While the image above--found on Tim Pawlenty's 2018 gubernatorial campaign website--doesn't explicitly say that Minnesota outdoorsman Ron Schara has endorsed the former governor's effort to get his old job back, the two gentlemen on the left do seem close.
The image floats above the article Pawlenty announces outdoor initiatives developed with sportsmen and women including Ron Schara & Kent Hrbek on the Pawlenty campaign news archives.
Thus, we read the following ad in Outdoor News announcing that Governor Candidates to Discuss Outdoor Issues at August 18 Game Fair with raised eyebrows:
While all 11 candidates for governor have been invited to participate in the August 18 forum, Bluestem suspects that only those who win the August 14 primary will actually take part in the forum. Should Pawlenty win the Republican primary, he'll be participating in a forum moderated by one of the principle architects of his campaign's outdoor initiative.
The forum is sponsored by the Minnesota Outdoor Heritage Alliance and Outdoor News.
Here's the August 6 press release about the Pawlenty initiative, which notes that Pawlenty developed the plan "after consulting with outdoor enthusiasts around the state and with two well-known Minnesota outdoorsmen, Ron Schara and Kent Hrbek" and that the "initiatives were announced prior to the start of Game Fair 2018":
Eagan — Tim Pawlenty and Michelle Fischbach today outlined an initial package of outdoor initiatives to enhance Minnesota’s hunting, fishing and great outdoor traditions, including a citizen/angler-led “Reinvest in Minnesota Fishing Council” to ensure that Minnesota’s fisheries economy will maintain fish populations and attract anglers.
Pawlenty said he developed his plan after consulting with outdoor enthusiasts around the state and with two well-known Minnesota outdoorsmen, Ron Schara and Kent Hrbek. The initiatives were announced prior to the start of Game Fair 2018, which will be held on 80 beautiful acres of woods and water in Anoka County. Game Fair takes place Aug. 10-12 and Aug. 17-19.
“Tim Pawlenty is the right leader to protect and improve our state’s outdoor sports and I’m proud to support him,” said Kent Hrbek, former host of Kent Hrbek Outdoors and former Minnesota Twins first baseman. “Getting younger Minnesotans involved in the outdoors is an important part of keeping hunting and fishing going strong in our state. We all have a role to play in making sure that our outdoor traditions stay strong.”
Schara, creator of the Minnesota Bound television show and retired outdoor columnist for the Star Tribune, said the list of proposals reflect issues of importance to hunters, anglers and outdoor enthusiasts. “I think it’s great that our state leaders, such as Pawlenty, show an interest in our natural resources and the value of Minnesota’s outdoor lifestyle.”
“One of the great things about Minnesota is our strong heritage and support for hunting, fishing, and the outdoors,” said Pawlenty “There are few things better than heading outdoors to experience these traditions year-round. Our administration will work hard to enhance our outdoor sports.”
Supporting Minnesota Angling
Minnesota’s $4 billion fishing economy is supported by 17 fish hatcheries. Pawlenty and Fischbach propose creation of a new citizen/angler-led “Reinvest in Fishing Council” to ensure that Minnesota’s fish industry, jobs and opportunities for future generations of angers are strongly supported.
Supporting Minnesota’s Fish & Wildlife Habitat
Tim Pawlenty signed into law the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council. The LSOHC has invested nearly $1 billion over the last decade in fish, game and wildlife projects statewide, including nearly $350 million in new public hunting lands. As Governor, Pawlenty will appoint citizen sportsmen and sportswomen to the Council and he will support the LSOHC recommendations.
Creating a New Ruffed Grouse Governor’s Hunt
Ruffed grouse is the number one game bird in Minnesota. In 2003, Tim Pawlenty created the Minnesota Deer Hunting Opener. Pawlenty and Fischbach are proposing the creation of an annual “Ruffed Grouse Governor’s Hunt” starting in 2019. Ruffed grouse hunters license sales are typically around 100,000 per year.
Enhancing Minnesota’s Shooting Sports
Pawlenty and Fischbach propose creating a world-class shooting range to help support the dramatic growth in Minnesota’s high school clay target league. The league has 349 teams after just 9 years in existence and already has more than 11,000 participants. A world-class shooting range would support that growth and provide the potential for Olympic and college-level competition.
Collaborate with Stakeholders & Experts to Tackle Chronic Wasting Disease
Chronic wasting disease (CWD) in Minnesota’s wild deer herd is a serious issue. Working with stakeholders and experts to eliminate CWD in wild deer and minimize the risk of new introductions will be a key priority for the Pawlenty-Fischbach Administration.
Here's the copy from the ad in Outdoor News:
Governor Candidates to Discuss Outdoor Issues at August 18 Game Fair The Minnesota Outdoor Heritage Alliance (MOHA) and the weekly publication Outdoor News are jointly sponsoring an Outdoor Issues Forum at the 2018 Game Fair. All 11 candidates for Minnesota Governor have been invited to participate. The Forum will begin at 1:00 pm on Saturday, August 18, 2018 at the Game Fair hosted by the Armstrong Ranch Kennel in Ramsey, Minnesota.
Distinguished Minnesota outdoorsmen Ron Schara and Rob Drieslein will moderate the Outdoor Issues Forum. They will ask the candidates to address questions relating to a range of topics of interest to all Minnesotans and of particular concern to hunters, anglers, and outdoor recreationists of all persuasions. Topics may include:
Aquatic Invasive Species – an increasing number of lakes are affected as invasives are transferred by boats, trailers and docks
Chronic Wasting Disease – this fatal disease is seen in both wild and farmed deer and monitored by the Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Agriculture’s Board of Animal Health
Clean Water – we are one-third of the way into the life of the Clean Water Fund; are we making good progress?
Legacy Amendment & Outdoor Heritage Fund – Minnesotans adopted a Constitutional amendment and tax increase dedicated to protecting and enhancing natural resources, but some of the fund is being used for bonding rather than projects recommended by the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council
Mille Lacs Lake Fishery – constant controversy stems from ever-changing regulations
Public Lands – Minnesota has about 12 million acres of public lands; about half are managed by our DNR for a myriad of recreational activities and support of local economies
The Minnesota Outdoor Heritage Alliance (MOHA) is the largest coalition of hunting, fishing, trapping and conservation organizations in the state. It is a non-profit organization with the objective to involve all concerned outdoor groups in legislative, education, and public awareness actions to help protect and enhance our hunting, fishing and trapping heritage and the resources they depend on. Founded in 1994, MOHA was instrumental in adoption of the 1998 Constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to hunt, fish and trap In Minnesota. MOHA was at the forefront in securing passage of the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment in 2008 and establishment of the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council to recommend how these dedicated funds should be allocated.
Some of these things are like the others.
In the interests of professionalism and impartiality, Schara should recuse himself as a moderator, regardless of whether the candidate he advised survives Tuesday's primary.
Images: From Pawlenty's news archives (above); the ad for the issues forum.
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