June 18, 2014
Fishing buddies, conservationists gather to honor President George H. W. Bush’s extraordinary record of supporting conservation and fishing in America and beyond
KENNEBUNKPORT, Maine – Helping former President George H. W. Bush continue to celebrate his 90th birthday, a group of conservation leaders, headed by Bass Pro Shops founder and CEO Johnny Morris, gathered to go fishing with President Bush and to honor him for his lifetime commitment to conservation.
“All of us at Bass Pro Shops are proud to stand beside key conservation partners today to pay tribute to President Bush for everything he has done to uphold our hunting and fishing traditions as well as for his work to restore and enhance wildlife and fisheries habitat,” Morris said. “Most people aren’t fully aware of all that President Bush has done for conservation. During his presidency, he established 56 new wildlife refuges, more than even President Theodore Roosevelt, conserving more than three million acres of nationally significant public land.
“It is an honor to present my longtime friend with Bass Pro Shops Lifetime Conservation Achievement Award. President Bush is a remarkable man who has had an immeasurably profound, positive impact on our nation’s fish and wildlife resources. He is a passionate fisherman and sportsman whose well-known love of fishing has made him one of the best ambassadors the sport of fishing has ever had.”
Johnny Morris has witnessed firsthand Bush’s love of the great outdoors and his long-term commitment to the environment during many fishing trips with the president including remote tent camp outings to Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada; trips to the Arctic’s Tree River; the fabled River Test; bass fishing in Alabama; trout fishing in the Ozarks; and striper fishing in Maine.
Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, used the June 17, 2014, event to announce a partnership to provide a one million dollar gift to the new President George H. W. Bush Conservation Fund. Created to recognize the president’s lifelong commitment to natural resource conservation, the Fund will support conservation projects that are important nationally and that can produce significant benefits for fish, wildlife, and their habitats. The Fund’s first effort, supported by Bass Pro Shops and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, will go to support the Penobscot River Fish Recovery and Habitat Restoration project. This $2 million initiative will benefit important Atlantic Coast fish species including Atlantic salmon, river herring and American shad.