Simms donates $6,500 to conservation

SHREVEPORT/BOSSIER CITY, La. — Thanks to a $6,500 donation from Simms during the 2012 Bassmaster Classic Conservation Summit, a B.A.S.S. Conservation Fund now is set up to help finance club conservation projects.

“One of the core values of Simms Fishing Products is conservation of fish and their habitat,” said Peter Vandergrift, Simms Guide Desk manager.

“This has been a key component of the company since it was founded 20 years ago by a Wyoming fishing guide.

“Adding our support for conservation projects is among the strongest first steps we could take as we start our relationship with B.A.S.S.”

The fund will be set up under the FishAmerica Foundation, which is administered by the American Sportfishing Association (ASA). A committee annually will determine grant recipients. Gordon Robertson, vice president of ASA, was on hand for the presentation of the check.

The number of recipients has yet to be determined. It will depend on donations from additional corporate sponsors as well as private donations. To learn more about donating, contact Noreen Clough, B.A.S.S. national conservation director, at

“We’re hopeful that other companies will want to get involved,” said Clough.

Simms’ John Hoagland initiated the project with a call to Don Corkran, B.A.S.S. Federation Nation director.

“He said he had an idea that would excite me,” Corkran said. “He said that Simms wanted to give a portion of sales for conservation.”

The Montana-based company anticipated that it would contribute about $5,000 by setting aside $50 each from the 100 Pro Dry Gore-Tex suits sold to Federation Nation members at a discount.

“These suits were special. They had the B.A.S.S. logo on the jacket and the bibs,” said Corkran, who notified Federation Nation presidents of the exclusive offer.

As it turned out, 130 of the special suits were sold from mid-October until Jan. 31, when the offer ended, making the donation much bigger than anticipated.

“Simms’ interest in B.A.S.S. Conservation is wonderful and greatly appreciated,” Clough said.

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