Steve Kline

October 26, 2020

A Toast to the Patron Saint of Conservation on His Birthday

If you’ve looked at the state of our country lately and thought, ‘What would Theodore Roosevelt do?’ this might be your answer 

Hunting and the American outdoors were fundamental to who Theodore Roosevelt was—without them, he would be unrecognizable. There have been other sportsmen in the White House (Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, and Dwight Eisenhower were all passionate flyfishermen), but T.R.’s greatness cannot be separated from his passion for the outdoors, which is what makes him the patron saint of conservation in America.

So, it’s no wonder we’re thinking of him today, as his 162nd birthday coincides with a pivotal time for our nation and the conservation priorities he helped to set in motion.

Theodore Roosevelt led with a clarity of purpose, and he would have seen clearly the task facing modern-day hunters and anglers—it is no less than the survival of our outdoor traditions. The future of hunting and fishing, not to mention our fish and wildlife resources, is in the hands of decision-makers who are often uninformed or downright hostile. But it is also in our hands. We must move fish and wildlife conservation up the hierarchy of our own political decision-making and vote accordingly.

If, like Roosevelt, hunting and angling are foundational to your very being, something you want to pass down to your children, then you can’t afford to be passive about policies that will affect your access or the responsible management of fish and wildlife habitat.

A generation ago, many elected leaders learned the language of the land as kids, knew the culture of opening day, and shared stories of blaze orange and bird dogs at the Formica counters of small town diners. But today, the lawmakers who understand our culture beyond its value at the voting booth are few and far between. This reality reflects broader trends: an increasingly urban population that’s more and more profoundly disconnected from wildlife and wild places.

Still there is no more important issue in this country than conservation, and to celebrate T.R. is to celebrate his famous maxim.

Subsequently we must hold our elected officials accountable when they make decisions that threaten habitat and access. We must inform others, and be informed ourselves, on the importance of the North American model of wildlife management, and explain how hunters and anglers play an absolutely essential role in the funding of conservation work. After all, following in T.R.’s footsteps, we are the prime authors of some of the greatest fish and wildlife conservation success stories in the history of the world.

To be a hunter or an angler in 2020 is to be a steward for the future. It is no less an essential call than the one that motivated Theodore Roosevelt and a generation of American conservationists, to whom we owe a profound debt of gratitude. The hunters of the next century need us to carry that mantle forward with our words and actions.

Get started right now by urging lawmakers to include investments in conservation in any economic recovery legislation. Congress can put Americans back to work during the COVID crisis by supporting conservation programs that restore habitat, fix trails and access sites, make highways safer for people and wildlife, and build more resilient water systems. Click here to take action.

 

This post was originally published on October 27, 2016 and has been updated.

8 Responses to “A Toast to the Patron Saint of Conservation on His Birthday”

  1. TR is virtually ignored by the conservatives of today, because of his label as a Progressive and his anti-trust positions. Republicans and Libertarians would do well to promote him.

    Now for the Democrats and Progressives. It is ironic that today’s Progressives are not TR type Progressives. They and the Democrats want the government to protect natural resources, but don’t support use for all citizens. They agree with the idea of making public lands national monuments or parks, so hunting and other activities that do not suit their taste are prohibited. This is the greatest danger to sports-people of today…the loss of use of public lands.

  2. Phyllis Park

    Here in Ohio there isn’t a whole lot of public land for hunting. We have state parks and the Wayne Nat’l Forest. In December the BLM has plans to lease thousands of acres in the Wayne to gas and oil corps for fracking. This will be devastating for wildlife and water quality in the forest. I would appreciate it if you all would write your legislators and let them know that National Forests should not be opened up to exploitation by oil and gas corps. If they do it in Ohio, other National Forests will be next.

  3. James Saunders

    If you are in favor of the BLM or any other government agency overstepping their authority and taking ranch land or water rights from ranch families then you can go to hell and never darken my “door” again. Bundys and Fictum etc are the victims here and will go down as heros.

  4. Harried Harry

    I agree, Teddy Roosevelt was a great conservationist. In his day, the most common mode of transportation was the horse. Today many use a powered vehicle such as a Jeep or 4×4 truck. I believe we need to factor these vehicle’s into modern conservation issues. As some people get older, they can no longer walk the long distances they could when younger, thus they rely on the Jeep or other type of powered vehicle. I know people who are mobility challenged but who enjoy the fun of fishing and camping. We need to provide opportunities for everyone, not just those healthy enough to walk everywhere they want. I pay for my fishing license as well as for the use of my Jeep and 4×4 truck. Without these vehicles I could not enjoy the outdoors. Thanks for your articles.

Do you have any thoughts on this post?

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Kristyn Brady

October 23, 2020

TRCP and 40 Groups Launch Conservationists for Climate Solutions

#OurLandWaterWildlife campaign outlines seven key areas of focus for policymakers

A diverse coalition of 41 groups from across the hunting, fishing, landowner, and conservation communities launched a new website to highlight the impacts of climate change on fish, wildlife, and habitat and promote policy solutions in seven key areas.

Ourlandwaterwildlife.org will be a hub of educational resources, storytelling, and advocacy dedicated to natural solutions that sequester carbon and build habitat resiliency to combat climate change. Many of the coalition’s recommendations are proven strategies for safeguarding the fish and wildlife habitat that supports outdoor recreation opportunities in the United States.

“Our organizations already advocate for and implement land-and water-based solutions to make our rivers, lakes, streams, forests, grasslands, wetlands, and coastal systems more resilient to the impacts of climate change,” the coalition writes in a formal joint statement, which is being used in communications with key lawmakers. “Conservation organizations and state and federal land and wildlife management agencies have been on the cutting edge of ecosystem-based solutions. Together we can expand these programs to have a much greater impact far more quickly.”

The recommendations included in the statement and at ourlandwaterwildlife.org are intended for Congress, the executive branch, agency leadership, states, and other decision-makers developing a national-level approach to addressing climate change.

The seven key areas of focus for the coalition include: Agriculture; Forests, Rangelands, and Grasslands; Oceans; Rivers, Lakes, and Streams; Wetlands; Coastal Resilience; and Adaptation.

Learn more at ourlandwaterwildlife.org.

October 21, 2020

More Atlantic Menhaden Will Help Rebuild the Iconic Striped Bass Fishery

Managers vote to reduce Atlantic menhaden quota by 10%

A coalition of eastern states took a step toward improving the management of the Atlantic menhaden, a tiny baitfish consumed by striped bass any other sportfish.

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Atlantic Menhaden Board voted to reduce the Atlantic menhaden quota by 10 percent, establishing a quota of 194,400 metric tons for the 2021 and 2022 fishing years.

The harvest reduction comes in response to a recent fundamental shift in Atlantic menhaden management. In August, ASMFC unanimously adopted a new ecological management system, which considers the needs of predator species and is set up to specifically help rebuild the striped bass population and fishery.  Yesterday’s quota decision on menhaden is especially important to the sportfishing and boating community because it represents a follow through on the commitment by ASMFC to implement this new ecological management system.

“The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission took an important step in curbing harmful menhaden reduction fishing, something recreational fishing and conservation groups have been working on for more than 20 years,” said Whit Fosburgh, CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “It’s important to note that the commission’s own science showed that an additional cut is needed to give striped bass a 50 percent chance of meeting target goals. Therefore, additional harvest cuts will likely be needed to ensure the long-term recovery and health of striped bass and other important sportfish. The TRCP will continue to work to implement additional measures to guarantee there are enough menhaden in the Atlantic Basin to serve the critical role of forage as well as improve water quality.”

Several recreational fishing and boating organizations recently sent a letter to ASMFC urging the adoption of a conservative coastwide total allowable catch that will help rebuild the iconic striped bass fishery.

“In order to have a high likelihood of rebuilding striped bass, the fishing mortality for striped bass and menhaden must each be maintained at their target levels,” said Mike Leonard, Vice President of Government Affairs for the American Sportfishing Association. “Last year, ASA supported ASMFC’s decision to control fishing mortality for striped bass to its target level, and this decision sets us on the path toward achieving the needed reductions in menhaden harvest to achieve its ecosystem reference point target level.”

“This important first step by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission to put science-backed limits on menhaden harvests will help support the entire ecosystem of prized sportfish that our industry’s boaters and anglers count on,” said Adam Fortier-Brown, Government Relations Manager for the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas. “While more may need to be done in the future, this significant improvement to fisheries management will allow our community to work with ASMFC to continue to reduce fishing mortality, and steward our whole marine ecosystem well into the future.”

“Given the importance of menhaden to the Atlantic Coasts largest recreational fishery it is concerning that the board set upcoming quotas at levels that include more risk than sound ecological management suggests,” said David Sikorski, executive director of CCA Maryland. ”While more fish will be left in the water for predators next year, managers should be concerned over the near-failure of recruitment of striped bass that was recently reported in the Chesapeake this year, and not lose site of the vital connection that harvest levels of menhaden have to the future of striped bass.”

 

Andrew Wilkins

October 9, 2020

Q&A: What’s Next for the ACE Act?

Yes, this important legislation can be enacted, even if President Trump is too busy to sign it

Now that Congress has passed the America’s Conservation Enhancement Act, there are fish and wildlife conservation projects ready to be launched with support from the programs and investments included in this important legislation. As of today, it awaits a very busy president’s signature.

We saw some questions on social media about what happens if Trump doesn’t sign it—not because he is opposed to ACE, but because he is in the midst of an unprecedented pandemic and reelection campaign. Watch this quick video for the answer!

Top image courtesy of Tony Rocheford/USFWS Midwest

Kristyn Brady

October 1, 2020

House Sends Another Landmark Win for Conservation to the President

Congress cements the future of important programs and funding sources that benefit deer, fish, waterfowl, and watershed restoration efforts

In a flurry of votes under suspension of the rules today, the U.S. House of Representatives has passed legislation that will help improve fish habitat, restore wetlands, boost chronic wasting disease research, invest in clean water solutions, and prevent bycatch fatalities of important sportfish species.

The America’s Conservation Enhancement Act (S. 3051) reauthorizes and establishes important conservation programs and funding sources that would benefit deer, waterfowl, fish, and all species in the Great Lakes and Chesapeake Bay watersheds.

“Passage of the ACE Act will not only benefit deer, ducks, fish, and our water quality, but it will also create jobs in conservation and help to enhance outdoor recreation opportunities for millions of Americans just when we need it most,” says Whit Fosburgh, president and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “Sportsmen and women are grateful to both Democratic and Republican leadership in the Senate and House for their support of and commitment to the passage of this critical legislation. It secures the future of essential conservation programs and funding sources that hunters and anglers have prioritized for years.”

The Senate passed companion legislation earlier this month, and the bill will go directly to the president’s desk now that it has cleared the House. The TRCP asked sportsmen and women to contact lawmakers in support of the following provisions and swift passage:

  • Reauthorizing the North American Wetlands Conservation Act at $60 million annually for the next five years. NAWCA has improved more than 30 million acres of wetlands by leveraging a 3-to-1 match of private to federal funds.
  • Establishing a task force to address the spread of chronic wasting disease and ensure states have a coordinated plan to research, test, and respond to CWD.
  • Codifying and securing future funding for the National Fish Habitat Partnership, which has overseen more than 840 projects to benefit fish habitat and populations.
  • Boosting restoration efforts in the Chesapeake Bay by reauthorizing the Chesapeake Bay Program at $90 million through FY2025 and investing in clean water efforts recommended by the six Bay states and the District of Columbia.
  • Supporting fishing opportunities in the Great Lakes by authorizing and providing $15 million in annual funding for coordinated research and monitoring of binational fisheries within the Great Lakes Basin.

These provisions help to create conservation jobs that put Americans back to work during this COVID-related economic downturn, which is a top priority of the TRCP this year and looking ahead.

[Take action HERE to support investments in conservation as part of any economic recovery legislation.]

In a separate vote, the House also advanced the Direct Enhancement of Snapper Conservation and the Economy through Novel Devices, or DESCEND, Act. This legislation requires anyone fishing for reef fish—commercially or recreationally—in the federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico to possess a descending device or venting tool to prevent the effects of barotrauma on released fish and reduce the mortality rate of prized species such as snapper and grouper.

“Support for the DESCEND Act is a no-brainer, because the tools it would require provide one of the best ways to ensure the survival of reef fish that are caught and released, helping keep stocks healthy and improving fish conservation,” says Chris Macaluso, director of marine fisheries for the TRCP. “We applaud Congressmen Garrett Graves, Steven Palazzo, Jared Huffman, and their colleagues in the House for moving this bill forward to improve fisheries management, resource conservation, and the outdoor recreation economy.”

The DESCEND Act has been championed by the American Sportfishing Association, Center for Sportfishing Policy, Coastal Conservation Association, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, National Marine Manufacturers Association, and the TRCP. Learn more here.

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.

Learn More
Subscribe

You have Successfully Subscribed!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

You have Successfully Subscribed!