Trashing Sportsmen: Influence Spurs Smear Campaign by Ty Hansen

It would appear that the energy and extraction industries are getting tired of the burgeoning influence sportsmen and women are wielding these days in the conservation arena, and they’re spending some money on a clandestine effort to besmirch a handful of nonprofit organizations that help give anglers and hunters a voice in today’s pivotal conservation debate.

And it’s pretty sleazy, honestly.



Colorado's Roan Plateau, the site of a collaborative agreement between conservation groups, including TU, and the oil and gas industry. The Bill Barrett Co.--the natural gas lease holderon the Roan--is donating $500,000 to TU and its conservation partners over the next several years for cutthroat trout recovery efforts on the plateau (photo: EcoFlight).

Since last spring, a slew of letters to the editor to dozens of small to mid-sized daily newspapers around the country has appeared from a single author — one Will Coggin — describing some of the most influential sportsmen’s conservation groups as left-wing fronts that take money from anti-industry foundations and use that money to stifle everything from natural gas fracking to hard-rock mining.

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