Category Archives: Editor’s Blog

Mall Cat? Mountain Lion Checks Out The Shopping Scene In Santa Rosa

The above video is courtesy of KRON 4 TV.  Shoppers in Santa Rosa were greeted by a wildcat who was presumably wondering if there was a Hello Kitty store open. It settled for chilling out in front of Macy’s.

Here’s KRON with a little more on the mountain lion’s day at the mall, which ended safely when California Department of Fish and Wildlife officials successfully tranquliized the cat:

Once the cat was tranquilized, Dr. Quinton Martins was called to tag the cat’s ear. …

So how did he end up at a shopping center?

Dr. Martins says there’s no way to know for sure, but he believes the cat is a young male who might have been roaming through the creeks near mall.

 

 

Discovery Channel Takes A Powerful Look At The Liberation Of World War II Death Camps

“They thought they had seen everything. And they had seen nothing.”

-Dr. Michael Berenbaum, Director Sigi Ziering Institute

Liberation Heroes: The Last Eyewitnesses, Discovery Channel’s hour-long special airing today about the Allied men and women who first discovered what was going on as Adolf Hitler’s Germany crumbled during the liberation of Europe, is an eye-opening look at one of World War II’s darkest twists.

Please watch this show if you can. It’s a powerful look at the horrors and atrocities that were committed in concentration camps scattered throughout Eastern Europe, told from the perspective of those who found what was left of the survivors and those who lost their lives in the genocide.

Unbeknownst to those who were fighting to break the Third Reich’s stranglehold inside and outside Germany, millions of Jews and countless others of various ethnicities were suffering and dying. What they discovered shocked, saddened and appalled the liberators.  

Even decades later, the horrors these servicemen and -women had found after the Nazis were surrounded by the Red Army to the east and the U.S./British-led forces from the west and finally surrendered are difficult for them to comprehend. Their reactions after all these years – not to mention the secrets they withheld from loved ones after what they bore witness to – will break hearts.

Here’s Discovery’s press release on today’s premiere:

LOS ANGELES) – As part of USC Shoah Foundation’s 25th Anniversary commemoration, its Stronger Than Hate Initiative and in honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day, Discovery Channel will air the documentary, Liberation Heroes: The Last Eyewitnesses, Wednesday, May 1, at 7pm ET/4pm PT.

In the one-hour documentary, heroic veterans vividly share their World War II liberation experiences in their own words, drawing parallels between the past and the present. By illuminating the powerful stories of these key eyewitnesses, the film shares their cautionary tale of what can happen when insidious hatred remains unchecked.

The film makes use of a unique portion of USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive®, a collection of 55,000 testimonies of survivors and witnesses to the Holocaust and other genocidal events. Many of the interviews were recorded since 1994 with the organization established by Steven Spielberg after his experiences filming Schindler’s List.

“Discovery is proud to shine a light on these remarkable stories of heroism, which serve as a solemn reminder for audiences everywhere to never forget,” said David Zaslav, CEO, Discovery. “Liberation Heroes: The Last Eyewitnesses is a call to action to stand against hate in all forms. These stories remind us of what can happen when religious, racial and ethnic hatred is unbridled.”

Stephen D. Smith, Finci-Viterbi Executive Director of USC Shoah Foundation and Executive Producer of the documentary said, “Our work with Discovery Communications and their team at Discovery Education for more than five years around our educational programming has touched more than half a billion people worldwide. It is an honor to continue our efforts with Discovery to share the stories of the witnesses to history and deliver our Stronger Than Hate message to future generations.”

The film is made possible with the generous support of Mickey Shapiro, a longtime Executive Board member of the USC Shoah Foundation.

The documentary is directed by award-winning filmmaker Vanessa Roth, whose work has been honored with an Oscar®, a special Emmy® Award for social impact, and the Alfred I DuPont-Columbia Award, among others. Produced by veteran Emmy-nominated TV and news producer and executive Andy Friendly, and Produced by June Beallor, a Co-Founding Executive Director of Shoah Foundation — whose films have garnered numerous awards including an Oscar®, numerous Emmys® and the George Foster Peabody Award.

“The mission of the documentary is not only a celebration and remembrance of the last heroic eyewitnesses to one of mankind’s darkest moments, but it is also their enduring final plea and message to never stand idly by – and in the face of the dramatic rise of intolerance around the world, this message is more relevant than ever,” Friendly said.

Andy’s late father, Fred Friendly, was a celebrated broadcast journalist and former President of CBS News, as well as Edward R. Murrow’s partner. The late Friendly wrote about the horrors he experienced at Mauthausen while covering the war as a Master Sergeant in the Army. Fred Friendly’s historic “Mauthausen Letter” to his family and Murrow’s rarely heard radio report from Buchenwald are included in the documentary.

          

Liberation Heroes: The Last Eyewitnesses is presented by June Beallor Productions and Andy Friendly Productions in association with USC Shoah Foundation for Discovery Channel. The film is Directed by Vanessa Roth and Executive Produced by Mickey Shapiro, Stephen D. Smith, Andi Gitow, and Ceci Chan.

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About Discovery Channel

Discovery Channel is dedicated to creating the highest quality non-fiction content that informs and entertains its consumers about the world in all its wonder, diversity and amazement. The network, which is distributed to 100.8 million U.S. homes, can be seen in 224 countries and territories, offering a signature mix of compelling, high-end production values and vivid cinematography across genres including, science and technology, exploration, adventure, history and in-depth, behind-the-scenes glimpses at the people, places and organizations that shape and share our world. For more information please visit www.discovery.com.

 

Eat Salmon To Support Salmon Conservation At May Benefit

Photos by Golden Gate Salmon Association

 

The following press release is courtesy of the Golden Gate Salmon Association: 

 SAN FRANCISCO — The Golden Gate Salmon Association (GGSA), a coalition of salmon advocates working to protect and restore California’s largest salmon runs, today announced the fourth annual San Francisco for Salmon fundraising dinner, slated for May 17 at TwoXSea fish house on Pier 45, Fishermen’s Wharf, in San Francisco. This year’s dinner extravaganza will again feature an ensemble cast of world-famous chefs from San Francisco’s top seafood restaurants, all of which will contribute their special delicacies.

“We are very excited about this year’s fundraiser; it is going to be the culinary experience everyone will want to attend.” said dinner co-chair and The Alice Collective restaurateur, Ted Wilson, who is also a GGSA board member. “This spectacular venue is beachside for seafood in SF and these chefs are some of the city’s best. It’s not often that you can get all these chefs under one roof. This is not to be missed!”

Chefs participating in the event include:

  • Chef Parke Ulrich, executive chef and founder of Waterbar restaurant which is in the forefront of seafood transparency.
  • Chef Lance Velasquez, executive chef of The Alice Collective that focuses on education through culinary seafood experiences.
  • Chef Matthew Dolan of 25 Lusk Restaurant, who just released a highly acclaimed sustainable seafood cookbook.
  • Top chef Efren Sandoval from Scoma’s Restaurant, a top seafood purveyor in Northern California.
  • Chef Luke Johnson from Hook Fish Co., a great restaurant in the outer Sunset District bringing locally caught sustainable fish to the beach.
  • Chefs Jordan Grosser and Ted Fleury from Stag Dining, who always create unique and special dining experiences that focus on the highest level of locally sourced ingredients.
  • Chefs Austin Klein and Jessy Ryan of Fresh Catch, a fresh seafood delivery service delivering straight off the boat to your door within 48 hours.

Beverages are generously donated by Chamisal Winery and Lost Coast Brewing Company.

It will be a night celebrating delicious food, city views, open taps and an auction featuring fishing charters, custom artwork, coastal experiences, and more. The dinner will be hosted by Ted Wilson of The Alice Collective and GGSA board member and Yardzen.com co-founder Adam Messner.

All proceeds benefit GGSA’s work to restore Central Valley salmon, the Bay-Delta ecosystem, and communities that rely on salmon as a long-term, sustainable commercial, recreational and cultural resource. Salmon recovery is GGSA’s passion.

More information:


This will be the second fundraising dinner GGSA has ever held in a space normally used to land and process commercial seafood.  Diners will see the inside of SF’s top end, state of the art seafood processing center, modified for the night to accommodate a unique, warm and comfortable dining experience.

The night begins at 6pm with a cocktail hour followed by dinner, which is an exploration of each chef’s seafood offering.  Tickets are $150 or $1500 for a table of ten. For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit goldengatesalmon.org or call 855-251-4472.

The Golden Gate Salmon Association (www.goldengatesalmon.org) is a coalition of salmon advocates that includes commercial and recreational salmon fisherman, businesses, restaurants, a native tribe, environmentalists, elected officials, families and communities that rely on salmon. GGSA’s mission is to restore California salmon for their economic, recreational, commercial, environmental, cultural and health values.

Currently, California’s salmon industry is valued at $1.4 billion in economic activity annually and about half that much in economic activity and jobs again in Oregon in a normal season. The industry employs tens of thousands of people from Santa Barbara to northern Oregon. This is a huge economic bloc made up of commercial fishermen, recreational fishermen (fresh and salt water), fish processors, marinas, coastal communities, equipment manufacturers, the hotel and food industry, tribes, and the salmon fishing industry at large.

Merry Fishmas Day! Have A Great Trout Season

 

Photos by Tim E. Hovey

The following appears in the April issue of California Sportsman: 

By Tim E. Hovey

When spring rolls around, the Hovey clan puts up all the hunting gear and we begin the transition into the fishing season. We usually loosely plan weekend fishing trips to the coast or toss rods in the truck during camping trips to fish for trout in high mountain streams. 

We essentially don’t make any long-term plans to fish anywhere specific. We just go when time permits. This year, however, things are going to be different.

Over the last few years, we’ve made memorable trips into the backcountry to fish for trout. This season we’ve decided to head back to a few of our favorite fishing spots. Some are easy to get to; others not so much. For me, when it comes to fishing the journey doesn’t always matter. I return to certain areas to relive old memories and make new ones. 

Alyssa is excited to join her dad and sister for another Sierra trip.

MEMORY LAKE 

Back in 2010, I started taking my daughters to the high Sierra for weekend camping trips. Along with some family friends, we’d plan a fishing weekend and spend a few summer days angling from the banks of Rock Creek Lake. 

We’d wake up early, hike to the lake and soak PowerBait in the hopes of catching a few stocker trout. To complete the experience, my daughters and I would keep a few pansized fish to cook up for dinner. We usually didn’t catch any real monsters, but they enjoyed catching their first trout on the scenic lake.

It was a father-daughter tradition that we looked forward to every summer and religiously participated in for five years. Unfortunately, as the girls got older, it became tougher to coordinate schedules and we stopped going. We continued to spend time outdoors every chance we got. But getting away for several days was harder to do. I honestly felt like Alyssa and Jessica outgrew the trek to the high country to fish for stocker trout.

But a few months ago Jessica and I were out running errands and we started talking about plans for the summer. Out of the blue, she suggested we gather up the camping gear and head back to the lake. 

She mentioned that she really missed camping and fishing for trout. A few years older and tougher, she even suggested we hike to one of the high-elevation lakes to try our luck. I couldn’t have been happier

While we were discussing the planned summer trip, it occurred to me that I had only assumed that my daughters had outgrown the camping trips. I had never really asked them about it. That was my mistake. This summer we’ll once again load up the camping gear and head to the high country to try our luck.

In a time when cell phones and school drama are frequently at the forefront of most teenagers’ minds, my daughters still want to camp out and fish with their dad in the Sierra. And I can’t wait.

Ed Davis with a high Sierra golden.

TROUT OF GOLD 

Last year, my good buddy Ed Davis – he and I have been hunting together for over a decade – called and asked if I wanted to join him for a high-elevation fly fishing trip to look for golden trout. During a few previous trips, Ed had tried to educate me on the subtleties of fly fishing. It has not been an easy task for him. 

As a lifelong angler, I hadn’t fished more than a handful of times with a fly rod in my hand. I just had no desire to learn. Despite my reluctance, Ed and I headed to the Horseshoe Meadows area last summer. 

Using a 40-year-old fly rod and a borrowed reel, we fished the narrow creek for a few hours catching dozens of beautiful goldens.

Something clicked for me during that trip. I finally saw why this type of angling appealed to Ed. I enjoyed the skill involved in sneaking up to the trout and gently casting the small fly. That day, I became a fly fisherman. A week later the brand-new fly rod and reel I ordered arrived at my front door.

With conflicting schedules and warmer-than-normal temperatures, Ed and I weren’t able to get out again last summer, but last month he sent me a text mentioning that he was headed back to the land of the golden trout this summer and wanted to know if I was interested in going. He added that we might want to hike to a few of the upper lakes on this trip to try our luck. 

I walked out to the garage and took the new fly rod out. I looked over a few of the flies Ed had given me during last year’s trip. I grabbed my phone and attached a photo of a golden trout I had taken last year to the text Ed had sent me. Under the photo I typed, “Let’s go! 

Needless to say, the return trip is already planned.

HIKE TO THE TOP 

A true benefit of my job as a fisheries biologist is that I frequently discover amazing, out-of-the-way fishing spots during my weekly aquatic monitoring runs. Due to their remote locations, I usually have these angling gems mostly to myself.

A couple of years ago, I was conducting a stream survey on a creek on the back side of the Coastal Range. We already knew the creek contained a healthy population of wild trout that occupied the mainstem. What we didn’t know was how much of the drainage contained trout.

A natural fish barrier was located several miles upstream and we had no idea if trout were present above it. The plan was to hike up the main creek to the barrier and then continue further upstream to look for fish.

I called Russ Barabe, another fisheries biologist located in San Diego, and asked him if he wanted to tag along. While planning the survey, he asked if I thought he should bring a fishing rod. Almost without thinking, I said yes.

We got an early start, headed upstream and decided to focus on the survey of the upstream barrier first. We reluctantly passed by over a dozen trout-filled pools to get the work done first. 

At around noon we reached the barrier and hiked around it. After seeing trout in just about every pool during the hike up, it was rather obvious that the waters above the barrier were vacant of trout.

We had lunch at an amazing spot and started the trek back out of the drainage. We fished several amazing pools with small lures and flies, and the trout kept coming. The fish were smaller but fought great and were brilliantly colored. 

We spent several hours picking apart some of the bigger pools and catching lots of fish. As far as numbers go, it was one of my best trout fishing days ever. That trip occurred three years ago and ever since, I’ve been hoping to get back into that canyon to fish for the colorful trout.

Earlier this year I saw Russ at a staff meeting and he brought up the trip. He said if I plan a return survey, he’d be interested in helping out. Fishing rods in hand, we’ll revisit the drainage this June.

READY TO FISH 

I always look forward to fishing familiar spots during the season. For us, these spots hold great fishing and good memories. It really doesn’t matter how many trout we catch or how big they are. I’m just looking to make more memories in the outdoors with good friends and family. CS

 

Recreational Halibut Fishing Set For May 1 Opener

The following press release is courtesy of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife: 

The 2019 recreational Pacific halibut fishery will open Wednesday, May 1 and remain open until Oct. 31, or until the quota is reached, whichever is earlier. The 2019 Pacific halibut quota for the California subarea is 39,000 pounds – about 8,000 pounds greater than the 2018 quota.

Pacific halibut have become a popular target species for north coast anglers in recent years, with some fish tipping the scales in excess of 80 pounds.

Since 2014, the California sport fishery has been subject to closed periods during the season to slow catches and spread fishing opportunities out over more months, but with the higher quota amount for 2019, the periodic closures aren’t necessary this year. California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) conducted an online survey in February to collect input on preferred 2019 season dates.  More than 200 responses were received during the two weeks the survey was available.

The season dates are expected to continue to meet the goal of providing as much opportunity throughout the season while ensuring the quota is attained. The open dates are not guaranteed days, and the season could be closed early if it is determined that projected catches will exceed the California quota.

Again this year, field staff will be stationed at public launch ramps and charter boats landings to monitor catches of Pacific halibut along with other marine sportfish. If the catch is expected to reach or exceed the quota prior to Oct. 31, a closure date will be determined and the public will be notified.

The public can follow the progress of catch through the season on the CDFW Pacific halibut webpage, which will be updated weekly. Up-to-date information can also be obtained by calling the National Marine Fisheries Service Halibut Hotline at (800) 662-9825 or the CDFW Recreational Groundfish Regulations Hotline at (831) 649-2801.

Mono County Fisheries Ready For Trout Opener

Photo by Mono County Tourism.

The statewide trout opener is set for Saturday, so here’s a short preview of what lakes and rivers/creeks/streams might be worth checking out if you’re headed to the mountains (the weather forecast looks warm). This story is appearing in the April issue of California Sportsman:

By Chris Cocoles

It’s that time of year: Fishmas Day is approaching. 

Trout anglers have circled Saturday, April 27 on their calendars as the statewide general trout opener. The Eastern Sierra will be the most coveted destination, so expect Highway 395 to see lots of traffic bound for various lakes, rivers and creeks. 

“The bona fide trout fishing season is the last Saturday in April through November 15 every year,” says Jeff Simpson of the Mono County Economic Development, Tourism and Film Commission.

“This is when most waters in Mono County are open to anglers to fish for as many as five trout to catch and keep per day.”

Mono County Tourism photo

Sierra Drifters photo

LOTS OF FISH  

In addition to plenty of wild and holdover trout from previous seasons, Mono County fisheries will be receiving plenty of trout plants  including private stockings of trophy-size fish – as anticipation grows for opening day.

“We plan on stocking all the major front country rivers and lakes with 600 pounds of 1½- to 3-pound rainbow trout before opening weekend,” Simpson says. “This is the year to come up for fishing on opening weekend.”

As usual, the most popular fisheries are expected to be Convict and Crowley Lakes. Good weather will likely create “combat fishing” conditions on the shoreline areas at both, but there will be plenty of opportunities and trout to cast for. 

“Crowley and Convict always have fantastic fishing on opening weekend,” Simpson says. “Mono County will be bringing a 600-pound load of Desert Springs (hatchery trout) a week before opening day, so expect to see plenty of big fish caught opening weekend.”

Simpson adds that the area’s early-season opportunities for trout anglers include the West Walker River, Bridgeport Reservoir, Twin Lakes in Bridgeport, Lundy Lake, and the June Lake Loop. 

“All will be stocked before the opener and should be ice-free,” Simpson says.  

Photo by Sierra Drifters

WATER IS PLENTIFUL 

It hasn’t been as snowy and wet as in previous winters, but conditions look great for the late April opener. 

“Current reports have our snowpack well below the winter of two years ago. Although this winter was a bit warmer, we still anticipate most front country lakes along the 395 corridor to be open and ready for opening day,” Simpson says. “Our lakes, streams and reservoirs will be full with water all season long, but you’ll want to keep your eye out for high cfs during the runoff in early spring.”

DERBY FRENZY 

You can head to Mono County throughout the summer and stumble onto a fishing derby or contest. But for early birds heading to the mountains on April 27 and shortly thereafter, there are plenty of derbies to enter. 

You can find a complete list of events on the Mono County website (monocounty.org), but here are some opening weekend events worth 

checking out:

• April 27: Fishmas Day Derby at Tom’s Place; 

• April 27: Monster Fish Contest at June Lake;

• April 27: Fred Hall and Convict Lake Cash Derby;

• April 27-28: Annett’s Mono Village Opening Weekend Fishing Derby at Twin Lakes in Bridgeport;

• April 27-Nov. 15: Bridgeport Locals Only Fishing Tournament at Bridgeport Reservoir. 

• April 28-June 16: Roundup at the Lake Spring Trout Derby at Convict Lake. CS

 

 

 

Trout Opener Set For Saturday In The Sierra

The following press release is courtesy of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife:

One of California’s most anticipated and celebrated outdoor traditions unfolds Saturday, April 27 one hour before sunrise when the state’s general trout season opens in many counties throughout California.

In the last three weeks, California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) trout hatcheries have stocked more than 170,000 trout weighing nearly 95,000 pounds.

Trout fishing is available and popular year-round in many waters across the state, but the general trout season unlocks many destination waters in the Eastern Sierra that will attract thousands of anglers, rekindle friendships and renew family traditions on opening weekend.

The communities of Bridgeport and Bishop are the epicenters of the opening weekend trout fishing activity, festivities and revelry – what many anglers refer to as “Fishmas.”

Because of the popularity of this annual event with the angling public, CDFW released trout to accessible waters approved for stocking prior to the Eastern Sierra season opener. Because of heavy snow this winter, some popular high-elevation waters were inaccessible or covered in ice.

CDFW’s Hot Creek, Black Rock and Fish Springs trout hatcheries stocked several waters with catchable trout, including Bridgeport Reservoir, Convict Lake, Crowley Lake, June Lake and the West Walker River in Mono County; Pleasant Valley Reservoir and the Owens River in Inyo County; and Markleeville Creek in Alpine County.

In the Central Valley and western Sierra, CDFW prioritized stocking waters adjacent to major highway corridors such as State Routes 108/120 in Tuolumne County, State Route 168 in Fresno County and State Route 178 in Kern County. After the 2018 flooding, evacuation and subsequent repair, CDFW’s Moccasin Creek Hatchery in Tuolumne County is once again raising fish. The hatchery is expected to reach full production in 2020.

Check CDFW’s Fish Planting Schedule for the latest waters stocked with trout.

Most lakes, river and streams have a limit of five trout per day and 10 in possession. However, regulations differ on season opening and closing dates, bag limits, minimum and maximum size limits, and gear restrictions. Anglers are advised to check specific area regulations and opening dates in the 2019-20 California Freshwater Sport Fishing Regulations available online or in printed booklets at most local tackle and sporting goods retailers where fishing licenses are sold. All anglers 16 and older must possess a valid California fishing license to fish within state boundaries.

Spring-Run Chinook Found In San Joaquin River

 

The San Joaquin River Restoration Project published a report about a return to the famed Central Valley river for spring-run king salmon. after a seven-decade absence.  Here’s a little bit on the findings:

For the first time in over 65 years, threatened Central Valley spring-run Chinook adult salmon have completed their life cycle and returned to the Restoration Area. While spring-run have been placed as adults in the river previously, this is the first time Program fish have migrated out of the system as juveniles and returned as adults years later.

So far, five returning adult spring-run Chinook have been trapped in Fyke nets in the lower Restoration Area. The fish were able to outmaneuver predators and avoid the perils of modern water infrastructure before making their way nearly 370 miles out to the Pacific Ocean to mature for 2-5 years before returning to the San Joaquin River. …

While at one time spring-run Chinook salmon were the dominant run of salmon in the San Joaquin River and the southernmost population of Chinook in California, the completion of Friant Dam in 1942 cut-off the historic spawning habitat for spring-run and the species extirpated from the system.

That’s really promising news for salmon.

CDFW Assistant Chief Named Wildlife Officer Of The Year

The following press release is courtesy of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife: 

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is pleased to announce that Assistant Chief John Baker has been selected as the 2018 Shikar-Safari Club International Wildlife Officer of the Year. Asst. Chief Baker, who began his wildlife career as a student assistant with the CDFW Law Enforcement Division, has served the people of California and its incredible natural resources for over 30 years. He has distinguished himself through his successful enforcement work, commitment to public service, progressive thinking and strong leadership skills.

Upon completion of the Wildlife Officer Academy in 1992, Warden Baker started his long career with a field assignment in Santa Barbara County, eventually moving into an assignment in the San Joaquin Valley. Over the years, he has demonstrated exceptional investigation skills in traditional poaching cases, but also the more complicated natural resource related crimes such as pollution and water theft. Another one of his career-long projects has been leading the transition from handwritten to electronic recordkeeping by field officers statewide. The data generated by those electronic records has helped the Law Enforcement Division secure and defend overtime allotments, justify new positions and position movements and answer countless questions from legislators and policymakers about poaching and pollution trends.

In the mid-2000s, Asst. Chief Baker found that CDFW was spending more and more time doing law enforcement work related to illegal cannabis cultivation with allied law enforcement agencies. While allied agencies’ focus was most often on the plants themselves, Asst. Chief Baker recognized the need to allocate time and resources to combating other problems associated with cannabis cultivation – poaching, pollution, habitat destruction and water theft. Investigation and prosecution of those environmental crimes resonated well with the public, and some of that early work set the stage to transition into the broader range of illegal cannabis cultivation enforcement work done today.

Several years ago, Asst. Chief Baker realized there was a need for greater public outreach to the Hmong community of the San Joaquin Valley. He participated in a series of radio interviews  broadcast to primarily Hmong listeners to welcome those community members to a lifetime of hunting and fishing as a recreation and as a way to feed their families. As part of that effort, he helped explain what is required to have a successful hunting or fishing trip and stay in compliance with the law.

Another significant accomplishment by Asst. Chief Baker is his commitment to the annual Battle of the Badges blood drive. The friendly competition pits law enforcement against firefighters to see who can donate the most blood, a precious resource to the community. Asst. Chief Baker is there every year rolling up his sleeves to take part himself and to inspire others to do the same.

Shikar-Safari was founded in 1952 as a hunting organization but quickly recognized its potential to affect meaningful change in the area of wildlife conservation. Funds raised by the Shikar-Safari Club International Foundation are used to support various conservation projects in the United States and throughout the world.