IGFA honors elder Bush

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — While Theodore Roosevelt is widely regarded as the conservation president, few people realize that President George H. W. Bush surpassed Roosevelt's protection of America's natural spaces by establishing 56 new wildlife refuges, restoring and protecting 3,000,000 acres of wetlands, and actively championing environmental concerns during his tenure.

A new exhibit at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum, The Sports & Outdoors President, highlights President Bush's love of the great outdoors and his long-term commitment to the environment.

At its opening ceremony on April 20th, International Game Fish Association President Rob Kramer joined some of President Bush's fishing buddies — Andy Mill, a Gold Cup tarpon angler, Johnny Morris, founder of Bass Pro Shops, Paul Dixon, representing the Anglers Club of New York, and Robert Rich, Jr., author, angler, and Vice Chairman of the IGFA.

More than 500 guests were on hand to share an evening rich with fishing stories and camaraderie.

Following a panel discussion, Kramer presented the former president with a special contribution to commemorate Bush's love of and deep commitment to fishing: Kent Ullberg's Silver King stainless steel tarpon statue.

"The International Game Fish Association appreciates President Bush's many contributions to the world of angling," Kramer shared with the gathering.

"By making fishing and the environment personal priorities, President Bush inspires fellow politicians to consider the vast economical and environmental contributes of our sport."

The new exhibit is comprised of environmental and outdoor artifacts from George H. W. Bush's days in Congress and as vice president and president, including 26 pieces of environmental legislation, such as the Clean Air Act, passed while he was president.

The Sports & Outdoors President is located at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum on the campus of Texas A&M University. For more information, visit http://bushlibrary.tamu.edu/.