Nashville, TN—The Union Sportsmen’s Alliance Boots on the Ground (BOTG) conservation program has united local Union workers with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and the Friends of the Palmer-Hay Flats to create a wildlife viewing tower on the Hay Flats Wildlife Refuge outside of Anchorage.
Bringing together federal, state and local government agencies with Union members willing to volunteer their time and expertise, BOTG tackles conservation projects that improve and enhance public access, wildlife habitat and outdoor experiences for communities across America.
“Boots on the Ground is an excellent way for our community to continue transforming Reflections Lake into a family-friendly area for bird watching, fishing, hunting and other outdoor pursuits” said Joe Meehan, program coordinator for the Alaska Department of Fish & Game. “The viewing tower BOTG’s Union volunteers will build at Palmer Hay Flats will continue our effort to protect the refuge while providing recreational opportunities.”
Former state legislator and retired member of the Plumbers and Pipefitters Union, Robert Buch, and Ironworkers Local 751 Business Manager Greg Kucera, will spearhead the Alaska project over the next year as volunteers supplement federal grants with their invaluable contribution of time and expertise to ensure completion of the viewing tower.
In addition to providing construction and engineering assistance, Alaska Union members recently organized a dinner to raise additional funding and awareness for Boots on the Ground projects, including the Hay Flats viewing tower. More than 150 Alaskans, including members of 15 different Unions, attended the Hawaiian pulled pork fundraising dinner, which was held on Saturday, March 19.
With a project already underway in Wisconsin and several more in the works for Nevada, Michigan, Maine, South Dakota, Texas and Washington, the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance and its team of 20,000 members hope to spread BOTG nationwide by the end of 2012.
“The Boots on the Ground program is one of the best ways the USA can help re‐instill a sense of pride and hope in our communities,” said USA Executive Director Fred Myers. “Programs like these highlight the positive role Union members play in America and move us all toward a better and more sustainable country worthy of passing on to our children.”
Alaska Union members interested in helping on the Hay Flats project should call Robert Buch at 907-243-7563 or Greg Kucera at 907-522-8299. For more information about BOTG and the USA’s nationwide conservation efforts, contact Jim Klatt at 612-331-0270 or visit www.unionsportsmen.org.
The Union Sportsmen’s Alliance (USA) is a 501 (c) (4) conservation based hunting and fishing organization exclusively for Union members, retirees and their families. The USA works to expand and improve hunting and fishing access and wildlife habitat throughout North America. For more information, visit www.unionsportsmen.org.
For more information, contact:
Laura Bliss Morris
Public Relations Coordinator