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May 19, 2010

May Photo of the Month

Carter Young with his first fish, caught at Great Oak Marina, Md. Photo by Lance Young. E-mail your photos to cduxbury@trcp.org or post them as fan photos on our Facebook fan page.

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May 15, 2010

May T.R. ivia

Q. How much did T.R. pay for the 155 acres at Cove Neck, N.Y., where he built Sagamore Hill? Submit your answer by posting it on the TRCP Facebook fan page or sending it to cduxbury@trcp.org for your chance to win a TRCP hat.

Congratulations to Eugene Kiedrowski who answered last month’s question correctly. The question was, in which of T.R.’s annual messages to Congress did he call for legislation to protect Alaska’s salmon fisheries from commercial greed?

The answer was his 1902 State of the Union address.


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May 14, 2010

E. Donnall Thomas Jr.

You just published your 16th book, “How Sportsmen Saved the World.” Give us a little insight into how you became interested in the topic of sportsmen and the contributions they provide for the conservation community?

I grew up in an outdoor family, and since then I’ve been a hunter, angler, writer, photographer, hunting guide, dog trainer, bush pilot and naturalist. I have been heavily involved in the outdoors all my life and have long felt dismayed about the rift between the hunting and non-hunting segments of the wildlife advocacy community. Hunters distrust “environmentalists” because of the fear, real or perceived, that these groups seek to abolish or restrict outdoor sporting activities. Conservation groups not composed of hunters frequently disparage hunting on grounds that have no basis in scientific or historical fact. All groups concerned with the preservation of wildlife and wild places should be able to work together to combat the real enemy — the threat to wild habitat by irresponsible development. I hope that by objectively documenting the incredible contributions hunters and anglers have made to the preservation of wildlife and wild places I would help unite the conservation community.

In your book you write about significant advancements in American history for which sportsmen are responsible; can you give us an example of one such achievement?

Biologists estimate that at the time of first European contact, America’s bison population included nearly 50 million animals. By the late 1800s, commercial market hunting and habitat loss had reduced that number to some two-dozen animals hanging on in the northeastern corner of Yellowstone National Park. As editor of Forest and Stream, one of the country’s first “hook-and-bullet” magazines, George Bird Grinnell became a remarkably effective champion of the bison. Grinnell editorialized relentlessly, lobbied Congress to protect the animals and the park and formed alliances with influential politicians — including a young Theodore Roosevelt. Without Grinnell’s effort, the American bison would have disappeared.

How did you get involved with the TRCP?

Several years ago, I received an invitation from the late Jim Range to attend the annual TRCP media summit at his Montana ranch. I made an amazing number of new friends at that event and went away highly impressed with the caliber of the TRCP leadership. I recognized our shared philosophical framework and saw that the TRCP has the cachet to function effectively in the political environment just as Grinnell and Roosevelt did during the early days of conservation.

What led you to your career in conservation?

It became obvious to me that our society’s default position is not set to benefit wildlife and wilderness. If we are to offer our children and grandchildren the opportunity to enjoy the hunting and fishing traditions we’ve had, we need to be proactive, in the tradition of Grinnell, Roosevelt and all the other heroes of conservation profiled in my latest book.

What do you think are the most important conservation issues facing sportsmen today?

While huge global threats such as climate change and an exploding human population may make all other concerns irrelevant, I prefer to stay focused on issues closer to hand. Unless our country makes radical changes soon, our lack of a cogent energy policy is going to lead to a desperate push to exploit our last remaining reserves of domestic fossil fuels without regard to wildlife, wilderness or environmental constraint. If you care about preserving our hunting and fishing traditions, take action now.

Pick up E. Donnall Thomas Jr.’s latest book, “How Sportsmen Saved the World.


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April 19, 2010

April Photo of the Month

Union Boilermaker Todd Crawford fulfills his dream of harvesting a black bear on Escape to the Wild. Send your photos to cduxbury@trcp.org.


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April 18, 2010

Remembering T.R.’s legacy

A few years back, the late Jim Range and I were trout fishing with Theodore “Ted” Roosevelt IV in Montana. After a morning of fishing in the sun, we found ourselves some shade and began to shoot the breeze. With our backs against a big hay bale, we fell into a conversation about Ted’s illustrious great-grandfather.

“Aren’t we all so fortunate that T.R. set aside 230 million acres of public land for the American people?” I said after a bit.

Before I could continue Ted added, “Yes, and he should have set aside even more!” I was taken aback by his comment and couldn’t help but think that T.R. was speaking through his great-grandson. I don’t believe in challenging spirits from the great beyond, and clearly, conservation is part of the Roosevelt DNA, so I remained silent and thought to myself, ‘the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, now does it?’

I was reminded of that conversation the other day while reading Douglas Brinkley’s book, The Wilderness Warrior, a biography of our 26th president. In the book, Brinkley outlines why Roosevelt often is called the “father of conservation.” During his tenure in office, T.R. set aside or enlarged 150 national forests. He established 51 federal bird preserves, 18 national monuments, five national parks and four national game preserves. As is always the case when I revisit his record, I was in awe and doubly grateful for the legacy T.R. left us all.

Before closing the book, my thoughts drifted back to that warm afternoon in Montana. Ted had made another statement that has stuck with me since that day.

“I believe, as do some historians,” he said, “that if my great grandfather was elected president again in 1912 there would not have been a World War I.

We will never know exactly how many acres of land T.R. may have given us or how many soldiers may have been spared had the old Bull Moose prevailed in the 1912 election. What we can see, however, is the power that one man can have to affect the entire course of history. And in T.R.’s case, we are thankful and proud of this legacy.



In the last two years, policymakers have committed to significant investments in conservation, infrastructure, and reversing climate change. Hunters and anglers continue to be vocal about the opportunity to create conservation jobs, restore habitat, and boost fish and wildlife populations. Support solutions now.

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