April 21, 2020

Looking Back on a Successful Season

In 2019, conservation provided fertile common ground for smart policymaking

Today, Washington is known more for acrimony and partisanship over policy than for achievement. Yet amidst all this noise and dysfunction, conservation—and the TRCP—had an amazing year in 2019.

Early in the year, Congress passed S. 47, a massive public lands bill that, among other things, protected key lands and waters and permanently reauthorized the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a critical conservation tool. It also clarified that all federal lands are open to hunting and fishing unless they are specifically closed through a public and transparent process.

Soon after, Congress passed legislation to manage water scarcity in the Colorado River and ramp up research on chronic wasting disease. Migrating animals got a helping hand in the Senate Highway Bill, thanks to a $250-million pilot program to build wildlife-friendly roadway crossings and aquatic connectivity projects. Lawmakers also invested in the next generation of hunters by modernizing the Pittman-Robertson Act.

On the administrative front, the Department of Interior made it harder to dispose of federal lands that are important for public access and outdoor recreation. And the Department of Commerce shut down the Atlantic menhaden fishery after Omega Protein—the only company that still practices industrial reduction fishing of this key forage species—decided to ignore federal catch limits.

The TRCP and its 60 formal partners played a key role in these victories and many others, proving once again that the voice of sportsmen and women transcends politics. Our annual report explores these accomplishments.

Hunting, fishing, and conservation have never been partisan issues. But today, a profound appreciation for the outdoors provides common ground for policymakers across the political spectrum to tackle some of our top priorities.

There are still many challenges, such as efforts to legitimize the overfishing of menhaden, roll back the Clean Water Act, or mine in Alaska’s Bristol Bay and Minnesota’s Boundary Waters. But our united front, and that of sportsmen and women across the country, is proving to be a formidable force for good.

Thank you for your enduring support.

Sincerely,
Whit Fosburgh, President and CEO
Rod Nelson, Board Chair

 

Explore the 2019 Annual Report here.

 

Top photo by Dusan Smetana.

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Whit Fosburgh

March 27, 2020

Seven Ways to Do Social Distancing Like a Sportsman or Woman

Families all over the world are experiencing serious life impacts due to COVID-19. Aside from health impacts, businesses are closing, travel is banned, schools are being moved to virtual classrooms, and many people are afraid.

So what can you do to make the most of this difficult time? First, you must follow all health advice and wash your hands, abide by social distancing rules, and take this seriously to protect you and your loved ones.

But here are seven other suggestions for making the most of this unexpected off-season from, well, everything.

Pick Up Your Laptop or Letterhead

Now is the time to write your member of Congress on the key policy issues that will make a difference when you get back outside. Whether it’s passing the Great American Outdoors Act, digitizing public access routes, or preserving migration corridors, we’re here to help you get your message in the right hands.

Check out our one-stop advocacy shop here.

Get Out and Scout

Malls, bars, and restaurants may be closed. Concerts canceled and museums shuttered. But fear not: Now is the perfect chance to get outside and scout. Look for deer sign from last year and plot your next hunt. Listen for gobblers. Look for late season sheds. Explore that tributary you’ve always been curious about but have never fished. You’re away from the crowds, getting good exercise, and advancing your skills in the woods. (If you do encounter others, say, on our public lands, maintain six feet of distance, per CDC recommendations.)

Practice, Practice, Practice

Can’t get to the range? This is a great time to set up a target in the backyard and practice your archery skills (or, if you live in very rural areas, your rifle skills). Break out the fly rod and a hula hoop and practice your casting. You may be surprised how much you can improve.

Feed a Family

This is a good time to sort through your freezer and donate your harvest or catch to the local food bank. There are many families in need right now, so if you have extra, be generous and make sure we’re all doing our part to help our neighbors.

Photo by Dave Shea via flickr.
Try a New Wild Game Recipe

That bag of venison labeled “sausage”? Those snow goose breasts? Take a risk, and try a new dish. We recommend checking out MeatEater’s recipe log for something like venison fennel lasagna or rabbit schnitzel.

Reload, Repair, and Tie

For those of you who load your own ammunition, this is a great time to get ahead. Refinishing a stock that’s taken a beating over the years? Do it now. And with trout season around the corner, it’s time to replenish your fly box. Even if you’ve never tied a fly and always been curious, why not start now? YouTube is waiting.

Read

Hunting and fishing have always inspired great writing. From Theodore Roosevelt’s many volumes on hunting to Norman Maclean’s classic prose on fishing and life in A River Runs through It, catch up on classics. Or try something new, like Mark Kenyon’s exploration of our public lands in That Wild Country.

 

Top photo by Lisa Gleason/BLM via flickr.

Whit Fosburgh

March 16, 2020

TRCP President Issues Statement on COVID-19

President and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership Whit Fosburgh issued the following statement on the spread of COVID-19:

As communities across the world are impacted by COVID-19, we want to reiterate our commitment to our staff, our partners, our donors, and the sportsmen and women who are all ‘in the arena’ working together on behalf of conservation.  Your health is our top priority.

During this time, we are adjusting our operations to keep our community safe, so we can continue the important work of guaranteeing all Americans quality places to hunt and fish. All TRCP staff are being encouraged to work from home. Travel has been suspended and in person meetings are being replaced with virtual meetings. Our Capital Conservation Awards Dinner has been moved from April to September. Through this time, we will continue to engage in policy that matters to all sportsmen and women. 

As President Theodore Roosevelt said, ‘In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.’ ”  

 

Image courtesy of Charlie Bulla

November 4, 2019

Podcast: Whit Fosburgh Discusses Conservation on Bass Pro’s Outdoor World

TRCP’s president and CEO Whit Fosburgh appeared on Sirius XM’s Rural Radio channel 147 this weekend to talk about conservation with Bass Pro’s podcast with host Rob Keck. The Outdoor World show airs every Saturday at 10 a.m. and Sunday at 9 a.m. across the nation.

Marnee Banks

October 11, 2019

TRCP’s President Calls for Collaboration to Solve Public Lands Challenges

Fosburgh highlights climate change as a major threat to public lands at the annual Society of Environmental Journalists convention 

Today, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership’s president and CEO Whit Fosburgh called on the Trump Administration to bring diverse stakeholders together and solve public lands challenges.

Fosburgh joined Acting Chief of the Bureau of Land Management William Perry Pendley, Dina Gilio-Whitaker from California State University San Marcos, John Freemuth from Boise State University, and Shea Loper from Encana Corporation to discuss issues facing America’s public lands at the annual Society of Environmental Journalists convention in Fort Collins, Colorado.

The panel, moderated by Washington Post Senior National Affairs Correspondent Juliet Eilperin, focused on how to balance conservation, recreation, and development on public lands.

Fosburgh encouraged the Administration to listen to the hunting, fishing, and conservation communities about how to manage the 640 million acres of federal public land in the U.S. “You have the authority to be creative in how you develop and how you balance [multiple uses],” he said. “Think creatively. Bring stakeholders together and don’t pit one side against the other.”

Fosburgh also discussed the importance of the outdoor recreation economy and the jobs supported by America’s hunting and fishing traditions—from guides and outfitters to main street businesses that thrive because of related tourism.

Eilperin closed the discussion by asking each panelist what they viewed as the biggest challenge to public lands. Fosburgh pointed to climate change:

“Climate change overall impacts every single acre of public land whether in Alaska, Maine, or Florida,” said Fosburgh. “Until we can get our hands around that, it impacts everything else we are dealing with from invasive species to public access—you name it. It’s all impacted.”

The entire panel discussion is available on the SEJ Facebook page.

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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