|The future of fishing depends upon two things: that kids catch the passion for the sport, and that there are clean, healthy waters for them to fish 20 or 30 years from now. The Future Fisherman Foundation is committed not only to recruiting and retaining anglers, but to the stewardship of our lakes, streams and seas. That’s why we have partnered with Recycled Fish.
Recycled Fish is the national non-profit organization of “anglers living a lifestyle of stewardship, both on and off the water, because our lifestyle runs downstream.” In other words, they talk about on-the-water ethics like catch and release, selective harvest and cleaning up trash at our lakes, but they also talk about everyday stewardship – the stuff we put on our lawns or whether we have a low-flow showerhead – because, honestly, these things have just as much to do with the future of our fisheries as what we do on the water.
“We’re proud to stand with the Future Fisherman Foundation,” says executive director Teeg Stouffer. “The way they bring fishing into the classroom will have powerful effects on not just our sport, but on our environment and our culture. Kids need to be outdoors for their very development, and there is no activity better than fishing to undo the effects of ‘nature deficit disorder.’ Part of what they learn needs to be the mechanics of the sport, but we’re so proud that F3 is also teaching the stewardship side of fishing as well.”
To learn more about Recycled Fish, visit their website, www.recycledfish.org, where you’ll find a variety of excellent resources you can use in your programs.
Youth Fishing Programs More Important Than Ever
First the bad news. According to a new study designed and analyzed by the Kaiser Family Foundation and Stanford University researchers, today’s young people (ages 8-18) devote an average of 7 hours and 38 minutes to using entertainment media across a typical day (more than 53 hours a week). This is an increase of 1 hour and 17 minutes a day over the past five years, an increase driven in large part by ready access to mobile devices like cell phones and iPods. Young people now spend more time listening to music, playing games and watching TV on their cell phones (49 minutes daily) than they spend talking on them (33 minutes). About half of heavy media users say they usually get fair or poor grades (mostly Cs or lower), compared to about a quarter of light users.
One result of this is the fact that America’s kids spend only 4 to 7 minutes outside each day. That’s barely enough time to bait a hook and make one cast.
Now the good news. Studies show outdoor time helps children grow lean and strong, enhances imaginations and attention spans, decreases aggression and boosts classroom performance. In addition, children who spend time in nature regularly are shown to become better stewards of the environment.
Why are we sharing all this? Just to reinforce the fact that your decision to work with F3’s youth fishing programs is important to all of us, and particularly to our kids. The time, effort and money you devote to working with youngsters is substantial we know, but the return on your investment is great indeed. Thanks for all you do.
The Foundation wants to thank the following donors who are helping us keep our mission alive through their generous support:
Future Fisherman Foundation
Director of Education
Charlie Meyers fly fishing for pike on Lake Colin – Canada – June 8th 2006. (ERIC LUTZENS)
Charlie Meyers, who climbed from the lowlands of Louisiana to the peak of Colorado journalism through his insightful coverage of hunting, fishing and skiing for The Denver Post, died January 5th from complications due to lung cancer.
Meyers, 72, covered his beats the past four decades with a graceful, engaging style and a thoughtful perspective. His last column for The Post, about an imperiled fishery in Park County, was published Dec. 6.
“He was a wonderful man, a wonderful journalist and a wonderful outdoorsman,” said William Dean Singleton, publisher of The Denver Post. “I can’t imagine The Denver Post without him.”
“Charlie was one of the people who defined The Post,” Post editor Greg Moore said. “He wrote about what makes Colorado special — nature and its bounty. He was dependable, and what he wrote was fresh. Charlie was a great colleague, always with a kind word, and he will be greatly missed by all of us.”
While Meyers’ ability to write lyrical features won him accolades, he cemented his reputation as a top-tier journalist by illuminating public-policy issues.
“If you had to sum up what Charlie Meyers did for the benefit of hunting and fishing (in Colorado), there would be no person that could equal his contribution,” said Eddie Kochman, former state chief of fisheries for the Department of Wildlife. “He set a standard few will ever reach.”
Meyers’ soft-spoken manner disguised a tenacity to dig out the truth.
When he saw wrongdoing, he wrote about it, no matter whom it meant calling out, from the governor on down.
“Charlie would hit you square between the horns,” said Rick Enstrom, a former Division of Wildlife commissioner whose first call after Gov. Bill Owens tapped him for the post was to Meyers. “He daylighted things that used to operate behind the veil. Charlie has been the moral compass for the second-largest business in the state of Colorado for generations. We operated under Charlie’s careful eye, and Colorado is better for it.”
In the past few months, Meyers was critical of the DOW spending much of its multimillion dollar habitat stamp war chest on land easements to protect big game instead of public access. In April, he blasted Larimer County for trying to sell parcels it obtained from the federal government that were to be used for public recreation, calling its actions “a series of maneuvers a cynic might consider devious.”
“Charlie was a gem of a writer, a master wordsmith and storyteller,” Post sports editor Scott Monserud said. “A kind, quiet, humble man, he had a well-hidden competitive fire.”
As a ski reporter for more than 20 years, Meyers was equally as influential. He covered six Winter Olympics, opening doors to the nascent sport of American ski racing at the time.
“Charlie helped put skiing on the map for the U.S. sports fan,” said Steamboat Springs ski icon Billy Kidd, a medalist at the 1964 Olympics who compared Meyers’ influence in the ski world to that of legendary Sports Illustrated writer Dan Jenkins in the golf world.
“He had a passion for the sport and conveyed that,” Kidd said. “What is it about skiing that makes people travel such huge distances and go out in freezing cold and slide down the mountain? Charlie was able to tell people why we get hooked on skiing.”
Meyers was inducted into the Colorado Ski Hall of Fame in 1993 and six years later won the FIS Journalist Award given by the International Ski Federation, becoming just the fourth American to win it.
Charles D. Meyers was born Oct. 30, 1937, in Sicily Island, La., and grew up on a small farm, where his biggest joy as a child was taking his crooked cane pole to a nearby river to catch sunfish.
“He really was Huckleberry Finn,” said his son Kirk. “He was always that kid with a straw hat, cane pole and a worm exploring that next bend in a river. He always made me feel special because he’d rather see me catch the big fish or see the rest of us succeed. That’s who he was.”
Meyers attended Louisiana State University, where he majored in history and education. He took graduate courses there before landing a newspaper job in Lake Charles, La. When his boss there was later hired by The Denver Post, he recruited Meyers, who joined the paper’s sports staff in February 1966. He left in 1969 to write for outdoor magazines, then returned for good in 1971 and soon after began covering skiing.
“He looked the part of a man who was really king of the mountains and king of the outdoors,” said Jim Carrier, who spent 13 years as The Post’s Rocky Mountain Ranger. “He was such a beautiful guy, who both lit up and stopped a room when he walked in.”
Visions of Meyers as a strapping, sophisticated outdoorsman aside, Carrier’s respect for him is squarely focused on his pen. Meyers ferried readers on adventures around the Rocky Mountains and beyond.
“You always looked forward to his column,” Carrier said. “It was beautifully written. There were many, many armchair sportsmen who never did what Charlie did, but felt like they had, because he had written about it and brought them along.”
Longtime fishing pal Kirk Deeter followed Meyers’ career path as an outdoors writer. Deeter often would run a story idea past Meyers, only to find his mentor had done it years earlier, many times in a hair-raising fashion.
“He never talked about it, but he had been there and done that. He walked away from a float plane crash in Alaska. He met with a witch doctor up a remote river in Nicaragua. He did it all,” said Deeter, whose fly-fishing book he penned with Meyers is scheduled to be published in May.
It wasn’t just rich writing and engrossing characters that gave Meyers’ work depth. He scrutinized tangled topics, such as Colorado water rights and resource protection, and the bureaucracies that managed both. He was an environmental reporter long before editors invented the title.
In 1997, Meyers left the ski beat to write about the outdoors, making pages come alive not only with his prose but with his superb photography that illuminated hard-to-reach hideaways. He often heard from fellow sportsmen lamenting his focus on Colorado’s hidden treasures. Outdoor writers before him tended to keep the best fishing holes secret.
“Charlie was a lot quicker to share things than I was,” Colorado fly-fishing author John Gierach said. “But that was his philosophy. He considered it his job as a reporter. Why would you write about a place and not say where it is?”
Meyers kept working at The Post despite enormous pain the past two years as he battled complications of his cancer, as well as discomfort from surgeries on his shoulder and knee. Years of fly fishing wore down his right shoulder, leading to rotator cuff surgery, then a full shoulder replacement. The fish, however, weren’t getting off that easy. He taught himself to cast with his left hand.
Colorado may have been his adopted home, but Louisiana never left him. He enjoyed following his beloved LSU Tigers, cooking and eating Cajun food, and listening to the blues.
Meyers’ last column was about Fairplay Beach, a small pond on the banks of the Middle Fork of the South Platte River near Fairplay, which Meyers called a “minor marvel filled with angling delights.”
Meyers described how the beach is filling with metal-rich sediment leaking from long- shuttered mining operations nearby, threatening one of South Park’s best fisheries. His column prodded town leaders to schedule a meeting this month with the DOW and the Army Corps of Engineers to discuss dredging the pond and preserving the fish haven.
It wasn’t the first time his writings stirred emotion — and prompted action. And even though he’s gone, it probably won’t be the last. His legacy will linger for those who knew him and read his work.
Asked once who inspired him most as a writer, Meyers cited author Peter Matthieseen, who once said he dreamed of mankind living gracefully in the world, in harmony with all others.
Charlie Meyers did just that.
Jason Blevins: 303-954-1374 or email@example.com
The family of outdoors writer Charlie Meyers, who died Tuesday after battling lung cancer, is having a private memorial service. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that anyone wishing to make a donation in Charlie’s name send it to Colorado Trout Unlimited, 1320 Pearl St., Suite 320, Boulder, CO 80302; or the Colorado Division of Wildlife, 6060 Broadway, Denver, CO 80216
Jeff Wieringa (JW), business manager for 3M Scientific Anglers and a long-time fly fishing industry insider, has been appointed to fill a vacant position on AFFTA’s Board of Directors. JW’s appointment was effective January 6 and will run though the September business meeting when JW and any other interested and qualified AFFTA member will run for election.
AFFTA Nominating Committee Chairman David Heller with Ross Reels USA/Ross Worldwide noted that Jeff is well know by members of the industry and committed to allocating whatever time is necessary to be a contributing member of the board. Wieringa is passionate about growing the sport and helping the IFTD show to have the same level of success it had in the “glory days”. He is exactly the type of professional we need on the Trade Development Committee.
Patagonia, Inc. announces their World Trout initiative issued eight grants totaling $75,000 to global grassroots groups whose diverse efforts to protect and enhance fish and their habitat around the world exemplify the philosophy of World Trout. Click here to read more.
MTB likely dead for this year,
|Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) confirmed late last week that Congress will not pass a miscellaneous tariff bill (MTB) before the end of the year, meaning all import duties that are currently suspended or reduced under MTB legislation passed in 2006 will expire and full duties will be reinstated on January 1, 2010. While Congress is expected to pass an MTB early next year, it is unclear whether the duty suspensions will be retroactive. OIA is recommending that outdoor companies that have utilized duty suspension plan to pay full duties on January 1.
“We are extremely disappointed that Congress was unable to pass a miscellaneous tariff bill (MTB) this year and that tariff suspensions on performance footwear and other outdoor products will expire at the end of the year,” said Frank Hugelmeyer, president and CEO of OIA. “These MTBs have saved outdoor footwear manufacturers more than $13 million since 2007, resulted in new job creation, spurred industry growth and have contributed to a substantial increase in exports of American made inputs that account for as much as a quarter of the value of these footwear products. The delay in passage of the MTB puts an extraordinary financial burden on outdoor businesses as many are struggling to recover from the recession, and may ultimately mean the demise of some companies. We strongly encourage Congress to pass an MTB with retroactive duty suspensions as soon as they return in January.”
Some outdoor companies hedged on the MTB’s passage this year and have already brought in 2010 inventory, but many companies will see an additional 40 percent or more added to their product costs after duty suspensions expire.
Congress is scheduled to convene its 2010 session in mid-January, but it is unclear when the MTB will be dealt with and whether it will include a provision to refund duties paid. OIA is continuing to vigorously push for passage of the MTB and recommends the Washington, DC based trade firm of Sorini, Samet & Associates to petition for duty refunds after the MTB is enacted.
Please contact Alex Boian (firstname.lastname@example.org or 303.327.3509) at OIA for more information.