Kristyn Brady

March 8, 2019

TRCP Leaders to Testify in Two Congressional Hearings Next Week

CEO Whit Fosburgh will speak in a Senate hearing on improving access for outdoor recreation and Chief Conservation Officer Christy Plumer will address a House subcommittee about sportsmen-sourced conservation funding

The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership’s top brass will appear as expert witnesses in two Capitol Hill hearings next week.

Whit Fosburgh, the TRCP’s president and CEO, will address the full Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources about the importance of the outdoor recreation economy, solutions for unlocking access to public land, and the need to fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

Christy Plumer, the TRCP’s chief conservation officer, will speak about the vital role of hunters and anglers in supporting fish and wildlife conservation through our license fees and excise taxes at a House Natural Resources oversight hearing on the state of America’s wildlife. She will underscore the importance of Congress moving forward with the Pittman-Robertson Modernization Act and reauthorization of the North American Wetlands Conservation Act and highlight opportunities to conserve migration corridors and improve fish habitat connectivity.

House Subcommittee on Waters, Oceans, and Wildlife Hearing

Featuring: Christy Plumer, Chief Conservation Officer, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership
Date: 
Tuesday, March 12, 2019
Time: 2:00 PM EDT
Location: 1324 Longworth House Office Building, 15 Independence Ave SE, Washington DC 20515

Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources Hearing

Featuring: Whit Fosburgh, President and CEO, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership
Date: Thursday, March 14, 2019
Time: 10:00 AM EDT
Location: 366 Dirksen Senate Office Building, 50 Constitution Ave NE, Washington, DC 20002

 

Join us as we livestream the hearings on our Facebook page and live-tweet during each event.

 

Top photo by Whitney Potter

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Kristyn Brady

March 1, 2019

Hunting and Fishing Groups Ask PA Lawmakers Not to Divert Conservation Funding

Benefits to water quality, sportsmen’s access, and abandoned mine reclamation would be lost if funds were redirected to government operations

This week, leading local and national sportsmen’s groups shared major concerns about the proposed budget for the Environmental Stewardship Fund and Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund.

In a letter to state lawmakers, 11 organizations from across the hunting and fishing community wrote: “We value the projects funded by these programs that restore fish and wildlife habitat, improve sportsmen’s access to streams and forests, and enhance the conservation efforts of the Commonwealth’s independent fish and game agencies. We are dismayed that the Governor’s budget proposal would redirect much-needed resources from the ESF and the Keystone Fund in order to pay for state government operations in the coming fiscal year.”

The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership has called on Pennsylvania hunters and anglers to support increased funding for the Environmental Stewardship Fund. In a recent poll, the TRCP found that four in five PA sportsmen and women support fully funding the program to restore watersheds, clean up abandoned mines, and more.

Read the full letter here.

Kristyn Brady

Sportsmen Warn Against Weakening Conservation in Roadless Areas

Sportsmen and women band together to conserve Utah’s backcountry lands

Today, the state of Utah petitioned the U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Forest Service to develop a state-based rule managing 4 million acres of roadless areas on national forest lands within the state.

In Utah, backcountry areas that are not fragmented by roads are currently conserved under the 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Rule, which was created through years of stakeholder engagement.

“For nearly two decades, the roadless rule has successfully conserved some of the finest hunting and fishing destinations in Utah and across the nation,” says Whit Fosburgh, president and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “It is unnecessary and counterproductive to abandon this tried-and-true policy and go back to the drawing board. Doing so will only drain the time and resources of public agencies already stretched thin.”

Prime habitats and hunting and fishing country from the Wasatch and Uinta Mountains to the La Sals could be affected by this rulemaking process.

 

Top photo by Brandan Rasmussen via flickr.

Kristyn Brady

February 26, 2019

House Sends Historic Public Lands Package to President’s Desk

Sportsmen and women celebrate permanent authorization of LWCF and investments in public lands, wildlife habitat, and the outdoor recreation economy

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed S. 47, a historic package of legislation including permanent reauthorization for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, in a major milestone for public lands access, habitat conservation, and the outdoor recreation economy. The legislation now heads to the president’s desk.

“This vote marks a turning point for public lands in America, as our elected officials have shown their support for LWCF’s enduring legacy,” says Whit Fosburgh, president and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “We no longer need to worry about kicking the can down the road as our best tool for unlocking inaccessible public lands remains in limbo. House lawmakers should be congratulated on seizing this bipartisan momentum for conservation, and Congress should continue to pursue full funding for LWCF as a next step. We look forward to working with public land agencies to unleash the many benefits of this legislation in support of the outdoor recreation economy.”

Comprised of more than 100 locally and regionally specific public lands bills, the package contains defining wins for sportsmen and women. Aside from providing long term certainty for LWCF, one of the most popular public lands programs of the past 50 years, the legislation also requires that 3 percent of LWCF funding be used to unlock isolated and inaccessible public lands. TRCP’s recent study with onX showed that 9.52 million acres of public lands in the West are landlocked by private lands, with no permanent legal access.

The legislation would also reauthorize the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act, a conservation grant program in which dollars are typically matched three times over at the local level to benefit waterfowl and wetlands. Another provision would reauthorize the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program, a critical initiative to assist private landowners who want to voluntarily restore habitat on their lands.

More than 40 hunting, fishing, and conservation organizations signed a letter to House leadership last week urging lawmakers to prioritize and pass this important legislation. And thousands of individual sportsmen and women signed TRCP’s action alert triggering e-mail messages to their elected representatives.

These voices from across the hunting and fishing community are celebrating today’s vote:

“We’re one step closer to ensuring that our nation’s proud legacy of protecting our public lands and waters becomes permanent,” says Ben Bulis, president of the American Fly Fishing Trade Association. “Our industry is grateful for the bipartisan leadership in both the House and Senate and their determined, vital commitment to ensuring that this uniquely American hallmark will benefit each and every one of us for generations to come.”

“For too long, LWCF has been stuck in a cycle of uncertainty that limited its potential. Today’s vote changes that. This is an extraordinary victory for conservation in the United States,” says Mark R. Tercek, CEO of The Nature Conservancy. “As one of the country’s most effective conservation programs, LWCF has helped protect national parks, expand trails and playing fields, and preserve important landscapes for over half a century. By using the revenues from offshore oil and gas drilling, LWCF invests in lands and waters at no cost to the American taxpayer, so it should be no surprise that a strong majority wants to continue this win-win for people and conservation. Regardless of party, nature unites us all. Ultimately, LWCF is about preserving the best of America by protecting our lands and waters, our wildlife and ways of life. The overwhelmingly bipartisan votes in the House and Senate to renew LWCF reflect our nation’s longstanding commitment to conservation, ensuring future generations will benefit from LWCF. We are grateful for LWCF’s champions in the House and Senate, all of whom have worked hard to achieve permanent reauthorization, and we look forward to the president signing this measure into law.”

“Today we celebrate a victory for our public lands and watersone that never would have happened without the hard work and commitment of hunters and anglers and without the willingness of our elected officials to heed the will of the people,” says Land Tawney, president and CEO of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers. “We look forward to President Trump signing this critical package of bills into law.”

“By permanently reauthorizing the Land and Water Conservation Fund, Congress has recognized what sportsmen and other outdoor enthusiasts have always known: LWCF is America’s most proven method for putting public lands conservation on the ground and facilitating access to outdoor recreation,” says Jared Mott, conservation director for the Izaak Walton League of America. “We look forward to President Trump quickly signing this important legislation and permanently protecting Americans’ access to their public lands and opportunities for outdoor recreation.”

“The House’s approval of the National Resources Management Act – following the Senate’s overwhelming vote earlier this month – is the latest reminder that conserving our public lands and waterways is an issue that unites us,” says Thom Dammrich, president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association. “We thank Representative Raúl Grijalva, Representative Rob Bishop, and House leadership for swiftly picking up the baton and passing this important legislation, and we now call on President Trump to promptly sign the bill into law.”

“Public lands bring Americans together, and that’s why Republicans and Democrats in the House voted overwhelmingly today for a bill that ensures the Land and Water Conservation Fund will be around for our kids and grandkids,” says Diane Regas, president and CEO of The Trust for Public Land. “Today’s historic vote, following a 92-8 vote in the Senate, means that more people can have access to hiking trails, city parks and wild landscapes. Americans expect their public officials to work together, and today’s vote to give more people access to public lands is something we can all celebrate.”

“We know there is a lot going on across the country right now, but everyone should pause for a few moments and take in what is happening with our nation’s public lands,” says Patricia Rojas-Ungar, vice president of government affairs for the Outdoor Industry Association. “We are set to preserve nearly a million acres of land for protection and outdoor recreation, permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund, and help our young people enjoy the outdoors more, among many other thingschanging the trajectory of public land protection and advocacy for the next generation for the better. We are thankful for the tireless hours many key senators and representatives, public lands advocates, and American citizens put in to get this across the finish line. And, while it certainly is not solely responsible for all of the support and ‘yes’ votes, OIA’s work over the years to quantify the contribution of the outdoor recreation economy$887 billion per year and over 7.6 million jobshad a helping hand in bridging some of the partisan divide in Washington and getting this once-in-a-decade public lands package done.”

 

Top photo by USFWS Midwest Region.

Kristyn Brady

February 15, 2019

Hunters and Anglers to Push Back Against New EPA Plan That Ignores Critical Habitat

Public comment period opens today on rule that would exclude many streams and wetlands from Clean Water Act protections

The Environmental Protection Agency today officially published a proposed rule that would roll back protections for 50 percent of wetlands and 18 percent of stream miles in America. This kickstarts a 60-day comment period for Americans to weigh in on the proposed rule, which does not include Clean Water Act protections for ephemeral streams—those that only flow after rainfall—and wetlands that are not connected to other waters.

The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership is calling on individual sportsmen and women to respond by April 15 and urge the EPA not to overlook critical fish and waterfowl habitat.

“Clean water is vital to our hunting and fishing traditions and the booming outdoor recreation economy,” said Whit Fosburgh, the TRCP’s president and CEO. “This proposal disregards the importance of smaller streams and isolated wetlands and the Clean Water Act’s 40-year track record of improving America’s waterways. A rollback of this magnitude puts fish and wildlife at serious risk. The EPA must listen to the millions of sportsmen and women who rely on clean water.”

Before finalizing the 2015 clean water rule, the EPA held a 120-day comment period and ultimately allowed the public a total of 200 days to respond to the proposal. The EPA is now only giving the public just 60 days to submit feedback on the replacement rule.

“The agencies need to give sportsmen and women sufficient time to speak out, given the gravity of this rule,” said Fosburgh. “Sixty days is not enough.”

Read the rule as published in the federal register here.

The TRCP is asking hunters and anglers to take action here.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

WHAT WILL FEWER HUNTERS MEAN FOR CONSERVATION?

The precipitous drop in hunter participation should be a call to action for all sportsmen and women, because it will have a significant ripple effect on key conservation funding models.

Learn More
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