For the last six years NASBLA has been extremely fortunate to have Charlie Sledd represent NASBLA in Washington, DC among the key organizations who comprise the leadership of the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund (known as the Angling and Boating Alliance or ABA.) As a former State Boating Law Administrator, legislative liaison, committee chair, executive board member and NASBLA President, Charlie was and is imminently qualified to represent our members around the ABA table. Throughout his tenure in this key position, Charlie’s commitment to our mission and our members, as well as his dedication to the purposes of the trust fund have been foremost. Charlie's contributions to the important work of the ABA leadership group has served as a vital component of the ABA’s effort to achieve equity, parity and fairness across the trust fund constituencies.
Charlie has made the decision to step down as NASBLA's Director of Government Affairs, in hopes of more fully enjoying his retirement from state service. Beginning with the next meeting of the ABA later this fall, NASBLA has asked Tom Guess to serve as the official NASBLA liaison to the Alliance/ABA. Tom’s experience as Virginia BLA, committee chair, executive board member, and as the current NASBLA President, provides an excellent foundation from which to represent NASBLA’s trust fund interests.
NASBLA remains deeply indebted to Charlie for his service and commitment to NASBLA and his life-long dedication to our cause. Likewise, we are also humbled by Tom Guess’s willingness to take up this important component of NASBLA’s advocacy efforts and we look forward to working with him in this new capacity as he concludes his year as NASBLA President.
What is the Angling and Boating Alliance / ABA?
The purpose of the ABA is to provide a conduit for communication, collaboration and negotiations among and between the trust fund stakeholders, the Administration and Congress. The ABA works informally on an interim basis (between cycles of trust fund reauthorization) to educate and inform stakeholders among the various trust fund constituencies, respective Federal agencies and congressional staff. The last reauthorization cycle was concluded with the passage of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (or FAST) Act in December 2015 and subsequent reauthorization of the trust fund is anticipated to occur in 2020/2021. Although the ABA includes more than a dozen national organizations representing the varied trust fund interests, NASBLA works most closely with groups including the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA), BoatU.S., the American Sportfish Association (ASA), and the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA). Federal agencies including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Coast Guard work with the ABA in an advisory capacity.