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posted in: General

April 2, 2013

Saving Texas Bighorn Sheep

Steven addresses concerns about Texas bighorn sheep in light of exotic and invasive species introductions within the bighorn’s native range.

  • Bighorn sheep are what biologists call an “indicator species” – one whose presence, absence or abundance is reflective of a larger environmental trend.
  • After years of declining numbers resulting from unregulated hunting and disease, Texas bighorns have rebounded to their pre-settlement population levels.
  • Bighorns are threatened by the introduction of the exotic and invasive Aoudad sheep. Aoudad sheep compete with bighorns for habitat and risk transmitting viral and bacterial pathogens foreign to bighorn immune systems.
  • The greatest limiting factor in bighorn recovery, however, is disease transmission from domestic sheep and goats.
  • In order for Texas bighorn populations to remain robust, management practices must eliminate contact between bighorns and domestic sheep and goats and strictly manage Aoudad numbers.

Wild sheep populations in Texas may be recovering, but herds across the West continue to dwindle due to factors such as disease transmission and climate change.

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by:

posted in: General

Saving Texas Bighorn Sheep

Steven addresses concerns about Texas bighorn sheep in light of exotic and invasive species introductions within the bighorn’s native range.

  • Bighorn sheep are what biologists call an “indicator species” – one whose presence, absence or abundance is reflective of a larger environmental trend.
  • After years of declining numbers resulting from unregulated hunting and disease, Texas bighorns have rebounded to their pre-settlement population levels.
  • Bighorns are threatened by the introduction of the exotic and invasive Aoudad sheep. Aoudad sheep compete with bighorns for habitat and risk transmitting viral and bacterial pathogens foreign to bighorn immune systems.
  • The greatest limiting factor in bighorn recovery, however, is disease transmission from domestic sheep and goats.
  • In order for Texas bighorn populations to remain robust, management practices must eliminate contact between bighorns and domestic sheep and goats and strictly manage Aoudad numbers.

Wild sheep populations in Texas may be recovering, but herds across the West continue to dwindle due to factors such as disease transmission and climate change.

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posted in: General

April 1, 2013

Conservation Funding = Economic Growth on TRCP’s CFN

How do hunting and angling benefit the national economy? Watch “TRCP’s Conservation Field Notes” as Steven Rinella explains the many ways sportsmen enable a strong economic future for America.

  • Outdoor recreation has a substantial positive impact on the U.S. economy, with figures of $120.7 billion in product sales and $524.8 billion in trip and travel related spending.
  • Congress is considering damaging cuts to critical conservation programs that will not only affect hunting and fishing opportunities, but could have a detrimental effect on the outdoor recreation economy as whole.
  • Investments in our natural resources comprise a mere 1.26 percent of the federal budget, and current cuts under consideration are disproportionately weighted on conservation and recreation.

To learn more about conservation funding, please visit the below sites:

Outdoor Industry Association
US Fish and Wildlife Hunting and Fishing Survey-2011

Federal investments in conservation support more than 9.4 million American jobs ranging from manufacturing to retail to service. Tell Congress to support the outdoor recreation economy.

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posted in: General

March 25, 2013

Speak up to Save Critical Grassland Habitat

The TRCP joins partners Pheasants Forever, Quail Forever, Ducks Unlimited and others in urging sportsmen across the nation to contact their House representative and ask him or her to co-sponsor the Protect Our Prairies act (H.R. 686).

This legislation, introduced by Rep. Tim Walz (D-MN) and Rep. Kristi Noem (R-SD), would reduce crop insurance assistance for the first four years for crops grown on native sod and certain grasslands converted to cropland.

Learn more about the Protect Our Prairies Act.

Reducing crop insurance assistance so it is proportionate with the production capability of this land, rather than insuring it at the same rate as land that has been farmed for years, could save taxpayers nearly $200 million over 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office’s estimate from the 112th Congress.

Importantly, this legislation does not prevent producers from making their own planting decisions.

Watch the video below to learn more about the Protect Our Prairies Act.

Call your representative today and ask him or her to co-sponsor Protect Our Prairies Act (H.R. 686) and defend grasslands for pheasants, quail and other wildlife.

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New Hope for Native Grasslands

Iowa Barn
Photo by Scott Bauer.

There’s new hope that native grasslands—arguably the most threatened wildlife habitat in the nation – can be saved.  But the House of Representatives will have to follow the bipartisan lead of a couple of prairie state representatives to get that done for sportsmen.

The Protect Our Prairies Act recently introduced by Rep. Tim Walz (D-MN) and Rep. Kristi Noem (R-SD) would help protect the nation’s remaining native sod and grasslands by reducing federal crop insurance subsidies for the first four years those acres are farmed.

This is a new version of the “Sodsaver” concept that has been around for some time, with the aim of preventing native grasslands from being plowed for two important reasons: This habitat is critical for a wide range of upland birds, migratory waterfowl and numerous other species; and they are far less productive for crops than other lands.

Outdoor writer Bob Marshall explains why the need for Sodsaver has never been greater, and how the recent push for corn-based ethanol and soaring world commodity prices have led to a dramatic increase in conversion of grasslands to row crops.

Read the full story on the Field & Stream website.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

CONSERVATION WORKS FOR AMERICA

As our nation rebounds from the COVID pandemic, policymakers are considering significant investments in infrastructure. Hunters and anglers see this as an opportunity to create conservation jobs, restore habitat, and boost fish and wildlife populations.

Learn More
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