Spokane, Stevens, Whitman and Yakima counties.

RMEF president and CEO David Allen said the grants are possible because of the successful banquets and fundraisers staged over the past year by volunteers in Washington and Oregon, “most of whom are elk hunters as well as devoted conservationists.”

Since 1984, RMEF annual grants have helped complete 433 different projects in Washington with a combined value of more than $101 million, 633 different projects in Oregon with a combined value of more than $36 million, he says.

RMEF grants will help fund the following projects, listed by county:

Asotin County, Wash.: Reduce decadent grasses and improve elk forage by prescribed burning 932 acres in the Dry Fork area of Umatilla National Forest; use herbicide to treat noxious weeds on 995 acres and re-seed native grasses on 200 acres in the Lower Grande Ronde River corridor; treat noxious weeds scattered throughout 60,640-acre Blue Mountains Wildlife Area Complex (also affects Garfield and Columbia counties); treat noxious weeds on 300 acres in the Grande Ronde River breaks to improve native forage and encourage elk to use public lands rather than private-land hayfields to the north; treat 250 acres of invasive weeds as part of an early detection rapid response program; treat 425 acres of weeds in the Snake River canyonlands; treat 200 acres of noxious weeds in the Meyer Ridge area.

Crook County, Ore.: Thin 575 acres of juniper encroachment in meadows and aspen stands, treat noxious weeds on 160 acres, and restore riparian habitat along 2 miles of stream in the Deep Creek area of Ochoco National Forest; hand-cut and burn 400 acres of encroaching juniper in the Maury Mountains area of Ochoco National Forest.

Curry County, Ore.: Prescribe burn 129 acres, and re-seed native grasses on 20 acres, to maintain forage areas for elk and other wildlife in the Wildhorse Prairie area of Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest.

Deschutes County, Ore.: Thin conifer from willow and aspen stands, prescribe burn 15 acres and treat noxious weeds on 5 acres in Tumalo Creek area of Deschutes National Forest.

Douglas County, Ore.: Create 20 acres of forage openings and plant shrubs on 93 acres to improve 113 acres of habitat for elk in the Umpqua National Forest.

Ferry County, Wash.: Prescribed burn 550 acres of elk winter range to reduce hazardous fuels and improve grasses, forbs and shrubs in Colville National Forest.

Grant County, Ore.: Rehab 100 acres of meadow habitat used by foraging elk and deer in the Rudio Mountain area; thin encroaching conifer to restore 150 acres of meadow in the Logan Valley area of Malheur National Forest; remove juniper to promote sagebrush and bitterbrush growth on 1,235 acres in the Murderer?s Creek area of Malheur National Forest and state lands; re-seed native grasses on 880 acres in the Chrome Ridge area; thin 270 acres, construct fencing around 2 acres of aspen stands, treat noxious weeds and reconstruct two springs in Ochoco National Forest.

Harney County, Ore.: Enhance habitat for elk and other wildlife by repairing wildlife drinking stations, collecting native shrub seeds, reseeding habitat areas and employing livestock practices to control noxious weeds in the Egley wildfire area of Malheur National Forest; thin encroaching conifer on 160 acres, replace fencing around aspen stands and develop five ponds or wildlife drinking stations in the Pine Creek area of Malheur National Forest.

Kittitas County, Wash.: Provide funding for Green Dot Access Management Program projects managed by Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (also affects Chelan, King, Jefferson, Pierce and Yakima counties).

Lane County, Ore.: Improve forage for elk by removing encroaching conifer and noxious weeds to restore 283 acres of meadows in Willamette National Forest; treat noxious weeds and re-seed native grasses on 100 acres, and rejuvenate browse on 102 acres, in the Foley Ridge area of Willamette National Forest; thin and prescribe burn 112 acres and re-seed native grasses in the Chucksney and Grasshopper meadows area of Willamette National Forest; prescribe burn 56 acres, plant oak seedlings on 40 acres, and re-seed native grasses on 200 acres in the Jim?s Creek area of Willamette National Forest; mechanically treat noxious weeds and re-seed native grasses on 500 acres in the Siuslaw National Forest (also affects Benton, Douglas and Lincoln counties).

Linn County, Ore.: Remove encroaching trees from meadow complexes used year-round by foraging elk in the Lodgepole Flats area of Willamette National Forest; create 40 acres of forage openings in the Yellowstone Creek area of BLM lands.

Pacific County, Wash.: Improve forage for elk, dusky Canada geese and other wildlife by treating noxious weeds, cultivating, applying lime, fertilizing, seeding and mowing on 200 acres at Chinook Wildlife Area.

Pend Oreille County, Wash.: Enhance meadow habitat for elk by thinning 96 acres of encroaching forest and installing fencing to protect aspen stands in the Pend Oreille Valley area of Colville National Forest; prescribed burn 200 acres to improve forage in the Upper Middle Fork of Calispell Creek area of Colville National Forest; rejuvenate browse species by prescribed burning 90 acres in the Lost Creek area of Colville National Forest.

Skamania County, Wash.: Thin encroaching conifers on 617 acres to promote forage for elk and other wildlife in the Wind River area of Gifford Pinchot National Forest.

Spokane County, Wash.: Capture and radio-collar 20 elk for a research project to study elk movement patterns and habitat use in response to a new hunt program at Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge (also affects Whitman and Lincoln counties).

Stevens County, Wash.: Prescribed burn 200 acres to reduce conifers and improve grassland habitat for elk in Colville National Forest.

Union County, Ore.: Control noxious weeds, re-seed native grasses and develop water sources for elk and other wildlife on 705 acres near Ladd Marsh Wildlife Management Area.

Wallowa County, Ore.: Treat 828 acres of noxious weeds to improve forage for elk along the Grande Ronde and Imnaha river corridors (also affects Union County).

Cabela’s Continues Partnership With RMEF

MISSOULA, Mont.—More than 6,500 conservation projects completed. Over 5.7 million acres of habitat, mostly on public land, enhanced or protected. Nearly 600,000 acres opened or secured for public access. These and other milestone achievements of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation wouldn’t be possible without partners like Cabela’s.

One of the organization’s longest and most generous supporters, Cabela’s has announced renewed sponsorship of several RMEF initiatives for 2010.

“Conservation and stewardship of wildlife and wild lands is at the core of our business,” said Cabela’s Chief Executive Officer Tommy Millner. “We’re proud to partner with and support the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation in their efforts to preserve the heritage of conservation that’s so important to our customers and our employees.”

For 2010, Cabela’s is again donating gift cards and merchandise used as premiums in RMEF membership drives, contributing items for auctions and other fundraisers, underwriting the RMEF 2010 conservation art print, sponsoring Elk Camp seminars and the Elk Country Legacy mission campaign, and more.

“Cabela’s is more than the World’s Foremost Outfitter; it’s one of the reasons why RMEF has become a premier force for conservation. Words don’t express our gratitude nearly as well as our rising numbers of completed projects and conserved acres,” said Steve Decker, vice president of marketing for RMEF.

He added, “We thank everyone at Cabela’s for their long and continuing partnership.”

Renaissance Marine Buys Northwest Jet Boats Brand


Dan Larson, President and CEO of Renaissance Marine Group, and Larry Whitten, founder and President of Northwest Jet Boats, Inc. of Pasco, Washington, announced that Renaissance Marine Group (“RMG”) has purchased certain manufacturing assets, inventory and rights to build and market the Northwest Jet Boat brand of welded aluminum sport and fishing boats.

Renaissance Marine Group, Inc., founded in 2000, is the parent company and manufacturer of Duckworth, Weldcraft, and Columbia Boat brands of heavy gauge welded aluminum boats from 17’ to 30’ that are sold through a network of over thirty independent marine dealers primarily in the Western U.S. and Canada.  With the acquisition of Northwest Jet Boats, RMG will consolidate production in its Clarkston, Washington factory, expand its dealer network to include the Northwest Jet Boat dealers in the U.S. and Canada, and offer the widest selection of heavy gauge welded aluminum boats in the industry.

Northwest Jet Boats, Inc. was founded in 1987 by Larry Whitten and has built and sold over 1,900 units, ranging from 18’ to 26’ inboard jets and outboard configurations.  The models are sold through a network of independent marine dealers in the Western U.S. and Canada, all of whom are expected to continue offering these fine boats as the manufacturing shifts to RMG and its larger factory capabilities.

Larry Whitten will continue as owner of the well-established Northwest Marine & Sport dealership in Pasco that is currently the largest and most prominent dealer in Northwest Jet Boat models.  His dealership will continue as a Northwest Jet Boat dealer and together with the selling entity will fulfill warranty matters on existing Northwest Jet Boats while also becoming a major warranty and service repair center for RMG’s full line of brands.  In addition, Northwest Marine & Sport is becoming a dealer for RMG’s Weldcraft brand of boats ranging from 17’ to 30’.

Larry Whitten will serve as a special Consultant to RMG for the next three years to oversee the transition in production to the Clarkston facility and to be involved in ongoing product development and marketing.

“We’re looking beyond the current marine industry downturns and planning ahead to better serve the needs of the aluminum boat buyer and dealers,” said Larson.  “The addition of Northwest Jet Boats improves our production capabilities, our buying power, and our dealer network.  We anticipate adding to our Clarkston workforce and maintaining our U.S. based production at lower costs.  Our goal is to produce superior performing boats with top quality brands and dealer support in a variety of price ranges.  This acquisition is another step forward for RMG and our team of employees, dealers and boat owners.”

For Larry Whitten, this transaction allows him to focus his effort on the successful expansion of retail opportunities at Northwest Marine & Sport by securing an ongoing relationship for developing and selling Northwest Jet boats and Weldcraft boats.

NSIA Welcomes New Board Members


The Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association (NSIA) is proud to welcome Janet Lebson, Woodland, WA, Mike Perusse, Lake Tapps, WA, and Derick Cole, Reno, NV, who were elected at the annual board of directors meeting to serve three years terms.

Janet Lebson, owner of Quest Compelling Communications, strengthens the NSIA board with nearly 20 years-worth of communications experience working for government, trade associations, businesses, and non-profit organizations in the field of conservation and outdoor recreation.  For the past 3 years, Lebson has been a columnist and news/feature writer for Fishing Tackle Retailer, the sportfishing industry’s national trade magazine, and recently became its senior writer for conservation.  She enjoys reading, watching football, playing piano, and fishing, and she and her husband spend most of their free time playing with their 2-year-old son.

Derick Cole, VP of Western Sales for Maurice Sporting Goods, lived in Alaska for 23 years, working in sporting goods retail, at the Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game, and commercial fishing. Derick started his Maurice Sporting Goods career in 1995 as an Alaska Territory manager. He and his wife Meghan moved to Reno, NV in 1998 where he continued to go to school and work full time, earning a graduate degree in Organizational Management.  His passions include fly-fishing, waterfowl hunting and spending time with his two young children, teaching them about the great outdoors.

After spending three years in the United States Navy, Mike Perusse, NW Sales Representative for the Don Coffey Company, started a career as a sport fishing guided in Alaska, Washington and Oregon. Mike has been a sales rep in the Pacific Northwest since 1995, working with Shimano, G.Loomis and Power-Pro.  Mike has a Masters in Fly-Casting Instruction and regularly teaches fly-casting.  As a Co-host for Wild Country radio Show on KJR 950, Mike has a chance to interview the top performers in the industry and stay abreast of current issues.  His favorite off the clock activities are spending time with wife Carey and son Porter, and chasing King Salmon in Alaska.

NSIA President Dan Parnel is enthusiastic about the breadth of skills and talent the 2010 Board possesses.  Said Parnel, “I’m gratified to be at the helm of an Association that continues to attract youth, talent and science to our team.  The new energy these individuals bring will compliment the experience of the existing board.  Together we will continue to protect fishery resources, grow the sport fishing industry and the cultural, economic and environmental benefits of sport fishing in the northwest.”

NSIA Issues Statement On Sulfite Egg Cure Study


On December 11th, 2009 representatives of NSIA Board, staff, scientists and members who manufacture bait cure or cured products received a briefing from ODFW staff regarding the effects of sodium sulfite in bait cures on captive populations of juvenile salmonids and trout.

The study concluded that cures with higher concentrations of sodium sulfite fed to fish in hatchery pens created various levels of mortality.  ODFW staff did not identify this issue as a substantive conservation issue and were clear that the study did not provide information as to the population effects.  Initial conversations indicated that this was not likely a crises warranting immediate regulatory action but that we may want to consider an outreach and education program that shares the results of the study for appropriate industry response.

In the meantime, the Board and Staff of NSIA are working to inform their manufacturers and members of the results of the study.  Many of NSIA’s manufacturers have indicated they will voluntarily terminate their use of sodium sulfites until further studies can determine if the effects can be replicated outside captive populations. Various NSIA retailers and manufacturers are also working on education pieces for the angling public as well. To be clear, the study has not undergone necessary peer review, was not conducted in a representative environment and has not been replicated. Still, NSIA understands the concern and is meeting those concerns head-on. NSIA’s Board recognizes that our position to eliminate sulfites pending further study will likely result in the closure of some sport fishing related businesses.  The NSIA has long supported and been champions for the highest standards of conservation related to our fishery resources. As is consistent with our guiding principles and values, we have elected to take this action in NSIA’s continuing effort to put the fish first.

We trust that members of the public and conservation community will appreciate the promptness of the NSIA’s response and the level of action embraced to address these preliminary findings.