Virginia General Assembly
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Experts in conservation, finance, and government relations join leadership team
The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership is onboarding five new Board Members in 2020 to help guarantee all Americans quality places to hunt and fish.
Jo Ann Barefoot, Glenn Hughes, Becky Humphries, Marti Powers and Nick Wiley round out TRCP’s 26-member leadership team.
“We are honored to have these remarkable individuals give of their time, expertise, and resources in order to advance the vision of Theodore Roosevelt,” said Rod Nelson, Board Chair. “With these additions to the Board, and our talented staff, TRCP is well-positioned to grow and advance conservation policy across the nation.”
Jo Ann Barefoot is the founder and CEO of the Alliance for Innovative Regulation, a nonprofit focused on modernizing the financial regulatory systems. Barefoot is an avid fly fisher, author, podcast host, entrepreneur, and angel investor. She was the first female Deputy Comptroller of the Currency.
Glenn Hughes is the president of the American Sportfishing Association, the world’s largest sportfishing trade association. Hughes is the former vice president/group publisher of Bonnier Marine Group, where he led numerous fishing and boating brands. Glenn also serves on the boards of the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, the Center for Sportfishing Policy, the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable, and is a member of the Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council.
Becky Humphries is the CEO of the National Wild Turkey Federation, former director of conservation programs at Ducks Unlimited, and former director of Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Using her education in wildlife management, Humphries led the National Fish and Wildlife Health Initiative. She lives in Michigan and South Carolina and is a professional member of the Boone and Crockett Club.
Marti Powers is the external relations country manager at Shell Oil Company and also serves as the external relations general manager for Shell’s Upstream Unconventionals business. Powers has almost 30 years of public, government relations, and communications experience with a background in media, crisis and issues management. She previously worked for BP and Exxon Mobil.
Nick Wiley is the chief operating officer at Ducks Unlimited, where he provides leadership in support of DU’s continental wetlands and waterfowl conservation mission. Wiley previously served as the Executive Director of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. He is a certified wildlife biologist and a past president for the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.
A full roster of TRCP’s Board is available HERE.
The bipartisan legislation will address growing challenges to species and habitat health
More than 50 conservation groups are banding together and calling on the U.S. House of Representatives to pass bipartisan legislation that invests in wetlands, fisheries, chronic wasting disease research, and the Chesapeake Bay.
In early January, the Senate passed the America’s Conservation Enhancement Act or ACE Act (H.R. 925), and now a coalition of hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation groups are asking the House to follow suit.
“Passage of the America’s Conservation Enhancement Act will not only have wide-ranging ecological benefits but will facilitate outdoor recreation on behalf of millions of Americans, strengthening conservation funding streams for years to come,” said the groups.
The coalition is asking the House to take up the legislation as passed by the Senate and make no changes.
The ACE Act:
The coalition’s letter to the House is available HERE.
EPA undermines protections for wetlands and streams
The head of the Environmental Protection Agency today announced a final decision to redefine which waters are eligible for Clean Water Act protections, leaving important habitat for fish and waterfowl vulnerable to pollution and significant harm.
Speaking at the National Association of Home Builders conference, Administrator Andrew Wheeler said he would be rolling back the 2015 Clean Water rule.
“This announcement flies in the face of all the hunters and fishermen who have contacted the EPA saying they oppose this decision,” said Whit Fosburgh, president and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “These rollbacks undermine the intent of the Clean Water Act, which has a proven track record of protecting America’s waters and supporting healthy habitat.”
The new rule will leave roughly half of the nation’s wetlands and almost one out of five of its stream miles without federal protection from pollution. In drier western states, as many of 90 percent of stream miles will not be protected from being polluted.
Congress passed the Clean Water Act in 1972, creating a federal regulatory floor for pollution control across the country, as well as a partnership with states to address the many threats to our nation’s waters. This was important because states had not had the financial or political resources necessary to ensure clean water. Now the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers are asserting that for all of the streams and wetlands they will no longer protect, states could step in, if they want, even as the agencies acknowledge that many states won’t have the resources to do so.
In a national poll, 93 percent of hunters and anglers say they believe the Clean Water Act has benefited the country. Additionally, 80 percent of sportsmen and women said Clean Water Act protections should apply to headwater streams and wetlands. Additionally, 92 percent believe that we should strengthen or maintain current clean water standards, not relax them.
Nevada sportsmen today voiced support for legislation that ensures responsible energy development on public land.
The End Speculative Oil and Gas Leasing Act of 2020 S.3202) introduced by Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), would require the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to not lease lands that have little or no potential for the development of oil and gas reserves. The legislation would apply to all federal lands across the West, specifically to lands that are considered low or no potential for oil and gas development.
Sen. Cortez Masto is also sponsoring a separate bill, the Ruby Mountain Protection Act (S.258), which would prevent speculative leasing in one of Nevada’s most revered hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation areas.
“In 2019 over a million acres of land in Nevada were offered for lease, yet less than seven percent of that acreage even received a bid,” said Carl Erquiaga, the Nevada Field Representative for the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “Agencies are currently spending taxpayer dollars offering low potential parcels for sale that nobody wants to buy, and these precious resources could be better spent managing the lands and resources that we all own. We want to thank the Senator for her work on this important legislation.”
90 percent of lands managed by BLM are available for oil and gas leasing, even in places with no or little potential for development.
Sen. Cortez Masto’s bill doesn’t change the BLMs mission or mandate, but it would require that the agency have current and up to date plans for oil and gas development before allowing leasing. Importantly, the bill would not impact the availability of medium and high potential lands for leasing or affect existing oil and gas operations.
“This is a common-sense bill,” said Pam Harrington, a field staffer for Trout Unlimited based in Crescent Valley, NV. “Requiring upfront planning before making leasing decisions that will impact generations of Nevadans is the right thing to do and we appreciate Sen Cortez Masto working on this issue.”
Sportsmen for the Rubies is made up of 14 Nevada hunting and fishing groups who are focused on safeguarding the Ruby Mountains from inappropriate oil and gas development.
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