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September 8, 2015

Glassing The Hill: September 8 – 11

The TRCP’s scouting report on sportsmen’s issues in Congress

Both the House and Senate return from the Labor Day holiday and a month-long stay in members’ home states.

Photo courtesy of Library of Congress.

After spending the month of August in their districts, members of Congress return to what will likely be a flurry of deadline-driven activity through the end of the year. Discussion of President Obama’s nuclear agreement with Iran will take up much of the floor time for the first half of September.

Meanwhile, only 12 legislative days remain for Congress to reach a funding agreement and keep the government from shutting down when this Fiscal Year ends on September 30. It seems likely that a short-term continuing resolution (CR) will be passed to fund the government, although politics around the Planned Parenthood scandal could complicate that path forward. Passage of a CR would likely set up an end-of-year debate on a longer-term omnibus appropriations agreement—a bill to combine many small appropriations bills, requiring just one vote in each chamber.

Other things facing a September 30, or end-of-fiscal-year, deadline: Reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund and a court-mandated decision on whether to list the greater sage grouse for Endangered Species Act protection. Tick tock.

The Week in Full

Wednesday, September 9
Animas River Spill – House Committee on Science, Space and Technology hearing on “Holding EPA accountable for polluting Western waters”

More info here

Friday, September 11
Federal Facility CleanupHouse Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy hearing on the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act

Energy ReformHouse Science, Space and Technology Subcommittee on the Environment hearing on EPA Clean Power Plan

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September 4, 2015

Meet our first #PublicLandsProud judge: Jess McGlothlin

Meet Jess McGlothlin of The Orvis Company and Jess McGlothlin Media, the guest judge in the first round for our #PublicLandsProud photo contest. For this segment of the contest, she’ll be judging the best fishing photos with her selected  winner receiving a new pair of Costa Sunglasses. Think you have what it takes? Read on to find out what she’ll be looking for in a winning photo and get the full scoop on the #PublicLandsProud contest here.

1. What makes you #PublicLandsProud?

Image courtesy of Bob White.

The simple ability to go out and get lost in the outdoors is one of the best things for the soul. It tends to put everything in perspective. And the fact we have readily accessible public lands is, really, pretty incredible.

2. What’s your ideal day of fishing on public lands?

Hard to say; as I see more—and different—public lands, my idea of a perfect day fishing keeps changing. All I can say it would involve family, a good boat, and a relaxed day on the water. And if the fish are eating so much the better.

3. How do you like to spend your time on public lands? 

I’m usually off on a shoot—be it fishing, hunting, or hiking—but sometimes it’s nice to leave the camera gear at home and just enjoy being outside.

4. What’s your connection to the industry?

Image courtesy of Dry Fly Media.

Currently I freelance full-time, working for editorial clients like the New York Times and various publications and blogs (mostly in the fly-fishing and outdoor industries), and a stable of really awesome commercial clients. I’m also the outdoor copywriter for The Orvis Company.

5. What will you be looking for in a #PublicLandsProud photo?

A good photograph tells a story beyond what’s actually seen in the image. I’ll be looking for shots that make me wonder what the rest of the day was like, what happened next… a good picture is like a story compressed down to a single shot. I can’t wait to see the awesome things folks are doing on our public lands!

Show us your #PublicLandsProud moment and you could be featured on our blog, not to mention win a new pair of Costa Sunglasses. 

Here are three ways you can support sportsmen’s access on public lands. 


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September 3, 2015

Pheasants and steelhead: #PublicLandsProud in Eastern Washington

We check in with Josh Mills from Spokane, WA, who is taking home the first pair of custom Costa Sunglasses as the round one winner of our #PublicLandsProud photo contest.

1. You’ve shown us a favorite #PublicLandsProud moment, now tell us the story behind the picture.

The #PublicLandsProud winner.
Image courtesy of Josh Mills.

We have a special region of Washington known as the Channeled Scablands that turns out is tremendous pheasant habitat. A great deal of the land that we hunt on is either  BLM and or CRP land that has sportsmen’s access.  We have walked this ground for over 40 years pursuing upland game with my dad and our dogs. Combined with gracious landowners who have given us access as well, the public access across the region we hunt gives us great opportunity for some great days afield.

Image courtesy of Josh Mills.

2. How often do you visit these public lands and why is it so special to you?

My father have these particular tracts of land for close to 40 years and I’ve either been with him or had my own hunting license for over 26 years.  The memories made are truly life long…I can put myself in each field, each canyon, each draw instantly in my mind.  I remember my first pheasant. I remember coming up the breaks of the Snake River at 13-years-old and realizing how big this world really is. I remember missed birds, great shots, and dead tired dogs at the end of each hunt. I cant wait to share it with my two boys when they’re old enough to join themselves

3.  If these public lands are lost, what do you and your fellow sportsmen stand to lose?
Access is elemental to the experience. Without public sportsmen’s access,  hunting and fishing become a game with a steep entry fee. We live in a country so unique we don’t have to pay-to-play in the outdoors. Happiness is just a short drive away to the nearest river or tract of land where sportsmen’s access is secured for generations

4.  When not out on public lands, where can we find you (job, family, volunteer, etc.)?

When not out hunting and fishing, I live in Spokane, Washington and work in advertising sales. I’m married to my beautiful wife, Kallie, and have two boys Carson and Mason.  In the minutes of spare time, I serve on the board of directors of the Wild Steelhead Coalition and write a blog centered on fly fishing, hunting, and conservation, www.millsfly.blogspot.com

Show us your #PublicLandsProud moment and you could be featured on our blog, not to mention win a new pair of Costa Sunglasses. 


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September 2, 2015

Pittman-Robertson: 78 Years of Gearing Up for Good Conservation

On this day in 1937, one of the most important pieces of legislation in conservation history was signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt—yep, that other Roosevelt—to dedicate excise taxes on guns, ammunition, and other hunting equipment toward funding conservation and habitat restoration throughout the country. Today, the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act, more commonly named the Pittman-Robertson Act for co-sponsors Senator Key Pittman and Congressman Absalom Robertson, can be directly linked to the revitalization and survival of wild turkeys, whitetail deer, elk, pronghorn antelope, wood ducks, black bears, Canada goose, desert bighorn sheep, and mountain lions in our country.

Image courtesy of Bob Wick/BLM.

At the height of commercial and market hunting, and just as several species were on the brink of being over-hunted to the point of extinction, this important bill helped to create a permanent source of funding for conservation in the U.S. Estimates show that Pittman-Robertson has brought in over $8 billion for conservation since 1939—that’s a lot of gear.

Over 4 million acres of sensitive habitat have been acquired with these funds, and the management of wildlife on another 40 million acres has been underwritten with money from P-R and state-funded matches. This funding also ensures that we’re using the best science to assess habitat risks and needs, easily making it part of one of the most successful conservation stories ever.

Image courtesy of Sean Svadilfari/Flickr.

All of this, of course, has come on the backs of sportsmen and women everywhere. Every time we purchase the latest shotgun or bow, or stock up on ammo, we are essentially helping our own cause, but the effects of P-R funding extend far beyond sportsmen.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says that “almost all the lands purchased with P-R money are managed both for wildlife production and for other public uses,” such as hiking, camping, birdwatching, and picnicking.

So, when you’re at the store stocking up for opening day, go ahead and buy that extra box of shells—it’s worth it. The decisions we make today, at the cash register and in Washington, will have lasting effects on our sporting traditions.


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September 1, 2015

Arizona Anglers and Fishing Guides List Six Ways to Enhance Lees Ferry Rainbow Trout Fishery

Image courtesy of Eric Petlock.

To address concerns over an unstable rainbow trout population in northwest Arizona’s Lees Ferry, a coalition of conservation and sportsmen’s groups and Marble Canyon fishing guides has submitted a list of recommendations to the federal and state agencies responsible for maintaining and improving the blue-ribbon fishery. The recommendations will be provided to the Bureau of Reclamation and National Park Service as they develop an environmental impact statement (EIS) for the adoption of a long-term experimental and management plan to determine Glen Canyon Dam operations and river restoration actions for next 15 to 20 years.

The coalition—which includes the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, Trout Unlimited, the International Federation of Fly Fishers, Northern Arizona Fly Casters, Arizona Fly Casters, Desert Fly Casters, Anglers United, the Arizona Sportsmen for Wildlife Conservation, and Marble Canyon guides and businesses—delivered the report titled “Lees Ferry Recreational Trout Fishery Management Recommendations: The voice of Lees Ferry recreational anglers, guides, and businesses” at the meeting of the Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Work Group in Tempe, Arizona, last week. This group advises the Secretary of the Interior on matters related to the operations of Glen Canyon Dam.

Image courtesy of Eric Petlock.

Currently, dam operations have direct and indirect effects on rainbow trout in the 16-mile stretch of the Colorado River between Glen Canyon Dam and Marble Canyon—an area commonly referred to as Lees Ferry. Completion of the dam in 1964 created a unique tailwater rainbow trout fishery that has grown in importance and reputation locally, regionally, and nationally. But varying water releases from the dam are currently affecting the production and diversity of insects in the river, the survival of young trout, and the growth and condition of adults.

The trout in Lees Ferry have experienced several significant population swings over the years, which has been bad news for local guiding and lodging businesses that depend on a reliable sport fishery. “Currently, the Lees Ferry trout fishery is ecologically unstable,” says John Hamill, Arizona field representative for the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “Rainbow trout are exhibiting strong natural recruitment, but these populations aren’t fully supported by the amount and diversity of food in the river. Scientific studies also suggest that food supplies are also limiting to native fish populations downstream in Grand Canyon National Park.”

“Our goal is to make sure the trout fishery gets a fair shake in the EIS process,” Hamill says.

Here’s a summary of the recommendations:

  • Establish a more diverse and stable aquatic food base by experimenting with more stable flow regimes to bring back bigger bugs, like mayflies, stone flies, and caddis flies. A more diverse aquatic food base will also benefit the native fish community and other wildlife in the Colorado River corridor.
  • Conduct high-flow releases in the spring to improve the aquatic food base and enhance trout spawning and recruitment when needed.
  • Test the use of flows to manage trout in the Lees Ferry reach and reduce downstream migration. This could help minimize competition with and/or predation of endangered humpback chub.
  • Implement a water temperature control device that has the capacity to release both cold and warm water from the Glen Canyon Dam. Recent studies suggest that the amount of water in Lake Powell will likely decrease in the future as a result of increased water demands and climate change, leading to warmer water releases from the dam. This would seriously impact the Lees Ferry trout fishery and lead to an invasion of cool- and warm-water fish which would seriously impact native fish in Grand Canyon National Park.
  • Establish re-stocking and environmental compliance protocols for responding to potential catastrophic losses of the rainbow trout population in Lees Ferry.
  • Create action strategies to reduce or avoid the potential effects of poorly-oxygenated water passing through the reservoir. Though a rare occurrence, these conditions can pose a direct and immediate hazard to rainbow trout in Lees Ferry.

These recommendations aim to boost the Lees Ferry fishery without detriment to downstream resources. “Our recommendations will improve the quality of the trout fishery and benefit many other Colorado River resources below Glen Canyon Dam,” says John Jordan, conservation chair for Arizona Trout Unlimited. “We expect these steps to support the recovery of the endangered humpback chub, the improvement of camping beaches in Grand Canyon National Park, the development of hydropower generation, and the protection of archaeological sites.”

Read the full report here.



Theodore Roosevelt’s experiences hunting and fishing certainly fueled his passion for conservation, but it seems that a passion for coffee may have powered his mornings. In fact, Roosevelt’s son once said that his father’s coffee cup was “more in the nature of a bathtub.” TRCP has partnered with Afuera Coffee Co. to bring together his two loves: a strong morning brew and a dedication to conservation. With your purchase, you’ll not only enjoy waking up to the rich aroma of this bolder roast—you’ll be supporting the important work of preserving hunting and fishing opportunities for all.

$4 from each bag is donated to the TRCP, to help continue their efforts of safeguarding critical habitats, productive hunting grounds, and favorite fishing holes for future generations.

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