Voting can be summarized in a simple statement: if you don’t participate in the process, don’t complain about the results.
When the 2012 election season draws to an end tomorrow night, most of the attention will focus on the results of the presidential election – but sportsmen and –women should care about the races all the way down the ticket. From local bond measures and city council races to higher profile races for the House and Senate, elections matter. So get informed and be sure to cast your vote tomorrow.
Come Wednesday, don’t just sit on the sidelines until the next election. Remain informed about the decisions our elected officials make that impact fish and wildlife habitat and our ability to enjoy our natural resources well into the future. Pay attention to their promises and hold their feet to the fire to ensure they follow through on those promises.
If you care about conservation, the importance of well-managed fish and wildlife and your rights to keep and use firearms, don’t assume that someone else will take care of things for you. Participatory democracy works best when people engage, do their homework and make their voices heard in clear and thoughtful ways.
In the weeks and months ahead, we will write often about the challenges and opportunities facing sportsmen as a result of the elections tomorrow. In the meantime, I hope you, your family members and all your friends will exercise our right to vote and make your voices heard.
At the TRCP, we work hard so we can play hard, and when opening day rolls around it’s like Christmas for our staff.
For this week’s Wednesday Win, we’re giving away a hand-tied, commemorative Bully Bugger to the individual who posts a picture of their opening day outing on the TRCP Facebook page and gets the most likes by next Wednesday. Here are some photos of TRCP staff from various opening days in their respective states.
Anyone who’s been around the TRCP for a while has heard about Jim Range. Jim is thought of as the primary founder of the TRCP, and while many individuals contributed to the organization’s foundation, Jim had the strategic vision and extraordinary passion that remain at the heart of the organization to this day.
Jim’s instincts for the necessity of the TRCP for American sportsmen have proven to be 100 percent on target in the ten years since he led the way in launching the sportsmen-conservation organization. He was a brilliant strategist and known widely in Republican and Democratic circles in Washington, D.C., as one of the best brains in town. He could walk up to a legislative problem, measure it up and down, cut to a diagnosis and course of treatment without a lot of fancy talk.
Like a country doctor looking over a sick kid, Jim worked as quickly as anyone I’ve ever seen and the solutions he prescribed were always nonpartisan in nature. If you knew Jim’s dad, there was no great mystery as to how he came by this gift.
Jim’s dad, Dr. James J. Range, passed away in early October. “Bud” as his friends knew him, was 94 years old. Unlike Jim, who passed away three years ago at the age of 63, Dr. Range lived the kind of long, full life he deserved. I was fortunate enough to get to know Dr. Range as were many of Jim’s friends and while their outward personalities were markedly different, Jim took after his dad in many ways.
In the mountains of Tennessee around Johnson City, Jim gained a deep appreciation of the outdoors from his dad and it set him on a professional path that would see him become one of the most important sportsmen-conservation advocates of his generation. Jim took traits and smarts learned from his father and applied them to the political arena where he worked to heal divisions that threatened to forfeit American’s great natural resources and the outdoor way of life.
I mostly spent time with Dr. Range out at Jim’s place in Montana. Jim was such a huge personality and such a giant in the political and conservation arenas and it was fascinating to get to know the man who had, along with Jim’s mother, unleashed this whirlwind on all of us. Dr. Range was a warm wonderful person and it clicked for me right away – how this mellow and methodical doctor was connected to his colorful son. They both loved hunting and fishing and the outdoors deep down in their hearts and they both cared so much about other people.
So today I’ll just say thanks to Jim one more time for all he did for me as a friend and for all he did for this country’s sportsmen. And I’ll say thank you to Dr. Range for spending part of his long wonderful life raising such a fine son. We miss you both.
This article was written by TRCP board member George Cooper.
We launched the TRCP Blog back in June and we’ve heard lots of positive feedback from our partners in the conservation community. But now we’d like to hear from you.
We want to give the TRCP Blog a name worthy of its content and we want you to help select a new name.
Submit your ideas for a blog name on our Facebook page, tweet it to @theTRCP with the hashtag #TRCPBlog or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. The contest will be open from Wednesday, Oct. 10, to Wednesday, Oct. 17. We will be narrowing down the suggested blog names and asking our partners to vote on the names they like best, then announcing the winner on Friday, Nov. 2.
If your blog name is chosen, we will send you the ultimate TRCP care package, including a TRCP Buck knife, a signed copy of Steven Rinella’s new book, “Meat Eater: Adventures from the Life of an American Hunter,” a TRCP hat and a Bully Bugger made exclusively for the TRCP. The first and second runners-up will receive TRCP hats.
P.S. When brainstorming blog names, keep in mind our focus on all things Theodore Roosevelt, conservation, fish and wildlife.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
WHAT WILL FEWER HUNTERS MEAN FOR CONSERVATION?
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.