Adrian Angulo

October 17, 2019

New Mexico Event Brings Together Hispanic Sportsmen and Women to Advance Conservation

This summit is only the beginning of a broad and critical conversation that we intend to continue

In early October 2019, the TRCP partnered with Hispanic Access Foundation and Nuestra Tierra Conservation Project to host a Hispanic Sportsmen and Women’s Summit in Taos, New Mexico.

The summit kicked off with space for each attendee to share a personal item and story that connects them to hunting, fishing, and conservation. Among the items were fly boxes, reels, backpacks, feathers, elk ivories, hats, and photos. The personal stories that accompanied each item emphasized the lessons learned while overcoming challenges and the power of public lands and waterways. Some of the stories also focused on the important role of mentorship in hunting and conservation and the critical need for experienced hunters and anglers to share their expertise.

Photo by Gregg Flores – Where the River Runs.

Organizations were given time to share presentations and highlight how we can work together to advance mutual interests. While we share similar conservation goals, the summit also provided an outlet to discuss how mainstream conservation groups could facilitate and foster diversity and broaden authentic outreach to underrepresented sportsmen and women communities. By recognizing and addressing barriers of access, we can bolster sportsmen and women participation in communities of color. To improve conservation outcomes nationally, everyone needs to be brought to the table.

Photo by Gregg Flores – Where the River Runs.

 

The final morning of the Hispanic Sportsmen and Women’s Summit was spent flyfishing on the Rio Grande River, where some of the luckier (or more skilled) anglers in the group caught some brown and Rio Grande cutthroat trout.

 

Photo by Gregg Flores – Where the River Runs.

Special thanks to Hispanic Access Foundation, Nuestra Tierra Conservation Project, New Mexico Wildlife Federation, Trout Unlimited, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, National Wildlife Federation, Ducks Unlimited, Bass Pro Shops, De Caceria, Pheasants Forever, Artemis, HECHO, Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, New Mexico Game and Fish, Where the River Runs, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife for their attendance and commitment to increasing Hispanic and Latino voices in our sport.

Photo by Gregg Flores – Where the River Runs.

 

This summit is only the start of an ongoing and critical conversation. Learn more about what the overall decline in hunting participation could mean for conservation funding in America.

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TRCP’s Fosburgh Testifies Before Congress on Ways to Slow the Spread of Chronic Wasting Disease

The coalition-builder’s president and CEO offers solutions that require federal investment in state efforts

Today, the president and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership testified in front of the House Natural Resources Committee on ways that Congress can invest in efforts to study, test for, and slow the spread of chronic wasting disease in wild deer and elk herds. CWD is a highly contagious, fatal neurological disease that affects deer, elk, and moose.

Whit Fosburgh offered solutions, including securing bipartisan and bicameral support for the investments in research and testing that have been proposed in two House appropriations bills.

“CWD is one of the greatest threats facing the future of hunting in America,” said Fosburgh. “To its credit, Congress seems to recognize the risk that CWD poses to hunting, agriculture, and even human health—and this subcommittee has certainly stepped up. I encourage you to continue to advocate for the funding levels set in the final version of both the House Interior-Environment and House Agriculture Appropriations bills, because surveillance and testing are key to controlling CWD. By knowing where it is, states can take the management actions necessary to contain the disease.”

CWD deteriorates the animal’s brain over time, resulting in emaciation, abnormal behavior, loss of bodily functions, and death. It was first identified in 1967 and remained isolated to a core region between Colorado and Wyoming for decades. But starting in the early 2000s, CWD began to spread rapidly—positive cases have now been confirmed in 26 U.S. states and four Canadian provinces, and wildlife managers are tasked with responding to the epidemic with limited resources.

Deer hunters make up 80 percent of the American hunting public, contribute nearly $40 billion to the U.S. economy, and support wildlife conservation efforts through their purchases of licenses and gear. Currently, testing for the disease is costly and time consuming, and the presence of CWD-positive deer already has some hunters questioning whether their venison is safe to eat. This could mean greater declines in hunting participation and less funding for states that already depend on hunting license and equipment sales for their conservation budgets.

“According to the USFWS, participation in hunting has been declining from about 13 million to 11 million people in the last decade,” Fosburgh testified. “One bright spot in those numbers, has been the growth of the field-to-table movement, or those who hunt to provide lean, organic, locally sourced protein to their family and friends. If people become wary of eating deer and elk, this area of growth in participation could fall away entirely. And conservation will be the biggest loser.”

In June 2019, the House approved a spending bill for federal agriculture, interior, and environmental agencies (H.R. 3305) with amendments that would send $15 million to the states to combat the spread of chronic wasting disease in wild deer and direct $1.72 million to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to enhance CWD research and testing methods.

The TRCP has asked sportsmen and women to urge lawmakers to invest in better research and testing for CWD through the annual appropriations process. Learn more about CWD and the hunter’s role in combatting the spread of this disease.

This House subcommittee hearing marks the fourth time this year that the TRCP has represented the interests of American sportsmen and women by delivering official testimony before Congress. View details on our previous testimony related to improving access to public lands, the five priority pieces of legislation that would invest in fish and wildlife habitat, and how to create drought solutions while enhancing conditions for fish in the Colorado River Basin.

Cory Deal

by:

posted in: Outdoor Economy

October 15, 2019

How to Set Up a Facebook Fundraiser in Honor of Theodore Roosevelt’s Birthday

His legacy lives on in the form of 230 million acres of public land set aside for Americans to enjoy and countless species saved by the conservation model he helped to spearhead. It only takes a few minutes to honor Theodore Roosevelt by calling on your own community to give back to conservation.

Here’s how to do it.

On Your Desktop (Recommended)
  1. Click here to visit the Facebook Fundraisers page.
  • You’ll need to be logged in to your Facebook account. You can also find the Fundraisers page icon to the left of your newsfeed.
  • Once there, you will be presented with two options: Raise money for a nonprofit or raise money for you or a friend.
  • Under “Raise money for a nonprofit,” click the button for “Select Nonprofit.”
  • A search bar will appear. In this bar, search “Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership” and select our page to designate the TRCP as your benefiting charity.

2. Tell your friends why you need their help.

  • Select yourself as the organizer, indicate how much you would like to raise, and set the end date as October 27, 2019 (Theodore Roosevelt’s 161st birthday!)
  • Here are some suggested fundraising goals for you to use:

$161 total, in honor of T.R.’s 161st birthday

$230 total, in honor of the 230 million acres of public land T.R. helped to set aside for Americans

$260 total, by getting ten friends to donate $26 each in honor of our 26th president

$500 total, because everyone likes a nice round number

$1027 total, in honor of T.R.’s October 27th birthdate

$1858 total, in honor of the year T.R. was born

  • Facebook will auto-populate the next screen with a fundraiser title and description, but personalizing these fields will make your ask more compelling. Here are some suggestions:

Title: Help Me Support Conservation in Honor of Theodore Roosevelt’s Birthday

Description: October 27 would have been Theodore Roosevelt’s 116th birthday, which is why I’m asking my friends to consider donating whatever they can to carry on this incredible sportsman’s conservation legacy. Whatever I raise will go to support the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership in their efforts to guarantee all Americans quality places to hunt and fish. I’ve always admired T.R. for his [tell your personal story here] and I have gained so much from my experiences in the outdoors that wouldn’t have been possible without healthy wildlife habitat, clean water, and access close to home. I hope you’ll help me give something

  • Once you’re satisfied with your fundraiser’s title and description, click “Next.”

3. Next, set a cover photo. 

  • We created one for you. Just select T.R.’s smiling face from TRCP’s most recent cover photos right below the preview box.
  • You can also add a downloaded photo by clicking the “Edit” button next to the little camera icon in the lower-righthand corner of the preview box. Select “Upload New Photo/Video” and choose the file on your computer.

  • Once you’re satisfied with your cover photo, title, description, and goal amount, select “Create” to publish your fundraising event!

 

On Your Mobile Device

  1. Open the Facebook application on your phone or other mobile device.
  • You’ll need to be logged in to your Facebook account. You must also make sure you’re using the most up-to-date version of the Facebook mobile application.
  • Open the menu by clicking the icon on the bottom righthand side of your screen.

  • Scroll down to find and select the Fundraisers page. You may need to expand more options by tapping “See More.” Fundraisers will be next to a yellow circle with a heart in it.
  • From the “Explore” tab, tap the blue “Raise Money” button.

  • A pop-up will appear with the question “Who are you raising money for?” Select “Nonprofit.”
  • A search bar will appear. Type in “Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership” and tap our page to designate the TRCP as your benefitting charity.

2. Tell your friends why you need their help.

  • Facebook will auto-populate the next screen with a fundraiser title and description, but personalizing these fields will make your ask more compelling. Here are some suggestions:

Title: Help Me Support Conservation in Honor of Theodore Roosevelt’s Birthday

Description: October 27 would have been Theodore Roosevelt’s 116th birthday, which is why I’m asking my friends to consider donating whatever they can to carry on this incredible sportsman’s conservation legacy. Whatever I raise will go to support the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership in their efforts to guarantee all Americans quality places to hunt and fish. I’ve always admired T.R. for his [tell your personal story here] and I have gained so much from my experiences in the outdoors that wouldn’t have been possible without healthy wildlife habitat, clean water, and access close to home. I hope you’ll help me give something back.

3. Next, set a cover photo and fundraising goal.

  • We created one for you. Tap the “Edit” button on the lower-righthand side of the existing photo, tap “Select Photo,” and find T.R.’s smiling face among TRCP’s most recent cover photos.
  • You may also upload your own image: Tap the “Edit” button on the lower-righthand side of the existing photo, tap “Upload Photo,” and choose something from your Camera Roll.
  • Select yourself as the organizer, indicate how much you would like to raise, and set the end date as October 27, 2019 (Theodore Roosevelt’s 161st birthday!)
  • Here are some suggested fundraising goals for you to use:

$161 total, in honor of T.R.’s 161st birthday

$230 total, in honor of the 230 million acres of public land T.R. helped to set aside for Americans

$260 total, by getting ten friends to donate $26 each in honor of our 26th president

$500 total, because everyone likes a nice round number

$1027 total, in honor of T.R.’s October 27th birthdate

  • Once you’re satisfied with your cover photo, title, description, and goal amount, select “create” to publish your fundraising event!
Thank you for your support of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership!

If you need help setting up your fundraiser, please contact Cory Deal at cdeal@trcp.org or 202.639.8727 x18.

 

Marnee Banks

October 11, 2019

TRCP’s President Calls for Collaboration to Solve Public Lands Challenges

Fosburgh highlights climate change as a major threat to public lands at the annual Society of Environmental Journalists convention 

Today, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership’s president and CEO Whit Fosburgh called on the Trump Administration to bring diverse stakeholders together and solve public lands challenges.

Fosburgh joined Acting Chief of the Bureau of Land Management William Perry Pendley, Dina Gilio-Whitaker from California State University San Marcos, John Freemuth from Boise State University, and Shea Loper from Encana Corporation to discuss issues facing America’s public lands at the annual Society of Environmental Journalists convention in Fort Collins, Colorado.

The panel, moderated by Washington Post Senior National Affairs Correspondent Juliet Eilperin, focused on how to balance conservation, recreation, and development on public lands.

Fosburgh encouraged the Administration to listen to the hunting, fishing, and conservation communities about how to manage the 640 million acres of federal public land in the U.S. “You have the authority to be creative in how you develop and how you balance [multiple uses],” he said. “Think creatively. Bring stakeholders together and don’t pit one side against the other.”

Fosburgh also discussed the importance of the outdoor recreation economy and the jobs supported by America’s hunting and fishing traditions—from guides and outfitters to main street businesses that thrive because of related tourism.

Eilperin closed the discussion by asking each panelist what they viewed as the biggest challenge to public lands. Fosburgh pointed to climate change:

“Climate change overall impacts every single acre of public land whether in Alaska, Maine, or Florida,” said Fosburgh. “Until we can get our hands around that, it impacts everything else we are dealing with from invasive species to public access—you name it. It’s all impacted.”

The entire panel discussion is available on the SEJ Facebook page.

Chris Macaluso

October 9, 2019

Fishing the “Big Muddy” After the Floods

Facing a new normal, how should we adapt conservation and infrastructure policy to improve the health of the Mississippi River and Gulf Coast?

The Mississippi River finally fell below flood stage in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on August 4—a record 211 days after it reached this milestone in early January.

For those of us who live along the banks of the “Big Muddy” and its tributaries, 1927 and 1973 have been the high-water marks used to judge all other extraordinary floods. This year, the river stayed at or above flood stage in Mississippi and Louisiana as much as two months longer than in 1927.

Submerged city riverfronts and flooded towns and farmlands throughout the Mississippi River Basin dominated news reports the entire spring and early summer. The National Weather Service reported more rainfall in the Mississippi and Tennessee River systems in the winter and spring of 2019 than ever recorded.

It would be easy to attribute all the ills of the Mississippi River Basin this year to historic rainfall. Given the unprecedented amount of water spilling into and out of the Mississippi and tributaries, it’s likely that even a perfectly managed system of levees, floodgates, and spillways would have been overwhelmed.

Bonnet Carre Spillway in St. Charles Parish. Photo by flickr user cmh2315fl.

However, this flood was like pneumonia for a system already fighting a pretty bad case of bronchitis. For some perspective, the Bonnet Carré Spillway—which was built about 20 miles upriver of New Orleans in the wake of the 1927 flood to divert enough water into Lake Pontchartrain and prevent levee overtopping—was opened twice this year and four other times in the last decade.

In the previous seven decades, it had been opened only eight times.

The flood changed fishing throughout the basin. Crappie, bluegill, and bass anglers itching to fish oxbow lakes and swamps still attached to the rivers had to wait until well into summer months before fish moved into predictable patterns. Extended high water along coastal Louisiana and water from the Bonnet Carré inundated coastal marshes and lakes, scattering some saltwater species and killing oyster reefs east of the river.

What’s more, excessive nutrients leeched from farms and failing sewage systems throughout the Midwest caused high bacteria levels that shut down beaches along Mississippi’s coast and contributed to widespread uncertainty about the health of fish and shellfish in the area.

There were some benefits, too. An enormous slug of sediment is building new wetlands along the Mississippi River’s east bank below New Orleans, along with an explosion in the crawfish and largemouth bass populations. The freshwater concentrated redfish and gave them a variety of fresh and saltwater forage to feast on. And, as fall has arrived, white shrimp, crab, mullet, and menhaden populations are exploding east of the river, thanks to the nutrients brought by the freshwater.

Many factors have contributed to increased flooding frequencies. Higher levees built throughout the basin in the last 40 years keep forcing the water higher and higher instead of allowing it to spill out into natural floodplains. Also, changes in climate and weather patterns can’t be ignored. It’s a fact that rainfall has become more intense and more frequent over that last two decades.

Extensive wetland and farmland draining has reduced water storage and increased nutrient levels in the river. Tile-drained lands for corn, wheat, and soybeans simply don’t store water. And mismanaged sediment throughout the Mississippi has decreased storage capacity in reservoirs from the Dakotas to Nebraska, as well as in the main river channel between Memphis and Baton Rouge. That sediment is desperately needed to sustain coastal wetlands, however much of it stops short of the river’s deltaic marshes.

Recognizing the importance of the river to fisheries, wildlife, and America’s economy and culture, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership has organized a campaign of hunting, angling, and conservation organizations to identify substantive changes in federal law and policy needed to make the Mississippi a much healthier system.

Those recommendations will include reconnecting historic floodplains, increasing the amount of wetland acreage throughout the basin, better sediment management and invasive species control, and a concerted effort to protect communities and economic assets with natural infrastructure as much as physical structures like levees and locks. It will certainly take an enormous amount of time and effort to enact changes, but their importance cannot be denied.

The result will hopefully be a river that is admired for its wild beauty and unparalleled hunting and fishing opportunities while supporting the transportation and communities that are vital to America’s economic health.

Learn more about the TRCP’s efforts to restore the Mississippi River Delta.

This story originally appeared on the Fishing Tackle Retailer website on September 26, 2019.

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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