Randall Williams

April 24, 2020

Reading Recommendations for Stuck-at-Home Sportsmen and Women

A handful of page-turners to keep hunters and anglers entertained and educated

Perhaps not surprisingly, given his well-known curiosity and his own accomplishments as a writer, Theodore Roosevelt was a voracious reader. He often juggled several books at once, covering wide-ranging subjects, and commonly recommended or sent books to friends and acquaintances.

With more time at home than usual, many Americans are finding time to catch up on the reading that can seem difficult to fit into everyday life. So we reached out to staff, board members, and friends of TRCP for suggestions on what books sportsmen and women might enjoy during these strange times.

Here are their recommendations:

I am reading Walter Stahr’s Seward: Lincoln’s Indispensable Man, a detailed biography of the disheveled man from Auburn, New York, who would be President Lincoln’s right hand throughout the depths of the Civil War, and would go on to serve as Secretary of State for another three years after Lincoln’s death. Of course, we have Seward to thank for the acquisition of Alaska from Russia, often referred to as ‘Seward’s Folly.”

Steve Kline, chief policy officer, TRCP

To be fair, it was the film adaptation of A River Runs Through It that inspired so many people, including me, to pick up a fly rod for the first time. But Maclean’s prose deserves all of the credit. The writing is, at times, impossibly beautiful and feels effortless—much like a perfect fly cast. And the final sentence will stay with you, always.

Colin Kearns, editor-in-chief, Field & Stream

Butcher’s Crossing: A Novel by John Williams tells the story of a buffalo hunt in the 1870s. The conservation movement was driven in part by the slaughter of animals in the second half of the 19th century enabled by improved firearms, improved transportation, and a growing population. This realistic novel of a late buffalo hunt curled my hair.

John Griffin, TRCP Board of Directors

I would recommend Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing, about the failed attempt to cross Antarctica in 1914. It is a really good read about leading through challenge – and a cool historical story.

Becky Humphries, chief executive officer, National Wild Turkey Federation

I’m currently reading the novel A Gentleman in Moscow, which was a wedding gift last year from a mentor in the outdoor industry. It’s entirely different from what I’m usually reading, but now is the perfect time to dive into some fiction that takes place in a world far away. It’s a charming story that really takes me out of the day-to-day and I appreciate how little it relates to what I spend most of my time thinking and worrying about. Now is definitely the time for all my non-fiction lovers to pick up a good novel!

Jessica Wahl, executive director, Outdoor Recreation Roundtable

Fishing Through the Apocalypse by Matthew Miller: Writer and conservationist Matthew Miller manages to write a series of stories about the dire situation for fish in this country, while also making the reader feel hopeful. Each one is full of valuable insight and information packaged together as entertaining fishing stories. If you need a watery escape, pick this one up.

H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald: This novel is part a story about overcoming grief and largely a story about hawks, hunting and a human’s connection to the wild. It’s also a pure joy to read. Her sentences, paragraphs, pages and chapters read like music, even as that music describes a hawk eviscerating a rabbit.

Christine Peterson, journalist and vice president of the Outdoor Writers Association of America

The one I’m reading now is The Death and Life of the Great Lakes by Dan Egan, a fascinating account of how we have abused the Great Lakes. It is a good read and also provides hope if we chose to undo, or at least not repeat, some of the mistakes of the past.

Whit Fosburgh, president and chief executive officer, TRCP

 

 

While we were at it, we asked our TRCP membership what books should be on the shelf of every conservationist. The top choices were, as follows:

A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold (1939)

“If you want to read a single book that speaks to the foundations of wildlife ecology and management in the United States, this is the one.”–Dave Hays, Boise, ID

Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America by Douglas Brinkley (2010)

“One of the best books I’ve read on Teddy Roosevelt’s fight to establish the public lands that we hold dear and his uncompromising values regarding the great outdoors and his passion for fair chase hunting.”–Gary Payeur, Florissant, MO

American Buffalo: In Search of a Lost Icon by Steven Rinella (2008)

“The book does a fantastic job describing the history of the buffalo in North America. The story is all told in parallel to the author pursuing this wonderful game animal. Once the history is told and a buffalo is in the meat is packed out, the author describes the future of the animal and how we can continue to help preserve it going forward.”–Zachary Denton, Peawaukee, WI

The Old Man and the Boy by Robert Ruark (1957)

“This is a book on raising a child to appreciate the outdoors, hunting, and becoming a sportsman, told in an incredibly poignant and humorous way.”–Glen Carlson, Silverdale, WA

That Wild Country: An Epic Journey through the Past, Present, and Future of America’s Public Lands by Mark Kenyon (2019)

“Best book I’ve ever read about public lands. Kenyon does an extraordinary job weaving his personal storytelling with the history, current status, and future of public lands. It is motivating and awe-inspiring.”–Garrett Miller, Butler, PA

 

And the Honorable Mentions:

Beyond the Hundredth Meridian: John Wesley Powell and the Second Opening of the West by Wallace Stegner (1954)

The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire that Saved America by Timothy Egan (2009)

Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness by Edward Abbey (1968)

Goodbye to a River by John Graves (1960)

The Invention of Nature: Alexander Humboldt’s New World by Andrea Wulf (2015)

The Overstory: A Novel by Richard Powers (2018)

The Everglades: River of Grass by Marjory Stoneman Douglas (1947)

Salmon Without Rivers: A History of the Pacific Salmon Crisis by Jim Lichatowich (1999)

The Tenth Legion by Col. Tom Kelly (1973)

Add your favorite to our list here.

 

If you’re looking to pick up one of these titles, be sure to click through to our AmazonSmile page so that a percentage of your purchase is donated to the TRCP. Happy reading!

11 Responses to “Reading Recommendations for Stuck-at-Home Sportsmen and Women”

  1. Avatar

    For a younger reader, I recommend the book “Hatchet.” “Hatchet is a 1986 Newbery Honor-winning young-adult wilderness survival novel written by American writer Gary Paulsen.” I found it fascinating when I was younger!

  2. Avatar
    Rochelle Gravance

    Last Stand by Michael Punke. The history of conservation, the model and the key players -including how they became part of the conservation movement. Some, interestingly, by chance and possibly as I reflect…divinity.

  3. Avatar
    Geoffrey Mullins

    Great list that also should have some of Zane Grey’s fishing exploits on it. “Tales of Fishes” and “Tales of Southern Rivers” are good ones to start with.

  4. Avatar
    Snowgoose

    Oh my, the field is so deep. Anna Karenina has wonderful passages about hunting woodcock. The Sporting Sketches by Ivan Turgenev is wonderful for its description of rural (feudal) Russia from a hunter’s perspective. For the last century, I’m closing in on Giants In The Earth, Ole Rolvaag’s telling of the settlers in Eastern South Dakota. No better description of tall grass prairie. Tish-ah, tish-ah. Nobody said it better.

  5. Avatar

    Very glad to see that Salmon Without Rivers made this list! I recently read this book as an assigned reading in a F&W course and very glad that I had. This book does an excellent job in explaining salmon life history, ecology, and impacts made by humans to their salmon’s ecosystem. This book opens the readers eyes and similar principles and understanding apply to many other species which have also had their ecosystems impacted by humans.
    I would highly recommend this book to all who are interested in ecology and understanding how human changes have long reaching impacts throughout the natural world!

  6. Avatar
    michael gondell

    Several books by and about legendary first forester, Pennsylvania native and Teddy Roosevelt friend Gifford Pinchot including his delightful FISHING TALK; Pinchot biographer, Char Miller’s SEEKING THE GREATEST GOOD;
    PINCHOT AND AMERICA”S FIRST FORESTERS by Pinchot great grand niece Bibi Gaston; also Pinchot’s own book
    on conservation. Accounts of his close relationship with TR are just plain old great yarns but their intellects help
    shape modern conservation and should never be forgotten.

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Reading Recommendations for Stuck-at-Home Sportsmen and Women

A handful of page-turners to keep hunters and anglers entertained and educated

Perhaps not surprisingly, given his well-known curiosity and his own accomplishments as a writer, Theodore Roosevelt was a voracious reader. He often juggled several books at once, covering wide-ranging subjects, and commonly recommended or sent books to friends and acquaintances.

With more time at home than usual, many Americans are finding time to catch up on the reading that can seem difficult to fit into everyday life. So we reached out to staff, board members, and friends of TRCP for suggestions on what books sportsmen and women might enjoy during these strange times.

Here are their recommendations:

I am reading Walter Stahr’s Seward: Lincoln’s Indispensable Man, a detailed biography of the disheveled man from Auburn, New York, who would be President Lincoln’s right hand throughout the depths of the Civil War, and would go on to serve as Secretary of State for another three years after Lincoln’s death. Of course, we have Seward to thank for the acquisition of Alaska from Russia, often referred to as ‘Seward’s Folly.”

Steve Kline, chief policy officer, TRCP

To be fair, it was the film adaptation of A River Runs Through It that inspired so many people, including me, to pick up a fly rod for the first time. But Maclean’s prose deserves all of the credit. The writing is, at times, impossibly beautiful and feels effortless—much like a perfect fly cast. And the final sentence will stay with you, always.

Colin Kearns, editor-in-chief, Field & Stream

Butcher’s Crossing: A Novel by John Williams tells the story of a buffalo hunt in the 1870s. The conservation movement was driven in part by the slaughter of animals in the second half of the 19th century enabled by improved firearms, improved transportation, and a growing population. This realistic novel of a late buffalo hunt curled my hair.

John Griffin, TRCP Board of Directors

I would recommend Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing, about the failed attempt to cross Antarctica in 1914. It is a really good read about leading through challenge – and a cool historical story.

Becky Humphries, chief executive officer, National Wild Turkey Federation

I’m currently reading the novel A Gentleman in Moscow, which was a wedding gift last year from a mentor in the outdoor industry. It’s entirely different from what I’m usually reading, but now is the perfect time to dive into some fiction that takes place in a world far away. It’s a charming story that really takes me out of the day-to-day and I appreciate how little it relates to what I spend most of my time thinking and worrying about. Now is definitely the time for all my non-fiction lovers to pick up a good novel!

Jessica Wahl, executive director, Outdoor Recreation Roundtable

Fishing Through the Apocalypse by Matthew Miller: Writer and conservationist Matthew Miller manages to write a series of stories about the dire situation for fish in this country, while also making the reader feel hopeful. Each one is full of valuable insight and information packaged together as entertaining fishing stories. If you need a watery escape, pick this one up.

H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald: This novel is part a story about overcoming grief and largely a story about hawks, hunting and a human’s connection to the wild. It’s also a pure joy to read. Her sentences, paragraphs, pages and chapters read like music, even as that music describes a hawk eviscerating a rabbit.

Christine Peterson, journalist and vice president of the Outdoor Writers Association of America

The one I’m reading now is The Death and Life of the Great Lakes by Dan Egan, a fascinating account of how we have abused the Great Lakes. It is a good read and also provides hope if we chose to undo, or at least not repeat, some of the mistakes of the past.

Whit Fosburgh, president and chief executive officer, TRCP

 

 

While we were at it, we asked our TRCP membership what books should be on the shelf of every conservationist. The top choices were, as follows:

A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold (1939)

“If you want to read a single book that speaks to the foundations of wildlife ecology and management in the United States, this is the one.”–Dave Hays, Boise, ID

Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America by Douglas Brinkley (2010)

“One of the best books I’ve read on Teddy Roosevelt’s fight to establish the public lands that we hold dear and his uncompromising values regarding the great outdoors and his passion for fair chase hunting.”–Gary Payeur, Florissant, MO

American Buffalo: In Search of a Lost Icon by Steven Rinella (2008)

“The book does a fantastic job describing the history of the buffalo in North America. The story is all told in parallel to the author pursuing this wonderful game animal. Once the history is told and a buffalo is in the meat is packed out, the author describes the future of the animal and how we can continue to help preserve it going forward.”–Zachary Denton, Peawaukee, WI

The Old Man and the Boy by Robert Ruark (1957)

“This is a book on raising a child to appreciate the outdoors, hunting, and becoming a sportsman, told in an incredibly poignant and humorous way.”–Glen Carlson, Silverdale, WA

That Wild Country: An Epic Journey through the Past, Present, and Future of America’s Public Lands by Mark Kenyon (2019)

“Best book I’ve ever read about public lands. Kenyon does an extraordinary job weaving his personal storytelling with the history, current status, and future of public lands. It is motivating and awe-inspiring.”–Garrett Miller, Butler, PA

 

And the Honorable Mentions:

Beyond the Hundredth Meridian: John Wesley Powell and the Second Opening of the West by Wallace Stegner (1954)

The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire that Saved America by Timothy Egan (2009)

Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness by Edward Abbey (1968)

Goodbye to a River by John Graves (1960)

The Invention of Nature: Alexander Humboldt’s New World by Andrea Wulf (2015)

The Overstory: A Novel by Richard Powers (2018)

The Everglades: River of Grass by Marjory Stoneman Douglas (1947)

Salmon Without Rivers: A History of the Pacific Salmon Crisis by Jim Lichatowich (1999)

The Tenth Legion by Col. Tom Kelly (1973)

Add your favorite to our list here.

 

If you’re looking to pick up one of these titles, be sure to click through to our AmazonSmile page so that a percentage of your purchase is donated to the TRCP. Happy reading!

Cory Deal

by:

posted in: Outdoor Economy

April 10, 2020

Conservation Partners Jump “In The Arena” To Help Those in Need

Industry leaders spearhead efforts to combat COVID-19

We’ve said it before, but it’s always worth repeating: the TRCP is proud to have the support of some true leaders in the business world, who time and time again step up on behalf of fish, wildlife, and outdoor opportunities for all Americans. And in recent weeks, as COVID-19 has upended everyday life around this country, we’re prouder than ever of our corporate partners for their generosity and commitment to the greater good.

With many retail stores barred to entry and factory production rates slowing or halted, members of our corporate community are lending their resources to the fight. From retrofitting factories to restocking food bank shelves, these companies are committing their time, money, and production equipment to help us get through this difficult time.

As Theodore Roosevelt famously 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.” By taking action when it is needed most, here’s how the companies below* are taking care of those in need and setting an example for the rest of us.

Coca-Cola

The beverage company’s Atlanta-based factory has teamed up with Georgia Tech University to produce more than 50,000 plastic surgical shields that will be distributed to local hospitals and health care workers.

L.L. Bean

Founded in 1912 by its namesake, outdoorsman Leon Leonwood Bean, this New England institution is using experience gained over the last 100+ years of producing outdoors gear to create protective masks. The company is working with MaineHealth and Intermed and has plans to use its existing supply chain team to create and distribute 1 million masks. The company is also working with local food banks and using its distribution center to restock shelves for families in need.

Mystery Ranch

In an effort to help local medical facilities, Bozeman-based Mystery Ranch is using the antimicrobial and breathable fabric used in their backpacks to produce much-needed personal protective equipment for frontline workers. Along with the time of its expert employees and the use of its sewing facilities, the industry-leading pack manufacturer has also contributed additional materials from its stock to others in the community with the capacity to manufacture extra masks.

NEMO Equipment

This outdoor equipment company is encouraging individuals to recreate responsibly while enjoying the open air through a series of posts on outdoor activities that you can enjoy near your home and a photo challenge. This Instagram-based competition is calling on those who love the outdoors to highlight the creative ways they’re enjoying outdoor spaces while practicing safe social distancing through photos. In addition, NEMO is publishing a series of blogs with ideas for close-to-home adventures to help outdoor enthusiasts alleviate their cabin fever responsibly.

Orvis

Known for its high-quality fishing gear, this company has partnered with organizations near its Roanoke, VA fulfillment center to produce 2,000 cloth face coverings per week. These non-medical-grade masks will be distributed to those experiencing homelessness in the are and will help protect this particularly vulnerable population.

Outdoor Research

Drawing on almost its nearly 40-year history of forward-thinking innovation, Outdoor Research’s Seattle factory will be converted to produce N95 surgical masks, respirators, and other personal protective equipment to help address the increased need for these essential medical supplies.

Patagonia

Despite closing operations early in the outbreak to protect workers, Patagonia has committed to providing employees with regular pay throughout the crisis in an effort to protect the communities it serves. The company also has staff reaching out to nonprofits and offering volunteer services to support their operations.

Peak Design

This environmentally-focused design company is utilizing the launch of its latest product to provide coronavirus relief and help fight climate change with a commitment to donate 100% of profits earned from the first four days (4/7-4/11) that their Travel Tripod is on sale to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Foundation.

REI

Despite closing the doors of its 162 retail stores, this outdoor retailer has committed to pay all store employees through April 14th in a letter from the company president and CEO. The company has also made the decision to keep online stores open and is offering free shipping to support those looking for outdoor recreation opportunities while social distancing.

Simms Fishing Products

This pillar of the fishing community is “wading” into the fight against COVID-19 and partnering with Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital. The fishing products company is using Gore-Tex—a material traditionally employed in the production of their popular waterproof waders—to produce more than 1,500 medical-grade gowns per week.

Vista Outdoors

Despite uncertainty, Vista Outdoors has committed to expand its support for non-profit organizations through partnerships and brand-level support. Federal Ammunition–a company under the umbrella of Vista–has also donated multiple cases of N-95 face masks to health care facilities.

*Editor’s Note: We tried to find as many of these stories as we could, but the above list is not comprehensive. Similar efforts we might have overlooked will be added to the list as time allows. Let us know in the comments below of any other hunting and fishing brands stepping up in the fight against COVID-19.

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.

Marnee Banks

March 9, 2020

Virginia Governor Signs Legislation to Strengthen Menhaden Conservation

Recreational fishing and boating groups applaud new bipartisan law

Following vocal support from recreational fishermen, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam signed a bipartisan bill improving menhaden management in the Atlantic.

The legislation transfers management authority of Atlantic menhaden—a small oily baitfish that feeds sportfish like striped bass—to the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, which oversees every other saltwater fishery in the Commonwealth.  Now that the bill has been signed into law, the legislation puts Virginia on a path toward compliance with the regional fishery management plan, which Omega Protein violated last year.

“This new law will pave the way for stronger management of the Atlantic menhaden recognizing its critical role in the entire marine ecosystem and its benefits to the recreational fishing economy,” said Whit Fosburgh, president and CEO for the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “We want to thank Governor Northam, the bill sponsors, Natural Resources Secretary Matt Strickler, and the recreational fishing sector for working together on this legislation.”

“There is a growing need for more robust conservation practices in our fisheries – including menhaden and all forage fish – this law is an important step towards better recognizing and correcting the harmful impacts overfishing can have on our communities,” said Nicole Vasilaros, senior vice president of government and legal affairs for the National Marine Manufacturers Association. “Protecting forage fish and sportfish stocks is essential for recreational activities in the Chesapeake Bay and across the country and we thank Governor Northam for taking action to that ensure our marine ecosystems remain healthy for generations to come.”

“Thanks to the signature of Governor Northam, menhaden will now be managed by fisheries experts at the Virginia Marine Resources Commission,” said Mike Leonard, vice president of government affairs for the American Sportfishing Association. “Adequate menhaden populations are key to striped bass and other sportfish that support Virginia’s $583,806,000 saltwater recreational fishing economy. This important shift in management authority will help ensure a future of science-based management of menhaden that accounts for their important role in the ecosystem.”

“This commonsense legislation will help fisheries in not just Virginia, but along the entire Atlantic Coast,” said Chris Edmonstron, vice president of government affairs for Boat US.  “Anglers and boaters should all applaud this long overdue change in fisheries management and encourage more science-based management practices be developed and implemented. BoatU.S., along with our 28,000 Virginia members, applaud the passage of this legislation.”

“This decision by Governor Northam and the Virginia General Assembly, which was decades in the making, recognizes the importance of science-backed conservation efforts in maintaining the health of our nation’s fisheries,” said Adam Fortier-Brown, government relations manager for the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas.  “Having menhaden fisheries managed by the Virginia Marine Resource Commission, like all other fisheries in the state, will make significant steps towards creating a healthier Chesapeake Bay.  We thank the assembly, and Governor Northam for their leadership on this legislation, which will be felt by boaters and anglers all along the Atlantic coast for years to come.”

“On behalf of the Virginia Saltwater Sportsman’s Association and striped bass fishermen everywhere, I would like to thank Governor Northam and his administration, especially Natural Resources Secretary Matt Strickler, for leading the fight to conserve menhaden,” said John Bello, chairman of the Virginia Saltwater Sportfishing Association Government Relations Committee.  “Menhaden are far too valuable to the ecosystem and to the recreational fishing economy to allow one foreign company to continue sucking up hundreds of millions of forage fish per year.  Thank you, Governor.”

For more information about menhaden conservation click HERE.

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