September 11, 2014
Fellow NBU Members:
I have to be honest with you, it’s a little bit intimidating being elected president of NBU. It’s not just the fact that a few thousand members are going to see some guy named Turnipseed at the helm, and it’s not that a couple thousand of you will pretend to listen to me on the stage at our next fundraising banquet. The biggest intimidation is the list of presidents that preceded me. I’ve been on NBU’s Board of Directors for eight years so far, under the presidencies of Jim Nelson, Mike Bertoldi, Steve Field, and Dennis Wilson. The list of presidents and directors before my time includes legendary names like Puryear, Hull, Naisbitt, Venturacci, Elmore, Dalen, and dozens more. You can see how a nobody like me would feel like a high school kid being asked to play quarterback in the Super Bowl.
The good news for anyone reading this, however, is that the current Board of Directors has a solid mix of talented rookies and grizzled veterans (anyone ever heard of Larry Johnson?). One of the many things Dr. Wilson got right during his presidency was recruiting a class of superstars to replace outgoing directors. I’m not sure anyone will ever be able to replace Mel Belding and everything he brought to the table, but Dennis found some absolute gems for directors and I’m thrilled to have them as my peers as we move forward.
The first month of my presidency has been eventful already. Last month NBU stepped out from behind Nevada Association of Counties, deciding to join them at the hip as co-plaintiff in their lawsuit against the BLM and the U.S Department of Interior. It’s no secret that the federal government has failed to abide by the range management requirements in their own Wild Horse and Burro Act, and it’s no secret that NBU won’t sit around pretending that wrong is right. We commend NACO for taking the initiative, and we look forward to helping bring the facts to light in a legal arena. While it’s frustrating to spend NBU’s time (and sportsmen’s dollars) in legal battles, pleading and demanding and pounding fists have had little effect on the bureaucrats, and we’re left with no other option.
On the near horizon is even more fun. Besides the drought and the obvious challenges it presents to Nevada’s thirsty wildlife, we continue to try to get our arms around disease transmission to wild sheep, both from domestic livestock and from other wild sheep. This issue is not only contentious, but far-reaching in its effects. Ewe hunts and trap/transplant programs have already been, and will continue to be, closely tied to decisions revolving around disease. NBU continues to back disease research at a national level (as it has for years), and our commitment to provide financial, veterinary, and general assistance to sheep translocation efforts remains strong.
To make a long story even longer, NBU has accomplished much in its 33 years, and I’m just the next guy in line to help it accomplish more. I know it will accomplishmuch more because of the stunning support of NBU’s members. I’m not sure I can say it differently than others have in the past, but the generosity and volunteerism within NBU’s membership is unmatched. It’s beyond remarkable, it’s beyond exceptional, and it might even give you goose bumps if you see it up close.
I explain to people unfamiliar with NBU that we all have “day jobs” and do wildlife conservation in our free time. Thank you, everyone, for having enough “free time” to help NBU build eight guzzlers this past Spring, and for helping us continue our run of successful fundraising banquets (next one is April 10th, by the way).
Until the next issue of NBU Journal, Happy Hunting!
Nevada Bighorns Unlimited
Nevada Bighorns Unlimited (NBU) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) grass roots sportsmen’s conservation organization with over 3,500 members throughout Nevada, the western United States and North America. The mission of the organization is to protect and enhance Nevada’s wildlife resources for sportsmen, outdoor and wildlife enthusiasts for this and future generations. NBU volunteers do this through the reintroduction of big game, habitat conservation and improvement, public education and participation, biological and scientific research, and the influence of public policy. NBU has raised millions of dollars and logged thousands of volunteer hours in support of Nevada’s wildlife.