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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am posting this on behalf of of the CRTA (California Retriever Training Assoc) and SCRA (Southern Calif Retriever Assn) and their President Bill Daley


I am requesting your consideration to nominate Stephen D. Bechtel Jr. for induction into the Retriever Hall of Fame. He has contributed greatly to the Sport of Retriever Field Trials by his tireless efforts and personal generosity in providing in perpetuity exceptional retriever training and field trial grounds that are able to be used year round in both Southern and Northern California. Few others in our sport have contributed so much for our sport and for those of us that participate in it.
His dedication to habitat and Retrievers though the establishment of the California Conservation Fund (CCF) a Bechtel Family 501 (C) (3) trust that benefits Habitat and Wildlife that purchased and owns the grounds and the California Retriever Training Association (CRTA) a Membership based Association that leases and operates the grounds for training and field trials is truly outstanding.
Steve has personallyfilled the void due to the tremendous loss in California of appropriate grounds due to development, unavailability of Military Bases and the deteriorating conditions of many of the Wildlife Refuges and with increasing use restrictions.
Many individuals over the years have contributed outstanding efforts toward our sport through their personal commitment, service and use of their property. Seldom has anyone contributed their personal funds of this magnitude in a manner that provides perpetual use of grounds for Retriever training and field trials. I know of none,other than Steve in the past 40 plus years.
In California if it was not for Steve’s vision, generosity and personal commitment many of us in the sport of Retriever Field Trials and Hunt Tests would not have a suitable place to train and many of our Clubs would not be able to hold events.
The CRTA currently has 16 Member Clubs that this year have scheduled 13 events to hold on club grounds and approxamently 170 Individual Members, both Amateurs and Professionals that pay annual dues for the privilege of unlimited training on the three properties.

The CRTA currently has two fully developed properties, “ Denverton”, 937 acres on the Suisun Marsh in the North adjacent to Fairfield, CA and “Goose Lake”, 539 acres in the South adjacent to Lost Hills, 38 miles NW of Bakersfield, CA. A third property was recently acquired, “Grizzly Ranch”, 982 acres adjacent to the Grizzly Island State Wildlife Refuge also near Fairfield, CA which is scheduled to be developed for retriever training and field trials over the next several years, as funds become available and as permits allow development to occur on the marsh. Steve has committed $180,000 toward the phase 1 development of Grizzly Ranch.
Steve is currently in the process of working toward turning over the ownership of the three CCF properties under lease to CRTA and approximately 2,000 other acres of CCF owned waterfowl and upland habit grounds to the “California Waterfowl Association” (CWA), entering into a 99 year lease agreement with CRTA for the perpetual use of the grounds with unlimited number of 30 year lease extensions and helping CWA to acquire a several million dollar grant from the State of California Wildlife Conservation Board.
The grant funds will be used to purchase the Denverton & Grizzly Ranch properties with the grant funds for the purchase eventually benefiting waterfowl and habitat and also assisting to offset the costs related to owning and maintaining the properties. The CWA is a 501 (C) (3) nonprofit, hunter supported conservation organization with a mission to conserve California waterfowl, wetlands and hunter heritage. Many of our CRTA Members are also CWA Members.
CRTA is not the only area where Steve has made a contribution to the availability of high quality trial and hunt test grounds. Steve has generously made his family’s ranch in the California coast range as well as his duck club in the Butte Sink Flyway available to host numerous local field trials. The family ranch hosted the 2007 National Open as well as the 2006 Master National Hunt Test.
Steve’s record as a field trailer is also impressive in that he has been an avid and consistent competitor at the National level of the sport. He has had at least one dog qualified for 15 National Opens, in over half he has had multiple dogs competing and sometimes as many as 4 dogs entered. Steve has owned 10 dogs that earned their FC titles, with 6 also holding AFC titles and he is a Member of the “Double Headers”.
Steve’s dog “Shooter” (FC-AFC Dust Devils Shoot the Moon) was a four-time Purina Outstanding Open Retriever and four–time High Point Open Dog, a truly amazing accomplishment. Shooter was been inducted into the Retriever Hall of Fame and has 295 Open points and 91.5 Amateur points, a combined 386.5 All Age Points! Shooter competed in 15 National Championships (Opens and Amateurs) and was a finalist 6 times.
Stephen D. Bechtel Jr. combines the best qualities of the traditional gentleman participant in our sport with modern ability to excel in it at the highest level. He is an avid sportsman, hunter and conservationist as well as a highly successful field trial competitor. But most important, Steve has given back to our sport in a visionary way with his development of the California Retriever Training Association creating much-needed opportunities for permanent training, trialing and hunt test grounds.
As Steve approaches his 87th birthday, he is still actively trialing retrievers and he continues to be highly dedicated to our sport of Retriever Field Trials and Retriever Training. He has contributed greatly and continues to work diligently toward leaving a lasting legacy that benefits waterfowl and habitat that will also guarantee the availability of excellent grounds for our sport of Retriever Training, Field Trials and Hunt Tests in perpetuity.
Stephen D. Bechtel has made outstanding contributions to our sport that highly qualifies him to be included in the Retriever Hall of Fame.
Nomination Forms with a submittal deadline of August 7, 2012areincluded as an attachment.
 

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...and last but NOT LEAST - Steve is a really nice man, a gentleman, a good sport - and always a pleasure to be around at trials!
Diane
 

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...and last but NOT LEAST - Steve is a really nice man, a gentleman, a good sport - and always a pleasure to be around at trials!
Diane
I can't disagree. It's kinda cool for a ******* blue collar type from Alaska to rub elbows at a trial with a billionaire.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
for you duck hunters out there, Mr Bechtel is the largest single donor to Delta Waterfowl....
 

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for you duck hunters out there, Mr Bechtel is the largest single donor to Delta Waterfowl....
Steve is also a member of the prestigous Bear River Club in Utah. I know for a fact that he has contributed to Wetlands and DU in support of the Great Salt lake initative.
 
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