Media Center: Press Release

Barnyard to Boatyard Conservation Exchange Seeks to Conserve Habitat and Support Local Economies

News for Immediate Release Jun. 19, 2013 Contact: Katie McKalip, 406-240-9262, kmckalip@trcp.org

TRCP to Unite South Dakota Farmers & Ranchers and Louisiana Gulf Fishermen to Build Momentum for Conservation.

Cocodrie, LA - (June 11, 2013) – The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership will launch an exchange this summer between South Dakota farmers and ranchers and Louisiana Gulf fishermen to seek solutions to conserve America’s great native prairies and coastal waters.

In the TRCP “Barnyard to Boatyard Conservation Exchange,” three South Dakota farm couples will travel to Cocodrie, La., in July for a three-day educational outing to learn about the trials and triumphs of managing businesses reliant on healthy Louisiana Delta and Gulf of Mexico ecosystems, complete with a fishing trip along Louisiana’s Cajun bayous.

Subsequently, three couples engaged in commercial fishing, tourism and recreational fishing from the Louisiana Delta region will travel to Sioux Falls, S.D., in August to participate in an intensive, three-day briefing on the innovations and realities of grain and livestock farming and ranching, capped off by a trip to the Sioux Empire Fair.

“It’s time to cross boundaries,” said Tim Kizer, private lands field coordinator for the TRCP, “whether state lines or mental barriers, to gain a greater understanding of conservation in America, as well as the role that businesses at both ends of the Mississippi River play in the sustainability of our clean water, abundant wildlife habitat, productive farm fields and fruitful fisheries.”

In the nation’s capital and around the country, the TRCP works to strengthen laws, policies and practices affecting fish and wildlife conservation by leading partnerships that influence decision makers.

“Our hope is that these six couples will return to their communities and stress the need to take action to conserve our nation’s natural resources for future generations,” continued Kizer. “This is not a quick fix. It will take time. Some long-held opinions and practices must change, but we are in this for the long haul. This exchange is about equipping people with the tools to make a difference for their own futures, as well as those of their children, neighbors and their new friends thousands of miles away.”

In Louisiana, the TRCP will lead a three-day educational program July 11-14 at the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium in Cocodrie. Economic topics will include an overview of the fishing guide industry, shrimp fishing, oyster operations, gulf-based energy, and the ocean freight and shipping businesses. Conservation topics will cover hypoxia or the “Dead Zone,” diversions and marsh building, saline water, economic and development impacts and municipal water concerns.

The South Dakota program, Aug. 8-11, created in conjunction with the South Dakota Farmers Union, will focus on grain and livestock production. Production topics will include best practices for row-crop production, federal and state conservation programs, drain tiling, nutrient management, federal crop insurance incentives, municipal water issues, and economic impacts.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Reporters interested in attending the Barnyard to Boatyard Exchange should contact Cathryn Kennedy, cathryn@cathrynkennedy.com (612.309.3951); Pam McCarthy-Kern, pam.mck@earthlink.net (612-360-0647); Katherine McKalip, kmckalip@trcp.org (406.240.9262) or Tim Kizer, tkizer@trcp.org (479-530-8855).

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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