Kristyn Brady

October 27, 2016

Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership Ranked Among Top U.S. Charities for Fourth Year in a Row

The conservation and sportsmen’s access organization receives another exceptional 4-star rating from Charity Navigator for financial health and accountability

WASHINGTON, D.C. — As sportsmen and women across the country celebrate an abundant fall hunting and fishing season, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership is celebrating its fourth consecutive 4-star rating from Charity Navigator—that’s the highest possible rating awarded by the nation’s largest independent charity evaluator.

This four-time recognition for our financial health, accountability, and transparency puts the TRCP in the top 10 percent of American charities rated.

In a letter, Charity Navigator president and CEO Michael Thatcher says this designation indicates that the TRCP not only “executes its mission in a financially efficient way,” but also “exceeds industry standards and outperforms most charities” in our area of work. Learn more about our rating here and see our financials here.

“We’re very proud to lay all our cards on the table, remain transparent about how we use donations and grants in service of our conservation mission, and be deemed trustworthy and effective by American hunters and anglers,” says Whit Fosburgh, president and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, which details its accomplishments for fiscal year 2015 in its latest Annual Report. “There is no higher honor than being entrusted with your hard-earned money or confidence in our ability to bring the voices of sportsmen and women to Washington, D.C., where we will continue to strive for conservation success.”

Learn how you can help the TRCP guarantee all Americans quality places to hunt and fish by clicking here.

Or take action for conservation right now.

Inspired by the legacy of Theodore Roosevelt, the TRCP is a coalition of organizations and grassroots partners working together to preserve the traditions of hunting and fishing.

Kristyn Brady

October 20, 2016

Next Administration Could Usher in New Era of Fisheries Management

News for Immediate Release

Oct. 19, 2016

Contact: Kristyn Brady, 617-501-6352, kbrady@trcp.org

Leading marine conservation groups deliver recommendations to improve public access and enhance fisheries that support American jobs and spending

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the Center for Coastal Conservation, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, and seven other leading marine conservation and trade associationsreleased a series of recommendations for the incoming presidential administration and new Congress, calling on leaders to improve access to public waters, create economic growth, and enhance the conservation of marine fish stocks.

The guidance for federal policy makers is now available to the public in a new report, A Vision for Marine Fisheries Management in the 21st Century: Priorities for a New Administration, which calls for an end to antiquated federal policies that have inhibited a vital source of economic growth and the proud American tradition of recreational fishing.

“We are deeply committed to ensuring a bright future for marine recreational fishing,” says Jeff Angers, president of the Center for Coastal Conservation. “It’s a critical component of our economy, and it’s a proud part of America’s heritage of conservation. The recommendations in this report will ensure that we as a nation do all we can to continue this legacy.”

The Vision report highlights the economic value of recreational fishing in coastal waters. Today, 11 million American anglers fish recreationally in saltwater. From license sales to retail sales, the recreational saltwater fishing industry contributes more than $70 billion annually in economic activity and generates 455,000 jobs. However, outdated federal management policies threaten to stem this positive economic trend.

“We want better fisheries management for economic reasons, but we need better management for conservation reasons,” says Whit Fosburgh, president and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “Healthy habitat and fisheries provide benefits that can be measured—like tourism spending in coastal towns—and the intangible benefits of more American families on the water, more memories made, more connections forged with our natural resources, and more voices willing to speak up for conservation.”

The report recommends a shift away from using the same tools at the federal level to manage commercial fishing and recreational fishing. New approaches should reflect the reality of demand for recreational access to our marine fisheries, the current economic activity associated with that access, and the scientific data of the light footprint recreational access has on our marine resources.

“It’s important that lawmakers and policymakers understand that commercial and recreational fishing need to be managed differently,” says Ted Venker, conservation director of the Coastal Conservation Association and chairman of the Center for Coastal Conservation’s Government Relations Committee. “The Vision report’s recommendations suggest taking a clear-eyed look at our nation’s fisheries, using modern science and technology to guide decision-making.”

“Fishing is a treasured pastime and tradition for millions of Americans and needs to be treated as such,” adds Angers. “The new administration and Congress should take steps to keep this tradition alive—for the benefit of all those who enjoy fishing, for the hundreds of thousands employed in the recreational fishing industry, and for future generations of anglers who will fall in love with the sea.”

Additional contributors to the report include the American Sportfishing Association, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, International Game Fish Association, National Marine Manufacturers Association, Recreational Fishing Alliance, and The Billfish Foundation.

Inspired by the legacy of Theodore Roosevelt, the TRCP is a coalition of organizations and grassroots partners working together to preserve the traditions of hunting and fishing.

Kristyn Brady

October 19, 2016

State Report Confirms What Sportsmen Already Know About State Takeover of Public Lands

News for Immediate Release

Oct. 19, 2016

Contact: Kristyn Brady, 617-501-6352, kbrady@trcp.org

A study mandated by Wyoming state legislators finds that the realities of public land management make transfer an unworkable idea

CHEYENNE, Wyo. – A new state-mandated report on the feasibility of transferring management authority for 25 million publically owned acres to the state of Wyoming concludes that the process would be a financial, administrative, and legislative burden.

Ultimately, the report prepared for the Office of State Lands and Investments (OSLI) says that the state would inherit costly land management issues, like wildfire and litigation, if it were to manage the lands that currently belong to all Americans. The report also cautions that any transfer of land ownership would mean local governments would lose important federal funding sources, such as Payments in Lieu of Taxes.

“We’re not surprised by the findings, although sportsmen in the West should be heartened by the independent confirmation of what experts have been saying for years—the transfer or sale of America’s public lands to individual states would be a financial disaster for local governments and would threaten our access to hunting and fishing,” says Nick Dobric, Wyoming field representative for the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. The organization has been calling for lawmakers to oppose state takeover of public lands since January 2015 and has collected more than 34,000 signatures—2,200 of which are from Wyoming hunters and anglers—on a petition.

The report echoes the concerns that sportsmen have raised about the fundamental differences in the way state and national lands are managed. It reads:

State trust lands are in no way required to be managed for multiple use. In fact, the fiduciary obligation to generate sustainable revenue may be mutually exclusive of the ability to manage for multiple use, and this dichotomy significantly affects program revenues and associated costs. As an example, the OSLI issues grazing leases based on market value and has the ability to exclude other uses on the property (i.e., hunting or camping) because they do not generate revenue and could have a negative impact to the livestock producer.

Cheyenne sportsman Earl DeGroot, one of the local hunters responsible for the popular Wyoming Sportsmen for Federal Lands page on Facebook, hopes this will be the last talk of public land transfer from state lawmakers. “I hope the legislature will consider the findings of this report, and the overwhelming opposition that Wyoming sportsmen have expressed, and finally put an end to this effort,” says DeGroot. “I feel very fortunate to have hunted elk, deer, antelope, and even bighorn sheep and black bears on federal public lands in Wyoming, and sportsmen are tired of seeing our access jeopardized. The focus of our legislators should be on the real land management solutions and partnerships that will benefit our state.”

A rally in support of public lands, organized by the TRCP and many other hunting, fishing, and outdoor organizations, will take place in Casper on November 5, 2016. Featured speakers will include Chris Madson, conservation writer and former editor of Wyoming Wildlife Magazine, and Land Tawney, president and CEO of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers.

For more information on the would-be impacts of land transfer in Wyoming, and a record of meaningful opposition from elected leaders and counties in the Cowboy State, visitsportsmensaccess.org.

For the full OSLI report, click here.

Inspired by the legacy of Theodore Roosevelt, the TRCP is a coalition of organizations and grassroots partners working together to preserve the traditions of hunting and fishing.

Kristyn Brady

October 4, 2016

Colorado’s Lake County Opposes Transfer of America’s Public Lands to the State

News for Immediate Release

Oct. 04, 2016

Contact: Kristyn Brady, 617-501-6352, kbrady@trcp.org

This is the tenth Colorado county to join a growing movement against state takeover of national public lands, which are the lifeblood of sportsmen’s access in the West

LEADVILLE, Colo. – The Board of Lake County Commissioners has passed a resolution opposing the effort to transfer or sell national public lands to the state of Colorado or local governments. This decision supports every American’s ability to hunt, fish, and recreate on public lands and underscores the conservation legacy of leaders like Theodore Roosevelt, who helped create a public lands system that is the envy of the world.

“The commission has proven its commitment to America’s public lands and they should be commended by sportsmen beyond the county limits,” says Nick Payne, Colorado field representative for the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “Lake County public lands include a frontier mining district with a rich history, and the county is home to the headwaters of the Arkansas River, which is very popular with anglers and rafters. Efforts to restore and reclaim the fishery have been very successful, and more than 100 miles of the Arkansas is now recognized as a having Gold Medal status—that’s worth safeguarding for citizens.”

The county’s resolution recognizes the importance of public lands for:

– Providing fish and wildlife habitat and opportunities for outdoor recreation—including hunting, fishing, hiking, wildlife-watching, horseback riding, and bicycling—that are essential to residents’ quality of life.
– Attracting outdoor recreation tourism that drives local spending and employs hundreds of county residents.
– Preserving historically significant and irreplaceable cultural sites and landscapes.

It’s worth noting that the BLM’s Eastern Colorado Resource Management Plan, which is currently being revised, includes Lake County backcountry lands that provide important habitat for bighorn sheep and elk, as well as other game species, and sportsmen are proposing unique protections for these areas. With this resolution, the commission has highlighted the value of these public lands for their benefit to fish, wildlife, and outdoor recreation.

“Backcountry BLM lands in Lake County provide important habitat for bighorn sheep and great fishing opportunities on various drainages of the Arkansas River,” says Tim Hill, owner of Colorado Fly Fishing Guides out of Leadville. “By passing a resolution in favor of these federal public lands, the commission is joining a growing majority of county governments in Colorado and across the West that see how unworkable and insulting the idea of state takeover is to millions of Americans. I hope that other counties across the West will continue to carry this banner in support of our outdoor heritage.”

A total of 21 pro-public-lands resolutions have been passed by county and municipal governments in the past two years. The new sportsmensaccess.org, where hunters and anglers can take action and find resources on the would-be impacts of land transfer, has an exhaustive list of these resolutions and other meaningful opposition. Click here to learn more.

Inspired by the legacy of Theodore Roosevelt, the TRCP is a coalition of organizations and grassroots partners working together to preserve the traditions of hunting and fishing.

Kristyn Brady

September 28, 2016

Everglades Restoration Clears House Hurdle

News for Immediate Release

Sep. 28, 2016

Contact: Kristyn Brady, 617-501-6352, kbrady@trcp.org

House members vote to send the Water Resources Development Act to conference, meaning anglers are one step closer to better fish habitat in at-risk waters

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. House of Representatives has passed the Water Resources Development Act of 2016 (WRDA), which matches Senate-passed provisions to jumpstart much-needed restoration of Everglades fisheries and water quality improvements across the country through strategic use of wetlands, reefs, and other natural infrastructure.

The bipartisan bill would authorize $5 billion in water projects overseen by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, including $1.9 billion for the Central Everglades Planning Project, which would fast-track efforts to restore natural water flows, remove pollutants, and reverse algae blooms and other conditions devastating South Florida’s fisheries.

“The sportfishing industry recognizes that it is vital for the Florida Everglades to receive funding as soon as possible to expedite the implementation of multi-year projects that will help fix the water quality and water management challenges that plague south Florida,” says Scott Gudes, vice president of government affairs with the American Sportfishing Association. “These projects have been through an extensive review process and will provide significant environmental benefits by moving more water south from Lake Okeechobee. However, Congressional authorization is required before construction can begin.”

The House bill would also emphasize the use of nature-based infrastructure—like wetlands, dunes, and reefs—over new man-made structures to reduce flood and storm damage, improve water quality, and protect vital fish and wildlife habitat in the process. This provision, which sportsmen have been calling for since June 2016, was added as an amendment after a strongly bipartisan voice vote.

Similar provisions in the Senate version of WRDA, which passed 95-3 on September 15, would clear a path toward making these conservation measures happen. The two bills will need to be conferenced, with any differences hammered out, before legislation can go to the president’s desk.

“It should be encouraging to sportsmen that Congress is making definitive moves to advance important conservation measures with major impacts for fish, wildlife, and water quality at a time when they are tasked with so much,” says Steve Kline, director of government relations with the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “There will be as much, or more, competing for lawmakers’ attention going into a conference on these bills, but there is no time to lose when it comes to reversing destruction in Florida’s fisheries or prioritizing projects that have mutual benefits for habitat and infrastructure.”

Read about the Senate version of WRDA here.

Learn more about the Everglades fisheries crisis here.

Inspired by the legacy of Theodore Roosevelt, the TRCP is a coalition of organizations and grassroots partners working together to preserve the traditions of hunting and fishing.

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