Tester names members to Sportsmen’s Caucus group

Great Falls Tribune

Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., on Thursday issued a press release naming 19 sportsmen and women to his Montana Sportsmen’s Advisory Panel. The panelists will advise Tester in his new role as the chairman of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus.

Tester said he plans to use the group’s input to craft legislation aimed at protecting Montana’s and America’s outdoor heritage.

Among the panelists are hunter and activist John Borgreen and game warden Steve Vinnedge, both of Great Falls; rancher and conservationist Karl Rappold of Dupuyer; and Blaine County Justice of the Peace Perry Miller of Chinook.

Tester said he plans to lead the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus toward strengthening gun rights, removing wolves from the endangered species list, improving access to public land, and fighting for clean water and healthy wildlife.

“The Montanans on this panel come from all walks of life, and all of them are experts in working together to make sure the next generation has the opportunities to hunt, fish, camp and hike,” Tester said. “I look forward to their advice on how we can move forward legislation to protect Montana’s rich outdoor heritage.”

In addition to the local representatives, the new panel members are Ryan Busse of Kalispell, an outdoor industry worker; Bruce Farling of Missoula, executive director of Montana Trout Unlimited; Bill Geer of Lolo, a special projects representative for the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership; John Gibson of Billings, president of the Public Land and Water Access Association; Kathy Hadley, a lifelong hunter, angler and conservationist; Gayle Joslin of Helena, who retired after 30 years as a wildlife biologist for Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, is a founding board member of Orion — The Hunters Institute and is issues chair for the Helena Hunters and Anglers Association; Chris King, a rancher and Petroleum County commissioner; Ben Lamb of Helena, the Montana Wildlife Federation’s conservation director for state and national issues; Randy Newberg of Bozeman, host and producer of “On Your Own Adventures;” Joelle Selk of Helena, first vice president of the Montana Bowhunters Association and the chairman of the MBA’s Legislative Committee; Pat Smith, a partner in a Montana law firm that specializes in American Indian law; Land Tawney, a fifth-generation Montanan, former president of Hellgate Hunters and Anglers, senior manager of sportsmen’s leadership for the National Wildlife Federation, and chair of the Private Land/Public Wildlife Council; Brett Todd, president-elect of the Montana Outfitter and Guide Association and a member of the Private Land/Public Wildlife Council; Dan Vermillion, who owns Sweetwater Travel with his brothers in Livingston; and Irv Wilke, president of the Billings Rod and Gun Club and vice president for the Laurel Rod and Gun Club, as well as the Laurel Rifle Club.