Whit Fosburgh

June 25, 2012

Welcome to the TRCP Blog

Whit FosburghWe live in a world where we can obtain breaking news by simply looking at a smartphone or firing up a computer. Most of us want to spend our free time afield or on the water – enjoying the outdoors with our families and friends – and not reading headlines.

As president and CEO of the TRCP, I understand the sheer volume of information competing for attention in your mailboxes, inboxes and online. In an effort to respect your time while ensuring you remain up to date on issues affecting hunting and angling, fish and wildlife, and national conservation policy, the TRCP is launching a brand-new email newsletter.

I am pleased to introduce “The Roosevelt Report.” In the spirit of T.R. himself, our new offering pulls no punches and delivers you the most current, most compelling news central to our outdoor traditions. The new layout is streamlined and concise, serving up the latest in policy news of interest to the sportsman-conservation community and complemented by an engaging mix of old and new features – “T.R.ivia,” Featured Conservationist interviews and more.

We look forward to bringing you an in-depth look at conservation and natural resources policy with this weekly newsletter.  These “insider reports” not only will be delivered to your inbox on a weekly basis but will be a headline component of the new, stand-alone TRCP blog which will include engaging stories, entertaining highlights, giveaways and more.

As always, we are proud to feature the legacy of Theodore Roosevelt in both our online efforts and our efforts in the public policy arena. I invite you to explore the “TRCP Blog” and “The Roosevelt Report” and drop us a line with your ideas or input.

Thanks for reading, for your commitment to our outdoors legacy and for your dedication to our goal of “guaranteeing you a place to hunt and fish.” As always, we appreciate your support!

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Whit Fosburgh

May 31, 2012

Conservation Finds Renewed Importance in Dire Economic Straits

“Conservation is a luxury we simply can’t afford.”  This is what sportsmen and women were told in 2011 as the House of Representatives passed a budget that eliminated or eviscerated almost every major conservation program, from wetlands conservation and public lands management funding to the Open Fields program that encourages landowners to open their lands to public hunting and fishing.

Finally, anti-conservation members of Congress had their excuse to attack programs that they had never liked, programs they believe thwart the full development of our natural resources. A slew of “riders” unrelated to the budget proved that this was more about ideology than deficit reduction.

But faced with giving up a century of conservation progress, hunters and anglers came together and reached out to the outdoor recreation and historic preservation communities to make the case that conservation is not a luxury; it is fundamental to what makes America great and it provides jobs.  The coalition, called America’s Voice for Conservation, Recreation and Preservation, now boasts more than 1,200 groups, including many of our partners.

It released a comprehensive economic study that showed hunting and fishing, other outdoor recreation, and historic preservation support 9.4 million American jobs, result in $1.06 trillion in annual economic impact and generate $107 billion annually in tax revenue. And these are jobs that cannot be exported.

It’s also important to note that conservation did not create the budget deficit and it cannot solve the problem.  As a percentage of federal spending, conservation has decreased from about 2.5 percent in the 1970 to about 1.26 percent today.

You could eliminate every conservation program and barely make a dent in the deficit.  Moreover, as everyone who has ever worked on a local conservation project knows, every dollar of federal funds is leveraged several times over by state and private funds and volunteer labor.

I am pleased to report that common sense finally ruled the day and the Senate reinstated about $1.8 billion in conservation funds in the final budget agreement.  But the House is now poised to repeat history by passing a bill almost identical to its 2011 disaster.

Once again it is time for sportsmen and women of all stripes to speak up for what Theodore Roosevelt called the common man’s birthright.



The precipitous drop in hunter participation should be a call to action for all sportsmen and women, because it will have a significant ripple effect on key conservation funding models.

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