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July 15, 2010

July TRivia

What was the make and gauge of the shotgun that T.R. took on his year-long African Safari?

Congratulations to Cecil Houser who was the first to correctly answer that Roosevelt traveled to the Nile River as a teenager.

Send your answer to this month’s question to brianm@trcp.orgfor your chance to win a navy blue T.R. Sesquicentennial Hat.

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July 14, 2010

Lynn Tjeerdsma

Q: How did you get into hunting and fishing?

I was born on the same farm I own now that was homesteaded by my great-great-grandfather in South Dakota near the Missouri River. Pheasant season was a highlight of each year for me growing up, as we would host out-of-state hunters. I was allowed to hunt with the group and was retrieving birds when I was 7 years old. Along with pheasant hunting, shooting mallards and Canada geese was also part of my hunting heritage. I’ve also spent time shooting prairie dogs, prairie chickens and sharp-tailed grouse. I started out learning how to fish for bullheads using a cane pole before I even attended grade school. I later graduated to a Zebco rod, catching crappies while ice fishing in the wintertime and catfish in the summertime.

Q: What led you to your career in conservation?

During my farming career in South Dakota, I quickly learned that the best way to produce the wildlife I loved to hunt was to make certain there was enough habitat available. I enrolled land in the Conservation Reserve Program the first year it began and have ground enrolled in the CRP today. I also participated in the Great Plains Conservation Program and Agriculture Conservation Program by seeding grass and planting more than nine acres of trees. Growing up in the wildlife-rich area near the Missouri River made me realize that it is a privilege to enjoy these lands and they need to be preserved for others. There’s no greater goal in my professional career than to develop and administer public policy that enhances soil and water quality and wildlife habitat and preserves it for future generations. During my career at the TRCP [Tjeerdsma worked as a consultant supporting the TRCP’s Farm Bill initiative for nearly three years], Jim Range inspired me to do more for conservation and wildlife.

Q: How did you get involved with the TRCP?

My first association with the TRCP was as a career Farm Service Agency employee participating in the USDA Senior Executive Service program. Under this program I needed to do a three-month detail with a non-government organization. I was fortunate to choose the TRCP and was initially going to split my detail between the TRCP and an agricultural organization; however, I enjoyed working at the TRCP so much I stayed there the entire three months. This led to my being detailed to the TRCP from the FSA for a total of two years under an Intergovernmental Personnel Act Mobility Program to work on the conservation title of the 2008 Farm Bill.

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

Habitat, habitat, habitat. Our country loses more than 1 million acres each year due to urban sprawl, the need to grow inexpensive food and growing fuel to lessen our dependence on foreign energy. Sound conservation and habitat development practices must fit into the equation – which is no small task. It is more important now more than ever for conservationists to be united.

Q: What are your hopes for the future of the TRCP?

The TRCP has an important role to play in the future of wildlife and conservation because of the coalition of member organizations it represents. My hope for the future of the TRCP is that it continues as a strong and unified voice to Congress and the administration on issues of mutual interest among its member organizations. My hope also is that conservation, wildlife and hunting and fishing organizations will support the TRCP. The TRCP doesn’t compromise their individual identities or goals in any way – but offers sportsmen’s groups an opportunity to unite in support of issues on which they mutually agree.


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July 4, 2010

Theodore Roosevelt a Proud American President

In honor of July Fourth, here are a few Theodore Roosevelt quotations reflecting his hopes for America.

“Is America a weakling, to shrink from the work of the great world powers? No! The young giant of the West stands on a continent and clasps the crest of an ocean in either hand. Our nation, glorious in youth and strength, looks into the future with eager eyes and rejoices as a strong man to run a race.”

“The country needs and, unless I mistake its temper, the country demands bold persistent experimentation. It is common sense to take a method and try it, if it fails, admit it frankly and try another, but above all, try something.”

“It is by no means necessary that a great nation should always stand at the heroic level. But no nation has the root of greatness in it unless in time of need it can rise to the heroic mood.” 


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June 19, 2010

June Photo of the Month

Former TRCP intern Hank Forrester and his dog, Teddy, pose with a hard-earned gobbler in North Carolina. We want to see your photos. E-mail them to info@trcp.org or post them in our “fan photos” album on Facebook.


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June 18, 2010

Theodore Roosevelt and John Burroughs

In a world before radio, television and the Internet, Theodore Roosevelt was a voracious reader. He read at least one book per day, and his interests covered an enormously wide range of subjects. One can only imagine what a man with his energy and curiosity would have consumed had he access to Google, Twitter and Facebook.

Among his favorite authors was the nature writer and essayist John Burroughs. When the two met in 1889, it marked the beginning of a 30-year friendship — which only ended with Roosevelt’s death in 1919.

The two were polar opposites in many ways. T.R. was a mercurial, animated and action-driven man of science while Burroughs was an introspective, contemplative and poetic observer of nature. T.R. hunted throughout his life, whereas Burroughs gave it up as he grew older. Burroughs loved to fish, especially for brook trout in his beloved Catskill Mountains, while T.R. did not particularly enjoy the sport.

Regardless of these differences they developed a deep and abiding admiration for each other. Soon after meeting T.R., Burroughs wrote, “I thought him very rigorous, alive all over, with a great variety of interests. … It was surprising how well he knew the birds and animals. He’s a rare combination of sportsman and the naturalist.”

Roosevelt in turn dedicated his 1905 book, “Outdoor Pleasures of an American Outdoorsman,” to Burroughs.

“Every lover of outdoor life must feel a sense of affectionate obligation to you,” Roosevelt wrote. “Your writings appeal to all who care for the life of the woods and fields, whether their tastes keep them in the homely, pleasant farm country or lead them into the wilderness. It is a good thing for our people that you should have lived: surely no man can wish to have more said of him.”

In reference to the two-week camping trip the two took in Yellowstone National Park in 1903, T.R. continued, “You were with me on one of the trips described in this volume, and I trust that to look it over will recall the pleasant days we spent together.” Their writings are enjoyed by sportsmen, conservationists and lovers of literature nearly 100 years after their deaths — a fact that would please them both to no end.



Theodore Roosevelt’s experiences hunting and fishing certainly fueled his passion for conservation, but it seems that a passion for coffee may have powered his mornings. In fact, Roosevelt’s son once said that his father’s coffee cup was “more in the nature of a bathtub.” TRCP has partnered with Afuera Coffee Co. to bring together his two loves: a strong morning brew and a dedication to conservation. With your purchase, you’ll not only enjoy waking up to the rich aroma of this bolder roast—you’ll be supporting the important work of preserving hunting and fishing opportunities for all.

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