Marnee Banks

May 20, 2019

Rinella, Yablonski, and Hamby Join the TRCP Leadership Team

Leading conservation nonprofit welcomes three new Board members

The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership is proud to announce that three experienced and noteworthy outdoorsmen will be joining its Board of Directors.

Steven Rinella, Brian Yablonski, and Terry Hamby all share a passion for the critical role that hunters and anglers play in strengthening conservation.

“We are pleased to welcome these three sportsmen to the Board,” said Katie Distler, TRCP Board Secretary and former Board Chair. “With their diverse expertise, influence, and savvy, we are strengthening our ability to guarantee all Americans quality places to hunt and fish.”

Steven Rinella is the host of the Netflix original series MeatEater and The MeatEater Podcast. He’s also the author of six books dealing with wildlife, hunting, fishing, and wild game cooking, including the bestselling MeatEater Fish and Game Cookbook: Recipes and Techniques for Every Hunter and Angler. Rinella started hunting as a child and never looked back. Following stints as a commercial trapper and professional fisherman, he began a career as an outdoor writer. Less concerned with trophies and killshots, Rinella’s work largely focuses on the culture, process, and history of hunting and conserving wildlife and its habitat, as well as the linkage between hunting and food. Most importantly, he is known for his efforts to convey the value of hunting to a general audience and promote the work of conservation organizations and the importance of public land.

“The importance of groups like the TRCP to the future of our world and its wild places cannot be overstated,” said Rinella. “I’m honored to be part of an organization doing such great work and am eager to contribute to its efforts, which I’ve long admired.”

Brian Yablonski is the executive director of the Property and Environment Research Center, a 40-year-old market-based conservation research institute based in Bozeman, Montana. He recently served for fourteen years and two terms as chairman of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and was the director of external affairs for Gulf Power Company. Previously, Yablonski also served as director of policy and deputy chief of staff for former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. Early in his career, Yablonski worked in the West Wing of the White House as a staff assistant to President George H.W. Bush, providing support directly to the president and his immediate office. President Bush named him White House Horseshoe Commissioner. An avid outdoorsman, Yablonski splits his time between Bozeman and a cabin in Emigrant, Montana, where he enjoys hiking, hunting, fly fishing, and skiing.

“Hunters and anglers are the backbone of American conservation, and the TRCP serves as their bipartisan voice to ensure the legacy of our sporting tradition continues,” said Yablonski. “I am excited to be part of an organization that brings people together and works across the aisle on behalf of conservation.”

Terry Hamby is a fifth-generation soldier and a Vietnam veteran. After his retirement from the U.S. Army Reserves, he founded a company that provides complex logistic and support services to the U.S. armed forces in the Far East, Middle East, Africa, Central America, and United States. A Kentucky native, he is a life member of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars and continues to lobby Congress with a private citizens group on military readiness and quality-of-life issues for service members and their families. Hamby is currently the chair of the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission, created by Congress to educate Americans about the sacrifices of 4.7 million WWI veterans and memorialize their service by designing and constructing a national memorial in the nation’s capital.

“I want to do my part to leave creation better than I enjoyed it all my life and preserve it for our great grandchildren to enjoy,” said Hamby. “By serving on the TRCP Board of Directors, we can truly make a difference for the next generation of sportsmen and women.”

See TRCP’s full Board roster here.

One Response to “Rinella, Yablonski, and Hamby Join the TRCP Leadership Team”

  1. Travis Patsfield

    Bringing on Rinella is a huge move for this organization! He’s easily one of the smartest people when it comes to this topic, and he understands the importance of the conservation of our lands! I wish there was a way to work for this organization! I love what you’re doing, please keep up the great work!

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Randall Williams

May 16, 2019

BLM’s Proposed Plans for Montana Public Lands Should Reflect Sportsmen’s Priorities

Plans to conserve popular elk hunting destinations are among the various options in the draft plans, but not at the top of BLM’s list

Today the Bureau of Land Management released draft plans that – when finalized – will guide land management decisions for more than 800K acres of public lands over the next 20 years or more. This includes some of Montana’s most scenic and recreationally important public lands overseen by the agency’s Lewistown and Missoula field offices.

This is a key step in a public process of land-use planning, which helps determine how habitat, outdoor recreation opportunities, and development are balanced in a particular area. The BLM proposes a variety of management options for a planning area and names one preferred alternative—in these plans, the agency’s preferred paths forward lack important measures that would conserve some of Montana’s best hunting areas.

Specifically, hunters, anglers, and other stakeholders have been calling for sportsmen-friendly conservation measures on intact and undeveloped lands with outstanding big game habitat in both the Missouri River Breaks as well as in the Garnet and John Long Ranges just east of Missoula.

“After an initial review of the two plans, we’re encouraged to see that conservation measures for key backcountry hunting areas are among the options, but it is disappointing that they were left out of the BLM’s preferred alternative,” says Scott Laird, Montana field representative with the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “At the start of these processes, the BLM received reasonable proposals to conserve some of Montana’s finest elk and deer country—measures that had broad buy-in and support from the governor’s office, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Commission, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal Council, timber interests, local business owners, and public land users of all kinds. We now ask that the BLM adopt sportsmen-oriented management for our best hunting areas in the final Missoula and Lewistown plans.”

Numerous outdoor-related businesses and conservation organizations support revising the two Resource Management Plans to better serve the interests of Montana’s hunters and other outdoor recreationists. “The Garnet Range is an often overlooked but important hunting destination just a short drive from Missoula and other surrounding communities,” says Casey Smith, owner of Straight6Archery in Missoula. “The BLM has an opportunity to do right by sportsmen and businesses through the Missoula resource management plan, and we are depending on them to incorporate measures in the final plan that will safeguard our best backcountry hunting areas near Chamberlain and Marcum Mountains.”

Popular public lands in central and western Montana help fuel the state’s $7.1-billion outdoor recreation economy, provide important wildlife habitat, and support various traditional uses of the land. These include Montana FWP Hunting Districts 410, 412, 417, 426, 281, 291, 292, and 298.

“The BLM has an opportunity to safeguard some of Montana’s best hunting areas and wildlife habitat through these land-use plans, and do it in a balanced way,” says John Borgreen, a Great Falls-area hunter who has been engaged in local conservation efforts for more than 45 years. “It’s a potential win-win for the varied wildlife we love to pursue, and will help ensure that our valued hunting heritage, outdoor traditions, and way of life can be enjoyed by future generations.”

“Sportsmen and other stakeholders will continue to speak up as these planning processes move forward, and we hope the BLM will listen,” says Laird. “We are talking about common-sense management provisions that would benefit our sporting traditions and wildlife habitat, while providing the flexibility to manage for other uses of these lands. It should be a slam dunk for the agency.”

 

Photo: Charlie Bulla

Randall Williams

May 14, 2019

Sportsmen Applaud Senate Committee for Considering Ruby Mountain Protection Act

Hunters and anglers call for swift passage of this critical public lands legislation

The Sportsmen for the Rubies, a coalition of 14 hunting, fishing, and wildlife conservation groups representing thousands of individual sportsmen and women, expressed appreciation for a subcommittee hearing Tuesday on the Ruby Mountain Protection Act (S.258). This development, which took place in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests, and Mining, marks the first progression for the bill since its introduction by Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV).

If passed into law, the act would conserve Nevada’s Ruby Mountains by permanently withdrawing from oil and gas exploration 450,000 acres in the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest’s Ruby Mountain Ranger District.

“Hunters, anglers, and a wide array of stakeholder groups have been vocal supporters of the bill from its inception,” said Joel Webster, director of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership’s Center for Western Lands. “The Ruby Mountains, known as the Swiss Alps of Nevada, contain some of the region’s finest outdoor opportunities and serve as the foundation of a $165 million outdoor recreation economy in Elko County.”

Last week, the Sportsmen for the Rubies coalition sent a letter to the committee chair and ranking member, urging a speedy vote on the bill so that it can proceed to the Senate floor.

The groups highlighted the importance of the area as fish and wildlife habitat in addition to its tremendous economic value as a recreational destination. The Ruby Mountains are home to a number of unique species such as the Lahontan cutthroat trout and the Himalayan snowcock, as well as Nevada’s largest mule deer herd.

“The Rubies are an incredible fish and wildlife resource as well as an economic engine for rural Nevada, said Pam Harrington, Nevada field coordinator with Trout Unlimited. “We are pleased the Nevada delegation is working with the sportsmen’s community to protect the Rubies.”

“Sportsmen and women throughout Nevada appreciate the subcommittee’s timely hearing on this bill,” said Tom Smith, the vice president of the Coalition for Nevada’s Wildlife. “We hope that leadership will commit to a markup and move this legislation to the floor for passage, so that future generations can enjoy the Ruby Mountains as we do today.”

 

Photo: USDA Intermountain Forest Service via Flickr

Kristyn Brady

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.

Kristyn Brady

May 2, 2019

TRCP Honors Three Champions of Bipartisanship in Conservation

Senator Bennet, Representative Conaway, and philanthropist Liz Storer were recognized at the organization’s 11th Annual Capital Conservation Awards Dinner

The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership was honored to celebrate three conservation champions from Capitol Hill and the private sector last night at the organization’s 11th Annual Capital Conservation Awards Dinner and gala fundraising event.

Liz Storer, president and CEO of the George B. Storer Foundation and a longtime conservation advocate, received TRCP’s 2019 Conservation Achievement Award for her impact on Western conservation issues. This includes consistent support for the development and implementation of comprehensive sage grouse conservation plans and the research, mapping, and protection of big game migration corridors. Storer has also been proud to serve on the TRCP Board of Directors for the last nine years.

Storer’s award was presented by Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), who received a TRCP award in 2016.

Senator Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Representative Michael Conaway (R-Texas) were each presented with the 2019 James D. Range Conservation Award—named for TRCP’s co-founder, a conservation visionary, and given to one Democrat and one Republican each year.

Sen. Bennet was recognized for championing both public and private lands and waters, through his support of the Land and Water Conservation Fund and as a conservation leader on the Senate Agriculture Committee during Farm Bill negotiations. He is also the Democratic lead on legislation to improve federal science on chronic wasting disease.

Bennet’s award was presented by Erik Glenn, executive director of the Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust.

Rep. Conaway was recognized for his leadership on the 2018 Farm Bill, which clinched many victories for wildlife habitat, water quality, and sportsmen’s access. He is the ranking member of the House Committee on Agriculture and a member of the Sportsmen’s Caucus and International Conservation Caucus.

Conaway’s award was presented by Representative Marc Veasey (D-Texas.)

“Like TRCP founder Jim Range, Michael Bennet, Mike Conaway, and Liz Storer are pragmatic conservationists who understand that people are a part of the land and believe that we are duty-bound to leave a natural legacy to future generations,” said Whit Fosburgh, TRCP’s president and CEO. “They also understand that conservation is not a partisan issue—it is something that should connect us all as Americans. We were proud to honor that spirit by bringing together more than 500 conservation luminaries, individual supporters, corporate sponsors, policymakers, and media professionals at this event.”

Senator Jon Tester (D-Mont.) teamed up with Representative Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) to deliver the ceremony’s opening remarks about the value of conservation, before an exciting live auction featuring auctioneer Johnna Wells. TRCP Board Chairman Rod Nelson gave closing remarks.

Thank you to our event sponsors:

Coca-Cola, George B. Storer Foundation, National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, Schlumberger, Shell, Yamaha, Altria, American Sportfishing Association, Baker Botts, Bass Pro Shops, Boone & Crockett, Matt Cook, The High Lonesome Ranch, Kirby, National Marine  Manufacturers Association, Outdoor Industry Association, Outdoor Recreation Roundtable, Pure Fishing, Range Resources, Recreation Vehicle Industry Association, Tod Sedgwick, Simms Fishing Products, SITKA Gear, Archery Trade Association, The Baird Group, Center for Sportfishing Policy, Coastal Conservation Association, Costa, Everglades Foundation, Federal Premium, Natural Resource Results, The Nature Conservancy, Orvis, Outdoor Research, Peak Design, Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever, PotlatchDeltic, REI, Sorini Samet & Associates, Southern Company, Weyerhaueser, Williams, YETI, AFL-CIO, Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies, Baker Donelson, Bonefish & Tarpon Trust, Browning, Captains for Clean Water, The Conservation Fund, Ducks Unlimited, Elliotsville Plantation, First Lite, Forbes-Tate, Fly Fishers International, Jonah Energy, Land Trust Alliance, Leupold, NEMO Equipment, National Wild Turkey Federation, PERC, Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation, Ruffed Grouse Society, Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundation, Union Roofers, Upper Green River Conservancy, American Forest Foundation, American Iron & Steel Institute, Brookover Land Enterprises, The Cypress Group, Erdle Consulting Group, Filson, National Park Foundation, National Wildlife Refuge Association, New Belgium Brewing, New Belgium Family Foundation, Pisces Foundation, Sage, Terlato Wine Group, Turner Foundation, Vortex Optics, and Wine & Spirit Wholesalers of America.

The 12th Annual Capital Conservation Awards Dinner will be held on Wednesday, April 29, 2020 in Washington, DC.

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.

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