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Scrapbook: Tennessee Sierra Club Networks With Sportsmen

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October 23, 2008

Tennessee Sierra Club Networks With Sportsmen

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Not long ago, tabling at the Mid-South Hunting and Fishing Extravaganza in Memphis might have been a stretch for the Sierra Club. Not anymore. "Working a hunting and fishing show exposes Club volunteers to a different audience than our usual venues," says Chickasaw Group activist and Tennessee Water Sentinel James Baker, above with Sierra Club raffle winner Lindsey Mitchell. "It isn't preaching to the choir."

Kentucky Water Sentinel Tim Guilfoile, who is also president of Northern Kentucky Fly Fishers, worked all three days at the show. Guilfoile, below at left at the Sierra Club booth with Chickasaw Group activists Ed Jones and Don Richardson, is a fervent believer that environmentalists and sportsmen have much in common because of their love for woods and waters.

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Club volunteers at the show had to work hard to overcome skepticism and distrust, including comments that the Club opposes hunting and fishing and supports gun control. "We also heard that America needs to allow more domestic drilling for oil to reduce gas prices, and we tried to counter those arguments with positive responses," says Baker.

By raffling items like a high-quality fly-fishing rod (emblazoned with the logos of the Sierra Club and the Federation of Fly Fishers) and two $100 gift certificates to a local sporting goods store, the Club enticed more than 225 people to sign up for the Sierra Sportsmen Network.

Baker gives special thanks to Chickasaw Group volunteers Jones and Richardson (pictured), Amy Stewart-Banbury, Keith Hoover, Nancy Ream, and Walter Diggs.

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