U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director to speak
at CITGO BASS Masters Classic

MONTGOMERY, Ala. - May 13, 2002 - B.A.S.S. Conservation announced today that Steve Williams, recently appointed director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), will attend the 32nd annual CITGO BASS Masters Classic in Birmingham, Ala., to lead a special presentation about the FWS Fisheries Program strategic vision, which the agency is developing with its partners, including B.A.S.S.

Williams was appointed FWS director in January after serving as Secretary for the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks since 1995.  He is an experienced wildlife professional, having managed significant wildlife programs in several.  He is also an avid hunter and angler.

 "The timing of Steve Williams coming to the 2002 Classic couldn't be better," said B.A.S.S. Conservation Director Bruce Shupp. "The Service is about to unveil its new Fisheries Program strategic plan. This event will give Steve the opportunity to describe this vision for our nation's fisheries and garner immediate feedback from a diverse group of stakeholders."

Williams will speak Thursday morning, July 25, in the auditorium of the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center, to an invited audience including state fisheries directors, B.A.S.S. Federation leaders, sportfishing/boating industry leaders and outdoor media. His talk will be followed by an FWS presentation about the new Fisheries Program Strategic Plan.

"I'm looking forward to attending the Classic and meeting with all the state and federal professionals B.A.S.S. brings together on this occasion to discuss major fisheries conservation issues that are so important to all of us," Williams said.

B.A.S.S. has a long history of supporting the protection and management of our natural resources and was awarded the Fisheries Management Section Conservation Achievement Award for 2001 for initiation of such policies as "catch-and-release" and for support of research on the mysterious Largemouth Bass Virus.

Director Williams will be available to the media for questions beginning at 11 a.m. in the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center Auditorium.

By sanctioning over 20,000 tournaments worldwide, B.A.S.S. is the world's largest fishing organization with over 600,000 members and over 2,800 local clubs merged into 51 federations in the United States and abroad. Through its award-winning publications including BASSMASTER Magazine, The BASSMASTERS on ESPN2, conservation efforts, tournaments and the CITGO BASS Masters Classic, B.A.S.S. continues to set the standard for serving the needs of anglers as well as the outdoor recreation industry, while protecting our natural resources, as it has since its beginnings in 1968. B.A.S.S. is a wholly owned subsidiary of ESPN.

For more information, contact B.A.S.S. Communications at (334) 272-9530.
Bass Communications  334-272-9530