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Press Release by the Association of Northwest Steelheaders

Despite the Governor’s strongly worded letter to Chair Michael Finley and commission members, our work is not done. Governor Brown gave the commission until April 3rd to “change its decision” of the ill-willed policy adopted at the January 20th meeting.

Bob Rees, Executive Director for the Association of Northwest Steelheaders was optimistic, but was deliberate in stating that the commission members that voted against the sportfishing priority will not sway easily, and the Governor will have to keep a watchful eye on the deliberations. “Governor Brown’s leadership cannot end with this letter. In order for this to work for the sportfishing public, we still need a majority vote by this commission to maintain the tenets of SB 830,” said Rees.

Tensions flared at the Pacific Northwest Sportsmen’s Show on Thursday, particularly when Commissioner Bruce Buckmaster was introduced. Buckmaster has been the most controversial commissioner appointed in history. Sportanglers remain focused on his removal after Governor Brown promised disciplinary action if he attempted to derail the agreed upon policy. To date, no action has been taken despite a petition that has garnered over 3,000 signatures asking Governor Brown for his removal.

Legislators also weighed in on the Governor’s letter. Following a pointed floor speech by Representative Bill Kennemer on February 3rd, 2017, Kennemer commented on the news from the Governor’s office. “I’m committed to seeing this process work for the sportanglers of Oregon, stated Kennemer. “The social and economic contributions of the sportfleet are too great for Oregonians to ignore the benefits of adopting concurrent regulations with Washington, we should settle for no less than that.”

It’s been a long process for the sportfishing community, but this issue moved not just because of the Association of Northwest Steelheaders, the Northwest Guides and Anglers Association, NSIA and CCA, but because the sportanglers showed up, made calls to the Governor’s office and their respective senators and representatives. It’s only with that kind of pressure that we’ll move this policy across the finish line and make this an authentic win for all Oregonians.

Thank you ALL for your dedication and passion for the Columbia River Reform package. Be sure to KEEP THE PRESSURE ON, and join our organization to make the future of our sportfisheries bright!