Our president and CEO looks to 2021 as a fresh start for partnership and dedication to science-based conservation
For nearly 20 years, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership has brought people together, built coalitions, and advanced conservation. We pride ourselves in working with policymakers of all political backgrounds. No matter who controls the White House or Congress, we roll up our sleeves and focus on what unites us—not what tears us apart.
That is why the violent events at the Capitol last week shook us to our core. We not only believe in the strength of our democracy and democratic institutions, but our staff members regularly walk those hallowed halls to carry the collective voice of sportsmen and women to decision makers. On a personal level, I worked in those halls for years and still marvel at America’s citadel of democracy that has endured for more than two centuries.
To do what we do, you have to believe in public service and the rule of law. Yet, the siege at the Capitol was the culmination of years of fact-free rhetoric aimed at inflaming passions and securing political advantage, not providing solutions.
In short, it was a disgrace and those who carried out and incited this terror should be held accountable.
At the end of the day, however, we will see the peaceful transition of power. And my hope is that we also see a return to partnership, where Americans can disagree about ideas, but not about the foundations of democracy, and where telling the truth is again seen as a virtue.
Even in the divisive atmosphere of the last few years, conservation has been an area where Democrats and Republicans worked together on behalf of the people. The successful passage of the Great American Outdoors Act, the Dingell Act, the ACE Act, and many more are prime examples.
This year brings with it many opportunities to enact conservation policy that further strengthens habitat and access. Whether by putting Americans back to work through conservation or advancing land and water-based solutions to climate change, we have our eyes on the issues that affect sportsmen and women.
Every time a new administration or new Congress is sworn in, we build relationships so we can tackle these pressing issues. Those relationships are built on trust and the understanding that we share a common goal: to guarantee all Americans quality places to hunt and fish.
The moderate middle is often a lonely place, where both sides turn up the heat and pressure you to be someone you are not. While it can be uncomfortable, it is where we find success. Our mission is based on science and facts and does not change with the political winds or fall pressure to the blue and red waves in an election. It stays true and focused, and it stays loyal to the institutions upon which this great nation was built.
TRCP has always sought to be a voice of partnership and cooperation in our efforts to advance conservation policy across the nation, because we believe that conservation unifies all Americans. In that same spirit, we look forward to continuing to work with lawmakers—Republican, Democrat, and Independent—who share these values.
Image courtesy of National Parks.
9 Responses to “Moving Forward With a Belief That Conservation Unifies All Americans”
First off I freaking love your articles. I follow you consistently and I find your content informative and on point. That being said you missed the mark on this one. It felt very much like someone’s personal political stance thinly veiled on a conservation platform. I personally don’t agree with what is going on in the capital, whatever you want to call it it was not a peaceful protest. Again this is only my opinion but I really hope that this platform doesn’t take the low hanging fruit and get involved in the social media politics that are so popular these days. I hope this is well received, thank you for your time. Matthew D Grotzke
Hi Matthew, and thank you for this thoughtful feedback. We appreciate your time and commitment to conservation!
Thank you Mr. Fosburgh for your comments. I think it’s refreshing to see an organization stick to its goals and stay out of politics. I hope and pray it stays that way.
Bully! Thanks for this thoughtful and eloquent piece Whit! Good old number six “science is the proper tool for the discharge of wildlife policy” – USFW. Here’s to more science and less fear for everyone in 2021. Thanks
The Wildness and Wilderness I travel is absolutely Inclusive and Equal.
When everything is upside-down, backwards and toxic we know a Place, don’t we?
Mr. Fosburgh, thank you to you and the capable TRCP staff for the effective work you do on behalf of those that hunt and fish and those next generations that will hunt and fish in the future. I found this article to have to much politics and maybe not enough conservation. These days any politics can be too much.
Thank you for your thoughtful remarks, Whit. Although some successes in conservation have indeed been made with respect to the current administration, there have been many setbacks as well, such as attempts to gut the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and Endangered Species Act, lessening of air and water pollution regulations under the EPA, and a disregard of the reality of climate change that is affecting all of us. I agree that we need to look forward and not backward. However, Donald Trump and his combative, mean spirited nature, combined with a lack of empathy toward others, led us to the events that occurred on January 5. This country has been damaged and it will take years to repair it, if ever. As a hunter and fisherman and someone who has been involved in conservation work most of my life, I will not forget how ashamed of this man and and the damage he has caused.
Does any part of TRCP’s agenda for 2021 involve taking action with regards to climate change? I would think that acknowledging the threat of climate change would be an important part of science-based conservation practices
Absolutely, Neil. We are leading a 41-group coalition in this effort (https://ourlandwaterwildlife.org/) and you’ll soon read how natural climate solutions are among the priorities we’ve identified for the 117th Congress and Biden Administration. Thanks for the great question.