Whit Fosburgh

January 13, 2021

Moving Forward With a Belief That Conservation Unifies All Americans

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”

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    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

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    Brant Goose

    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

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    David Gray

    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.

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    John Gavitt

    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.

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    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

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January 11, 2021

MeatEater Podcast ft. TRCP: The State of Conservation Moving Into 2021

Listen now for our CEO’s take on the wins and losses for habitat and access last year

Whit Fosburgh, president and CEO of the TRCP, joined Steven Rinella, Clay Newcomb, Brody Henderson, and Janis Putelis on the MeatEater Podcast in late December to discuss the state of conservation leading into 2021If, as the podcast’s title suggests, we gave 2020 a sideways thumb, the TRCP is making every effort to give conservation a thumbs up this year. Take a listen and arm yourself with the knowledge to continue our conservation fight! 

 

Whit Fosburgh

December 18, 2020

Thank You and Happy Holidays from the TRCP!

2020 was a tough year, but TRCP members were also part of some big wins for the outdoors:

There was a resurgence of people spending quality time with friends and family in nature. Congress passed the groundbreaking Great American Outdoors Act and America’s Conservation Enhancement Act. We also urged states to reform menhaden management.

These efforts and many more will help guarantee all Americans quality places to hunt and fish in 2021 and beyond. But we couldn’t have done this work without your support.

Thank you, and happy holidays from the whole team here at the TRCP.

Whit Fosburgh

November 10, 2020

Launch of the National Deer Association Maintains the Best of Two Important Organizations

The merger of the Quality Deer Management Association and National Deer Alliance brings the commitment of two teams to science-driven conservation for all deer species

Today we celebrate the launch of the National Deer Association, a new organization that is the product of a merger between two of the nation’s most important deer organizations – the Quality Deer Management Association and the National Deer Alliance.

Since 1988, the QDMA has fundamentally changed how people think about deer hunting. By advocating for healthy deer populations and habitat, the organization has ensured that all hunters have benefitted from better age-class diversity and smarter management.

Among the QDMA’s many accomplishments is the creation of the National Deer Alliance in 2014. This step brought the deer conservation community together in the advocacy arena, where major decisions are made at the state and federal levels on subjects as diverse as disease prevention and management, habitat on private and public lands, and funding and access.

The TRCP has worked closely with both organizations and has valued these partnerships. But the new National Deer Association is a case where less is more. The merged organization will maintain the best of both organizations – strong grassroots connections and tenacious advocacy – while streamlining operations and fundraising to reduce competition. The new strategic plan, which is still in development, will focus on conservation, and whereas the QDMA was a whitetail conservation organization, the new combined entity will focus on all species of deer, as NDA did.

I served on the National Deer Alliance board prior to the merger, and I am honored to serve on the board of the new National Deer Association. Given the threats facing deer, deer hunting, and conservation funding—including CWD, loss of hunter access, development, and a changing climate–we need to come together and ensure that what we love is still here for our kids and grandkids.

The establishment of the National Deer Association is an important step toward that goal. Learn more about their work here.

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July 22, 2020

A Thank You to TRCP Members Who Have Supported LWCF and Public Lands

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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