A team project by the Southern Nevada Junior Bucketmouths of Las Vegas is a perfect example of the type of work that’s worthy of the Berkley Conservation Institute Awards, and the $2,000 cash or $1,500 gear that go to the winning B.A.S.S. Federation Nation clubs.
The Nevada Department of Wildlife and then-Gov. Jim Gibbons donated a 1992 Shimano Live Release boat to the Junior Bassmaster club in 2009. Volunteers from the Nevada B.A.S.S. Federation Nation spent two weekends stripping the boat, replacing everything from screws to carpet, including six flat tires. The youth club then set up fundraisers to complete the project, which included replacing the motor.
The boat was used in two Bassmaster Elite Series events in 2010 when the tournament trail visited California. It was also used in the release of more than 1,400 fish in a WON Bass US Open that summer and 1,000 fish in a B.A.S.S. Federation Nation Divisional.
“The Southern Nevada Junior Bucketmouths continue to be a good example of how working together on a conservation project has tangible results,” said Noreen Clough, B.A.S.S.’s national conservation director and one of the administrators of the Berkley Conservation Institute Award program.
“Their creativity and persistence, as well as their ability to work with local sponsors, went a long way toward fulfilling their dream project, which benefits not just Nevada but also neighboring states.”
The deadline to submit your project or projects for the award is Jan. 1, 2012. Representatives from Berkley and B.A.S.S. will judge the submissions and determine winners by Feb. 1, 2012, and Jim Martin, conservation director for the Berkley Conservation Institute, will present awards for the 2011 winners at the 2012 Bassmaster Classic in Shreveport, La.
“If your club has done something to create lifelong anglers or a legacy of conservation, please let us know,” said Clough. “Submit your project for the 2011 awards!”
Scope of project: How significant is this project? Will it affect many people and/or communities? Will it have long or short-term benefits? Will it set an example that will be picked up by others? Projects with the most reach and longevity will be judged more significant.
Partners: Was this project a partnership with other key organizations or was it done by a few B.A.S.S. club members? Winners involve local communities and businesses, state natural resource agencies, local schools/universities, other fishing clubs and conservation organizations. More partners allow projects to have more significance than those that are done in the short term with just a few people.
Creativity: Is this a new concept? Even boat ramp and streamside cleanups can be creative. Creativity gets extra credit for setting examples that can be picked up by others, particularly when publicized in B.AS.S. Times and Bassmaster.com. An entry should inspire others to pick up more challenging and creative projects of more significance.
Timing: The project will be judged based on what was done in 2011. However, some projects are multi-year projects and have significance beyond a single year. Therefore, if you submitted a project for 2010 and it has continuing merit and benefit, you may re-submit for 2011. Projects that demonstrate ongoing benefits will rank higher than short-term, one-time efforts.
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions about the program.