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A few weeks back, while visiting Capitol Hill with two fellow TRCPers, I encountered a literal sign of the economic times. Posted just inside the doorway of a House member’s office was a banner that read, “If you are here to ask for more money, you are in the wrong office!”
Since my colleagues and I hadn’t stopped in to request a bailout but rather to discuss a piece of legislation, we assumed we were in compliance with the office rules and conducted our meeting as planned. But for the rest of the day, the image of that banner kept popping into my head.
The sign stood as a stark reminder that although our economy is growing and the federal government’s fiscal outlook is improving, money is still tight and programs that promote habitat conservation and good natural resource stewardship continue to face intense congressional scrutiny.
Sportsmen often ask what steps they can take to protect the future of hunting and angling in this country. I tell them to keep an eye on Congress and be ready to play defense when our flagship conservation programs fall onto the chopping block.
Conservation programs provide a host of economic, aesthetic and ecological benefits as a return on the federal government’s investment, and sportsmen are uniquely positioned to educated leaders in Washington, D.C., about the importance of conservation funding. In today’s fiscal environment, where job creation and economic growth are on everyone’s minds, sportsmen have a compelling story to tell.
Watch the short video below to learn more, and be sure to share this with your friends:
The connection is simple: Conservation is a precursor to getting hunters and anglers into the field. When sportsmen go afield or on the water, we spend money in pursuit of our passions, and the entire U.S. economy benefits. Learn more about this issue and get involved in the fight for healthy conservation funding.
Water touches everything we care about as sportsmen. It’s hard to imagine a hunting trip or fishing expedition that doesn’t, in some way, depend on quality water supplies – supplies that often are unavailable for fish, wildlife and habitat due to competition from other uses or simply dwindling water resources.
Yet, if you lookaround Washington, D.C., today, no one is delivering that message to decision makers. Many hunting and angling groups work on a variety of water issues, from protecting coldwater fisheries to restoring wetlands critical to waterfowl and improving dam operations for the benefit of fish and wildlife. However, a piecemeal approach can only go so far – especially given the magnitude of the water management challenges facing the country today.
Water management decisions have a range of economic, environmental and social impacts that stretch from headwaters to oceans. Whether it affects local access to water, regional water supplies or national conservation efforts, sportsmen must engage on decisions impacting water use. If hunters and anglers don’t speak up, water for fish, wildlife and habitat will be the first on the chopping block.
What is missing, therefore, is a dedicated and cohesive sportsmen’s voice in comprehensive, long-term water planning.
The TRCP and our partners have a unique opportunity to bolster our mission to you – “to guarantee all Americans quality places to hunt and fish” – with the creation of the Center for Water Resources. This new, sportsmen-driven initiative will ensure that decisions about water resources management benefit sportsmen. We are committed to communicating to you – and educating the broader public about – the importance of these issues.
The new TRCP initiative comes along at a time when we face daunting water management challenges. Municipalities are struggling to secure water supplies for their residents, farmers’ fields are going fallow due to depleted aquifers, and large swaths of the country suffer from severe droughts and floods.
Each of these challenges will become more difficult as population growth and climate change exacerbate current conditions. If we do nothing, water scarcity and increased competition for resources may put an end to our long-held hunting and fishing traditions.
The good news is that, as a community, sportsmen have an opportunity to confront these challenges – with help from the TRCP Center for Water Resources. The Center is committed to improving your hunting and fishing experience through water conservation efforts.
Your voice is needed in the fight. Keep an eye on the TRCP Blog for future updates, and sign up to receive email updates about the latest actions and how you can help.
Have a question about your water resources? Leave it in the comment section below.
Dall’s Sheep Species Background.
– There are four subspecies of North American wild sheep:
Thinhorns which consist of the Dall’s and Stone’s sheep; and
Bighorns which consist of the desert and Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep.
– More than 90 percent of North American wild sheep reside on public lands.
– State, federal, crown land agencies as well as tribal entities play an important role in wild sheep management.
– Disease transmitted from domestic sheep to wild sheep is the No. 1 limiting factor to successful recovery of wild sheep populations.
– Some public lands allow domestic sheep grazing in suitable historic wild sheep habitat causing large scale die-offs with many years of poor wild sheep lamb recruitment.
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.Learn More