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posted in: General

June 14, 2010

Jim Posewitz

You grew up in Wisconsin. How did you end up out West working on conservation issues?

I grew up in the 1940s in central Wisconsin – a time and place devoid of any appreciable fish and wildlife resources. There were no deer, streams were polluted and the Great Lakes fishery had just collapsed. Boy Scouts led me to an early education about living and being outdoors, and something in that experience made me want to become engaged further in the natural world. In high school, I joined a fly-fishing club and found teachers who engaged me on my environmental interests. One suggested I attend Montana State University. I was offered a scholarship there, and so I headed West … and I’ve only been back once.

Your book, “Rifle in Hand: How Wild America Was Saved,” explores the role of hunters in the conservation of American wildlife. What message do you hope readers will take from this book?

I hope the book gets hunters and anglers back in step with the American conservation movement. We should be inspired by the likes of Theodore Roosevelt and George Bird Grinnell. T.R. had an epiphany after killing one of the last remaining American buffalo – an event that spurred the creation of the conservation movement. [Read more about T.R.’s response to the extinction of the American buffalo in Roosevelt Reflections.] T.R. realized that we were a nation without a conservation ethic, and he worked to change that, setting aside more than 230 million acres of wilderness.

How did you first hear about the TRCP?

I was involved with the organization when it was in the early stages and was called the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Alliance. I used to write the “Rough Rider” manuals.

What is one of the most important conservation issues facing sportsmen today?

The most dangerous threat is the return of aristocratic notions of who gets to hunt. Wildlife should be seen as a resource to be managed for the benefit of all the people.

What do you enjoy doing outdoors?

Oh, I do it all.

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posted in: General

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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posted in: General

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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posted in: General

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.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

CONSERVATION WORKS FOR AMERICA

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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