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April 26, 2016

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TRCP OUTLINES ITS CONSERVATION ACHIEVEMENTS AND FINANCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY

News for Immediate Release

Apr. 26, 2016

Contact: Kristyn Brady, 617-501-6352, kbrady@trcp.org

Annual report highlights 2015 growth and success in service of guaranteeing all Americans quality places to hunt and fish

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership has released its 2015 Annual Report detailing the group’s diverse array of accomplishments benefiting habitat and sportsmen’s access in the last calendar year. Thanks to its growing coalition of 46 formal partners, 23 corporate affiliates, and thousands of supporters across the U.S., the TRCP has affected positive policy changes and conservation investments in service of Theodore Roosevelt’s legacy and the group’s mission to guarantee all Americans quality places to hunt and fish.

“Too often, people mistake action for accomplishment. Nowhere is this more true than in Washington, where how many meetings you attend is often mistaken for actual success,” writes TRCP President and CEO Whit Fosburgh and Board Chairman Weldon Baird in the opening pages of the report. “For the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, 2015 was about accomplishment— achieving real results that will directly benefit fish and wildlife habitat and Americans’ access to those lands and waters.”

Despite ongoing threats from well-funded anti-conservation interests, the benefits of last year’s work will extend to marine fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico, greater sage grouse and other sagebrush species of the West, headwater streams and wetlands across the country, and all Americans who rely on public lands for their hunting and fishing access. The 501(c)(3) organization also confirms its accountability to donors by sharing 2015 financials and accolades from charity-watch organizations, including a third four-star rating from Charity Navigator.

Read the 2015 Annual Report here, and see what TRCP is up to right now by visiting our blog.

Inspired by the legacy of Theodore Roosevelt, the TRCP is a coalition of organizations and grassroots partners working together to preserve the traditions of hunting and fishing.

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Glassing The Hill: April 25 – 29

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

The Senate and the House are both in session this week.

Photo courtesy of Library of Congress.

The House NDAA includes a greater sage-grouse provision that is sure to ruffle some feathers. The House Armed Services Committee will hold a mark-up of the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), legislation which helps fund our military, on Wednesday, April 27. The chairman’s version of the bill includes language from “The Greater Sage Grouse Protection and Recovery Act,” which would undermine conservation plans in core habitat areas. Congresswoman Tsongas (D-Mass.) is expected to make a motion to strike the provision to be stripped from the underlying bill. So far, this effort is playing out precisely as it did in 2015.

Aquatic habitat improvements that benefit wildlife and improved access. On Wednesday, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will mark up the Water Resources Development Act, which would address various aspects of water resources administered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Sportsmen should be pleased with a possible addition to the bill calling for use of nonstructural, naturally-occurring infrastructure, such as wetlands, in place of sewer and stormwater inlets. Using natural infrastructure would improve water and habitat quality and enhance hunting and fishing opportunities.

It’s open to debate. The Senate will continue considering “The Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act,” which will not include a rider to block the administration’s clean water rule after Senator Hoeven’s (R-N.D.) amendment failed to pass last week. Later in the week, the Senate will begin consideration of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development spending bill. The House will consider two bills: a resolution to prevent retirement investment regulations from being altered; “The Email Privacy Act,” legislation that would require the government to obtain a warrant before accessing people’s electronic devices.

Here’s what else we’re tracking:

Tuesday, April 26

Senate Natural Resources Committee hearing on oil and gas development in different environments and economies

Wednesday, April 27

House Armed Services Committee mark-up on the National Defense Authorization Act

Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee hearing on the Clean Water Rule 

House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources hearing entitled; “Bureau of Land Management’s Regulatory Overreach into Methane Emissions Regulation”

House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Power, and Oceans hearing on renewable energy resources

Thursday, April 28

House Science, Space, and Technology Committee hearing on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s role in the Pebble Mine case

Senate Natural Resources Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests, and Mining hearing on invasive species

House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Federal Lands hearing entitled; “Locally-elected Officials Cooperating with Agencies in Land Management Act”

House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations hearing on public land management along The United States’ border

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April 21, 2016

This Chopper-Aided Wildlife Study Looks Dramatic and Has Lasting Impacts on Conservation

Our Wyoming field rep gets up close with big game species in an exciting capture-and-collar study

Most people, especially hunters, are intrigued by the idea of wildlife captures and studies. The data is critical, but the logistics are mind-boggling. So is the prospect of being that close to a live big-game animal. I get a lot of questions about the captures happening around Wyoming when I mention that I work on wildlife migration for TRCP —when I clarify that I work on policy, I’m usually met with blank expressions.

Well, prepare for my bar stories to get a whole lot more exciting, because a few weeks ago I was able to help out with the captures to help study mule deer and bighorn sheep migration, right here in my hometown of Dubois, WY. I’d seen photos and videos of the process before, but to be there in person with a helicopter buzzing overhead, and to carry and hold down a live animal, was an intense experience.

There’s no shortage of people willing to help the Wyoming Migration Initiative and Wyoming Game and Fish Department staff with these captures, and joining us over the course of two days were volunteers from the National Bighorn Sheep Center, Muley Fanatic Foundation, a local education program called SOAR, The Nature Conservancy, and many other groups. The folks running the show were actually more concerned with keeping volunteer numbers to a reasonable level than not having enough help. It made me wish we had this nice-to-have problem when asking sportsmen to engage in policy decisions.

One of the younger volunteers expressed concern that the captures seem stressful for the animals—you may be thinking the same thing when you watch the video above. A skilled marksman in a helicopter flies over and fires a net gun to capture each animal, which is then blindfolded and hobbled before being flown in mid-air to a field where a bunch of people are prepared to install a collar and take all kinds of samples including blood, fecal, ultrasounds – a whole lot of poking and prodding to a stunned creature.

The important thing to remember is that the information collected helps us study their diseases, body condition, and movements, so captures are invaluable to making sure our wildlife herds stay healthy. Armed with data, wildlife and land managers can make informed decisions to help reduce disease transmission, improve habitat quality, and conserve areas that mule deer are known—not just assumed—to frequent.

This is actually where my work at the TRCP comes in. Based on the best science and data, we’re able to advocate for the places where habitat protections are needed, like migration corridors and stopover habitats, to ensure healthy wildlife herds.

Image courtesy of Jessi Johnson.

Prior to the use of GPS-collars, biologists had a rough-to-good idea of where herds migrated and identified these areas with only a simple line on a map. With GPS-collars affixed to big game animals, it is now possible to get accurate location and timing data that identifies stopover areas and the full width of the corridor over its entire length, along with being able to model the high-use corridor. Looking at the old routes, compared to the new information, you can see how useful this is for wildlife conservation—less guesswork means more improvements that keep herds healthy.

Left: Data previously available for mule deer migration routes in the Big Sandy area.
Right: The data available now that includes the mule deer corridors for the Sublette Herd showing the Red Desert to Hoback high-use corridor (black outlined) and stopover areas (pink polygons).

Joining these captures gave me a new perspective on what it takes to get the data that is so necessary for wildlife conservation. Even though I worked crazy hours as a hunting guide and field biologist in the past, I was impressed by the crew’s stamina in getting all the animals captured and sampled safely, and Dubois was just one stop on their tour. It also inspired me to make sure we are doing everything we can to make sure the science gets translated into good policy, so that the stress these animals endure benefits their future.

Image courtesy of Jessi Johnson.

This is where you come in: We need YOUR help to let decision-makers know that sportsmen want the best wildlife science resulting in strong policy. A few months ago, when the WY Game & Fish Commission was updating their strategy for managing migration corridors, comments and feedback from hundreds of sportsmen really made the difference.

I hope we can count on you and your voice in the future. Policy isn’t as exciting as being out on the hunt or wetting a line, but it’s critical to ensure that our hunting and angling opportunities and wildife health continue to be unmatched throughout the world.

Be the first to know about sportsmen’s issues and how you can help. 


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April 20, 2016

RECREATIONAL AND COMMERCIAL ANGLING GROUPS CELEBRATE 40 YEARS OF FISHERIES MANAGEMENT

News for Immediate Release

Apr. 20, 2016

Contact: Kristyn Brady, 617-501-6352, kbrady@trcp.org

Magnuson-Stevens Act was the first legislation of its kind to manage domestic saltwater fisheries

Washington, D.C. – Tonight, recreational and commercial fishing representatives, members of Congress, and key policy architects gathered on Capitol Hill to recognize the 40th anniversary of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA), a piece of legislation that was first of its kind in establishing a framework for the management of our saltwater fisheries.

“We take many things for granted now that were not the case 40 years ago, when foreign fishing fleets depleted fish stocks just off our coasts,” said Scott Gudes, vice president of government affairs at the American Sportfishing Association. “We owe a debt of gratitude to Sens. Warren Magnuson and Ted Stevens, along with Reps. Gerry Studds and Don Young and their House and Senate colleagues, for their extraordinary leadership in creating this innovative system for managing our marine fisheries for the public good.”

On April 13, 1976, not long after the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) was created, President Gerald Ford signed the “Fishery Conservation and Management Act,” which set into motion internationally recognized territorial boundaries that are now known as the “exclusive economic zone” between 12 and 200 miles off the coast. Touted as one of the Act’s most significant successes, the “200-mile limit” eliminated foreign fleets from fishing near shore, ensuring that United States resources benefited its citizens and industries. It also established eight regional fisheries management councils still in place today. Since that time, the Act has undergone six amendments, primarily to address sustainable catch limits and rebuild timelines for fish stocks.

“Sen. Magnuson was dedicated to addressing the situation and championed the Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976, which will always be linked to him. He was proud of this legislation and said it was one of the most important pieces of legislation passed by Congress,” said former Rep. Norm Dicks (D-Wash.), who served as Sen. Magnuson’s Chief of Staff. “Being from Washington state, with our substantial fisheries, we were on the front lines seeing foreign fleets deplete our fishery resources.”

In December 1980, Stevens authored the amendment to rename the Act after Warren Magnuson. The name “Stevens” was added to the title through the 1997 Commerce Appropriations Act.

Tonight’s anniversary event was attended by several hundred guests from Congressional offices, representing coastal and non-coastal states, and a myriad of other organizations, pointing to the significance of well-managed ocean fisheries and the legislative groundwork laid by the United States at a time when stewardship of fisheries resources was a new frontier for nations the world over.

“It is an honor to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Magnuson Stevens Act. Alaska’s people, economy, and culture have a unique and strong tie to fisheries,” said Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), who addressed the D.C. crowd. “The framework put into place by Senator Magnuson and my dear friend, mentor, and fellow Alaskan, Sen. Ted Stevens, has allowed for sustainable management and meaningful stakeholder input. I am proud to continue to uphold the values put into place by Sen. Magnuson and Sen. Stevens.”

“The United States is, and has been, a global leader in responsibly and sustainably managing our nation’s fisheries. Overfishing is at an all-time low, while commercial and recreational fishing contribute billions to the U.S. economy and support millions of jobs,” said Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, NOAA Administrator and Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere. “This work hasn’t been done alone. For decades, NOAA has worked hand-in-hand with Regional Fishery Management Councils, the industry and other stakeholders to invest in science-based management and sustainable fishing practices that benefit businesses and communities. We’ve had tremendous successes over the past 40 years since the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act was signed into law, but we know there’s still work to be done. We have a lot to celebrate and, working together, can continue to build off our successes.”

Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) and Ed Merlis, a former staff director of the Senate Commerce committee who served under Magnuson on the Appropriations Committee, also spoke at the event co-hosted by Murkowski, Young, Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), and Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.)

“Tonight, we celebrate the foresight of Sens. Magnuson and Stevens,” says Whit Fosburgh, president and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, one of the 14 groups sponsoring the event. “Thanks to their leadership and commitment to conservation, America has the best-managed fisheries in the world, thousands of jobs in the recreational and commercial fishing industries, affordable seafood for consumers, and the opportunity for our kids and grandkids to experience the joy of landing a salmon or a grouper. And while the law could benefit from important updates to recognize the growth in recreational angling in the last 40 years, it’s important to celebrate how far we’ve come.”

Here’s what other event sponsors had to say:

“Without the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act, fisheries in Alaska might still be subject to rampant over-exploitation at the hands of foreign fleets. The extension of U.S. jurisdiction out to 200 miles paved the way for the successful development of the domestic fleet and today supports a multi-billion dollar industry.”
– Mark Gleason, Executive Director, Alaska Bering Sea Crabbers

“Marine fisheries management was forever changed by the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act (MSA). With the MSA reauthorization now upon us, Congress must better recognize the economic, social and conservation impacts of marine recreational fishing. America’s 11 million saltwater anglers sustain a $70 billion-a-year business that supports 455,000 American jobs.”
– Jeff Angers, President, Center for Coastal Conservation

“The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act has played a critical role in supporting Sen. Stevens’ vision of promoting local economies throughout Western Alaska. This important law benefits every one of the nearly ten thousand Alaskans we serve across our twenty coastal communities. Coastal Villages thanks our leaders in Congress who continue Sen. Stevens’ work promoting the benefits of sustainable fisheries. We are honored to recognize the legacy of “Uncle Ted” and the law that bears his name.”
– Morgen Crow, Executive Director, Coastal Villages Region Fund

“The Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act (MSA) is recognized globally as the gold standard in sustainable fisheries management. It addresses not simply the status of the stocks but the impact of their health has on communities and the economy. In addition to science-based success, MSA stands as clear evidence that a holistic approach is the soundest way to manage fisheries.”
– John Connelly, President, National Fisheries Institute

“The National Marine Manufacturers Association is pleased to recognize the 40th anniversary of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. This legislation continues to play an important role in helping to ensure that anglers and boaters across the country can enjoy time on some of our country’s most valuable natural resources, its waterways. We support our friends in the recreational fishing community as they work to see this legislation continue to evolve to meet the needs of society and fisheries. Reasonable conservation and management practices are what continue to keep the sportfishing and boating industries viable for generations to come. With this anniversary, we recognize a history of success and look forward to decades of fruitful fishing and boating seasons led by the sound practices this law initiated.”
– Thom Dammrich, President, National Marine Manufacturers Association

“For participants in the commercial fisheries of the North Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea, the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act was a total game-changer. It allowed American harvesters and processors to develop fisheries that provide jobs for tens of thousands of people and which feed millions more. We will forever be indebted to Sens. Magnuson, Stevens and Representative Young. We also want to thank the current political leaders who have continued the work that was begun forty years ago.”
– Glenn E. Reed, President, Pacific Seafood Processors Association

“The Recreational Fishing Association is very proud to be part of this historic recognition of the “200 Mile Limit.” The Magnuson-Steven Fisheries Conservation and Management Act was enormous for those of us who fished professionally at the time and without it, most of our fisheries would have be depleted in a short time by other nations who were fishing in sight of our shoreline.”
– Jim, Donofrio, Executive Director, Recreational Fishing Association

“The Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act has been the driving force in the development of our domestic federal fisheries. Four decades ago, we watched as Japanese, Russian, Korean, Polish and other nations’ fishing and processing vessels were harvesting more than a billion pounds of fish annually, within miles of our shores, without regard to the health of the resource. Within 15 years the same resource was being harvested exclusively by U.S. fishing vessels and supported by a robust onshore processing industry. Our industry is both strong and sustainable because of the decision in 1976 by the Congress to unilaterally assert sovereign jurisdiction out to 200 miles.”
– Joe Plesha, Vice  President, Trident Seafoods

“The Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act’s (MSA) success and world renowned fisheries management in the United States is based on its regional and bottom-up approach, which ensures that the knowledge and concerns of the users and other stakeholders are incorporated into conservation and management measures. This not only facilitates enforcement and reporting of catches, but it is the core to American democracy, ensuring that its citizens are not overburdened with unnecessary regulations and that the government is of, by and for the people. In the reauthorizations of the MSA, the Western Pacific Region was fortunate to have Sens. Ted Stevens and Daniel Inouye in office to champion the inclusion of tuna, the recognition of indigenous U.S. Pacific Island fishing communities and the participation of the Pacific and Western Pacific Fishery Management Councils in international fishery management commissions. Tuna accounts for about 90 percent of the value of fish landed in the U.S. Pacific Islands. From its start, 40 years ago, I loved the MSA. As I look back, I see our actions in the Western Pacific Region have been so conservative. This reflects the traditional values of the indigenous U.S. Pacific Islanders to consider future generations and to respect nature and our place in it.”
– Kitty M. Simonds, Executive Director, Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council

“The Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act has helped to protect our valuable public resources for the past 40 years. Yamaha is proud to be a part of celebrating the forward thinking legislation and those who fought for its passage. We are equally proud to be a part of refining the law as Congress considers its reauthorization. We hope to work with all the stakeholders of the public resource in the process.”
– Martin Peters, Manager, Government Relations, Yamaha Motor Corporation

Inspired by the legacy of Theodore Roosevelt, the TRCP is a coalition of organizations and grassroots partners working together to preserve the traditions of hunting and fishing.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

CHEERS TO CONSERVATION

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.

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