Rep. Rob Wittman, Sen. Ron Wyden, Berkley and Tom Bedell among recipients of the TRCP’s highest honors.
WASHINGTON – At its fourth annual Capital Conservation Awards Dinner, held last night on the banks of the Potomac River in Washington, D.C., the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership recognized the achievements of leaders in the sportsmen’s community at an event that brought together national policymakers and conservationists of all stripes to celebrate the TRCP’s work in support of America’s outdoors heritage.
The annual TRCP fete honored the conservation commitments of Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, Rep. Rob Wittman of Virginia, and Berkley and Tom Bedell of Pure Fishing Inc. The event also highlighted the natural resources policy advanced through the work of the TRCP and its partners – work that plays a key role in furthering the group’s mission of guaranteeing every American a place to hunt and fish.
“Theodore Roosevelt once said that character is the decisive factor in the life of an individual and of nations alike,” said TRCP President and CEO Whit Fosburgh. “At the Capital Conservation Awards, the TRCP recognizes the character of individuals who are instrumental in promoting sportsmen’s values and in helping to realize the unique conservation vision that is central to our nation’s identity.”
Sen. Wyden was presented with the James D. Range Conservation Award for his ongoing dedication to ensure the responsible management of the nation’s natural resources and in particular his efforts to promote a bipartisan approach to conservation. In his introductory remarks, Frank Hugelmeyer, president and CEO of the Outdoor Industry Association, called the senator “one of our true conservationists in Congress.”
“The outdoors – especially hunting and fishing – is an incredibly important economic engine at a time when our country needs jobs,” said Sen. Wyden in accepting the award. “Yet the conservation movement has friends on both sides of the aisle, and our common goals will be an asset as together we navigate the challenging path before us.”
The other 2012 recipient of the James D. Range Conservation Award, Rep. Wittman, is “an outspoken advocate for the outdoors and for sportsmen and –women,” said American Sportfishing Association President and CEO Michael Nussman in presenting the award to the congressman, who also stressed the importance of strong conservation funding as an economic driver.
“One of the greatest economic multipliers is investing in our natural resources,” said Rep. Wittman. “The hard decisions we must make now will be central to addressing our many resource challenges and in assuring that our nation’s outdoor legacy can be experienced and enjoyed by generations to come.” Rep. Wittman was cited for his leadership on issues related to conserving the Chesapeake Bay, protecting clean water and wetlands, and ensuring strong ocean fisheries.
Former Congressman Berkley Bedell and his son Tom Bedell, both of Pure Fishing, were honored with the TRCP’s Lifetime Conservation Achievement Award for their unwavering dedication to healthy fisheries through the Pure Fishing family of brands and in particular the conservation and angler recruitment mission of the Berkley Conservation Institute.
“I plead with you: Look to the future and to those who follow us,” said Berkley Bedell, “so that they can hunt and fish and enjoy the outdoors as we do.” Tom Bedell, in accepting the award, offered a special appreciation of TRCP co-founder and visionary Jim Range.
Last night’s event also recognized a notable anniversary for the influential sportsmen’s group, which in 2012 is celebrating 10 years of existence.
“Our greatest conservation successes come when we work together and find common ground,” said Katie Eckman, chair of the TRCP board of directors. “Nights like this one make me proud to have been part of this organization since its inception.”
Lead sponsors of the 2012 Capital Conservation Awards include Bass Pro Shops, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Outdoor Industry Association and Pure Fishing.
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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