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June 21, 2013

TR Quote Friday

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June 18, 2013

Can Crowd-Sourced Funding Save Conservation?

When times are tough, people get creative. One TRCP partner in particular has developed an out-of-the-box strategy to cure the conservation-funding blues.

National habitat and conservation organization, National Wild Turkey Federation, has recruited the help of an online crowd-sourced funding platform called CrowdTilt to fulfill their organizational goals.

Crowd-sourced funding, or crowdfunding, is a fundraising approach that allows many individuals to make small online donations toward a common project – in this case, conserving the Black Hills of Wyoming and South Dakota.

Unable to standby and watch as a mountain pine beetle epidemic devastated the area, NWTF decided to take action. The obvious solution to hire a dedicated forester for the area was shot down due to a lack of funding for such a position.

NWTF  has turned to crowdfunding to raise money for the position. The hiring of a forest manager is a crucial first step toward ensuring the long-term health of the Black Hills and the wildlife that calls its forests home.

From the CrowdTilt page:

By helping to secure this professional forester, you can support wildlife habitat enhancement, reducing the risk of catastrophic wildfire, forest management planning and mountain pine beetle prevention and treatment. These improvements will cover more than 2,000 acres and be funded by cost share dollars, possibly as much as $800,000, available through the Natural Resource Conservation Service and a previously acquired federal grant.

NWTF’s CrowdTilt campaign already has raised $440 of the $10,000 needed to make am impact on the pine beetle epidemic in the Black Hills. Stay tuned to find out whether NWTF reaches their goal.

Do you think the idea will catch on?

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June 12, 2013

Wednesday Win: Caption This

Is this your idea of a good day on the golf course? Leave a caption below and you’ll be entered to win a copy of Jay Cassell’s Gigantic Book of Hunting Stories. We’ll announce the winner on Friday.

Image courtesy of outdoornebraska.ne.gov

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June 11, 2013

A Sign of the Times

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.

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June 8, 2013

Why Water Matters to Sportsmen

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.

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.

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