Kristyn Brady

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May 9, 2019

TRCP Unveils Legislative Accomplishments and Future Policy Priorities

Conservation challenges and opportunities are outlined in the organization’s Annual Report

The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership has unveiled its latest Annual Report, which highlights the organization’s work on behalf of healthy habitat, clean water, sportsmen’s access, and the outdoor recreation economy in 2018.

“As partisanship raged on, political pressures did not sway us from criticizing bad conservation policies or giving credit where it was due,” says Whit Fosburgh, TRCP’s president and CEO. “We also saw some of our major efforts to convene and lead the hunting and fishing community over the past five years come to fruition in a new Farm Bill, passage of the Modern Fish Act, and permanent reauthorization for the Land and Water Conservation Fund.”

The Annual Report outlines TRCP’s efforts, accomplishments, and future policy priorities related to:

  • Securing the future of the Land and Water Conservation Fund
  • Identifying and opening access to landlocked public lands
  • Conserving big game migration corridors
  • Defending the value of habitat mitigation
  • Battling chronic wasting disease
  • Clinching major conservation priorities in the 2018 Farm Bill
  • Advocating for a fire borrowing fix and robust conservation funding levels
  • Modernizing the management of federal saltwater fisheries
  • Investing in nature-based infrastructure solutions
  • Opposing the rollback of clean water standards for headwaters and wetlands
  • …and more

“But we’re not resting on our laurels,” says Fosburgh. “Legislative wins mean nothing if programs are underfunded or if conservation agencies fail to implement policies in time to have an impact. The TRCP will continue working with decision-makers to see that bill passage or program authorization isn’t the last step—it is the start of a new era of conservation outcomes that help guarantee all Americans quality places to hunt and fish.”

Download the 2018 Annual Report here.

Read Fosburgh’s annual letter to TRCP supporters here.

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Kristyn Brady

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posted in: Press Only

January 4, 2019

Banks and West Join TRCP to Advance Conservation Mission

TRCP boosts leadership team with alumni from Senator Tester’s office and Colorado DNR

The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership proudly welcomes two new staffers to its leadership team. Marneé Banks, previously communications director for U.S. Senator Jon Tester, will serve as the organization’s new chief communications officer in its Washington, D.C. headquarters. Madeleine West—previously assistant director for parks, wildlife, and lands at the Colorado Department of Natural Resources—will oversee four field representatives as deputy director of Western lands out of Denver.

“We’re excited to welcome two such talented and capable individuals to augment the skills of our existing team and lead the organization into a new chapter of conservation success,” says Whit Fosburgh, president and CEO of the TRCP. “Marneé brings critical experience in messaging around complex issues within a challenging media environment, and her work to spearhead campaigns around Senator Tester’s public land, outdoor recreation, and conservation legislation will be a major asset. Madeleine’s extensive work with Western leaders and agency staff will help advance our public lands policy work across the region, and we’re eager to have her hit the ground running during such a critical time for habitat and access.”

Banks grew up in Montana fishing the Little Blackfoot River and exploring the Rocky Mountains. A University of Montana alumna, she started her career in journalism as a television reporter covering local news. She later became the chief political reporter for the Montana Television Network and news director at KRTV and KXLH.

“I am thrilled to be joining the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership,” says Banks. “As a lifelong sportswoman, I am honored to be a part of such a talented team of individuals, who are committed to conserving our land, water, wildlife, and outdoor way of life.”

Since 2013, West has developed state-level policy primarily related to wildlife, outdoor recreation, state lands, and forestry issues for Colorado DNR. She also led DNR’s engagement in federal policies related to sage grouse and mitigation. Previously, West also served as wildlife program director at the Western Governors’ Association, lobbied in the Colorado State legislature for industry clients, and handled congressional relations in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Oceans, Environment, and Science in Washington, D.C.

“I’ve long admired TRCP for its bipartisan and collaborative approach and record of making a meaningful difference for conservation,” says West. “I am very excited to join this high performing team.”

Click here for the full roster of TRCP leadership.

Kristyn Brady

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posted in: Press Only

October 5, 2017

TRCP Statement on Sage-grouse Conservation Plan Amendment Process

Reopening conservation plans before they can be implemented is a premature step

Today, the Department of Interior and Bureau of Land Management announced that they will reopen the federal land-use plans for sage grouse conservation for amendments and published a 45-day comment period in the Federal Register. The action stems from a report generated by Secretarial Order 3353 and recommendations from a DOI-lead review team regarding several issues brought forth by the western states, local governments, and some stakeholder groups. While today’s notice opens the plans for additional comments, it does not necessarily mean they will be amended.

“We do not believe DOI and BLM fully exhausted all administrative options outlined in the report to the Secretary before deciding to pursue reopening the federal sage grouse conservation plans after just 2-years from their completion and with little implementation on the ground,” says Whit Fosburgh, president and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “Some targeted amendments to the plans may be necessary and could be acceptable once all other options have been exhausted, but we do not support major changes from amendments to the federal plans.”

“The current federal plans already balanced the conservation and management of sage-grouse priority habitat with energy development and other multiple uses of public lands. Representatives from the oil and gas, wind, and grazing industries, among others, were deeply involved in developing the current sage-grouse plans. Expanding development within priority habitat would be ill-advised and invite further litigation. Any future changes to the conservation measures in the plans must be defensible and supported by past and current scientific information. The TRCP will continue to work with DOI and BLM, as well as the states, during this process to ensure issues are resolved and balanced without further compromise to the conservation of the sagebrush ecosystem.”

In a separate notice today, the BLM also canceled a proposed withdrawal of approximately 10 million acres in Sagebrush Focal Areas in Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming from mineral development.

“Mining, while not as extensive as other development, still has impacts on the sagebrush ecosystem and must follow conservation rules for sage grouse priority and general habitat. With or without designated focal areas, we expect the BLM to continue to hold future development to these existing standards.”

Kristyn Brady

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posted in: Press Only

September 18, 2017

TRCP Responds to Leaked National Monument Report

A handful of positive measures in the report are overshadowed by recommendations to reduce the size of several national monuments

In a report leaked to the press yesterday, Secretary Ryan Zinke recommends measures to protect hunting and fishing in ten of the 27 national monuments reviewed this summer, but the report also suggests modifying them in either size or scope of management. This includes reducing the size of four land-based monuments and two marine monuments, with an eye towards opening three marine areas to commercial fishing.

“I wish these recommendations were limited to protecting the ability of Americans to hunt and fish within national monuments and setting an example for the appropriate use of the Antiquities Act,” says Whit Fosburgh, president and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “Instead, the handful of positive measures in the report are overshadowed by recommendations to reduce the size of several national monuments. Our hunting and fishing traditions are not threatened in most of the areas reviewed, and executive branch actions to diminish one monument could threaten the legitimacy of all national monuments, even those created by Theodore Roosevelt dating back to 1906.”

Of the 27 monuments reviewed by Secretary Zinke, 22 are open to hunting or fishing and are highly valued by sportsmen and women. Of the more than 1.3 million people who commented during the review period, more than 99 percent were in favor of keeping national monuments intact. Similarly, a recent poll commissioned by the TRCP found that 77 percent of Republican and 80 percent of Democratic sportsmen and women support keeping the existing number and size of national monuments available for hunting and fishing.

The move to open three marine national monuments to commercial fishing is not supported by recreational fishermen. “Saltwater anglers currently enjoy the privilege of using these areas, which are protected from the very real threat of overharvest,” continues Fosburgh.

Ultimately, decisions affecting the future of America’s national monuments rest with President Trump, and it is not yet clear what the White House will do with the recommendations.

“The TRCP encourages President Trump to support the integrity of the Antiquities Act by rejecting any measures to reduce the size of a national monument through executive action—sportsmen and women would rather be partners in using the Antiquities Act responsibly,” says Fosburgh. “Sportsmen don’t want to be used as a wedge in this process. If the president is most interested in supporting hunters and anglers, he will limit his actions under this report to protecting recreational hunting and fishing and supporting state agency authority over wildlife management.”

Kristyn Brady

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posted in: Press Only

June 12, 2017

TRCP Reacts to Secretary Zinke’s Recommendations on Shrinking National Monuments

What this unprecedented move could mean for America’s conservation legacy

Today, in accordance with an April 2017 executive order, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke sent a memorandum to President Trump recommending that the Bears Ears National Monument in Utah be reduced in size. The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership responded to this unprecedented action with concern.

“If the president acts on the secretary’s recommendation, we will be heading into uncharted territory that could threaten the conservation legacy of Theodore Roosevelt and 15 other presidents, both Democrats and Republicans, who have created national monuments under the Antiquities Act,” says Joel Webster, director of Western lands for the TRCP. “No president of the modern era has ever attempted to significantly alter the boundaries of a national monument, and we believe executive branch actions to reverse or otherwise undermine a single monument would jeopardize the future of all monuments, including those that are important to the hunting and fishing community.”

“Everyone who uses and cares about public lands should be concerned about the precedent that could be set in the coming days or weeks,” says Webster. “If this ball gets rolling, who knows where it will end up? We strongly believe that if the administration wants a monument to be significantly changed, they should call on Congress to take it up.”

The public has until July 9 to comment on the DOI review process for 27 monuments that comprise roughly 11.3 million acres. Hunters and anglers are encouraged to go to sportsmensperspective.org to take action and share why monuments matter to the future of our outdoor traditions.

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