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posted in: Press Releases

March 15, 2021

Senate Confirms Congresswoman Haaland as Interior Secretary

Hunters and anglers commit to working with Haaland to advance habitat and access solutions

The United States Senate gave the nod to Congresswoman Debra Haaland in a bipartisan vote confirming her as the next Interior Secretary.

“The hunting and fishing community has met with Secretary Haaland many times, and in our interactions, she has committed to strengthening habitat and improving recreational access,” said Whit Fosburgh, president and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “There are many pressing issues coming before the Interior Department, and sportsmen and sportswomen stand ready to partner with the Secretary to advance conservation and support the outdoor recreation economy.”

During Haaland’s Senate confirmation hearing, she reiterated her commitment to hunting and fishing by saying, “I am a Pueblo woman, we’ve been hunting wild game for centuries, and in fact that’s the reason I am sitting here today, because my ancestors sustained themselves through those practices. My dad, my grandparents, my brother—they all hunt. In fact, I was fortunate to harvest an oryx from the White Sands Missile Range several years back and fed my family for about a year. I understand that, and I absolutely respect the sportsmen and the anglers whose traditions those are.”

To listen to more excerpts from the confirmation hearing, click HERE.

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Randall Williams

March 4, 2021

Local Coalition Cheers the Reintroduction of the Ruby Mountains Protection Act

Citing the outstanding hunting and fishing opportunities, a coalition of influential hunting, fishing, and wildlife conservation groups calls for Congress to safeguard public land recreational opportunities in Nevada

A coalition of 15 hunting, fishing, and wildlife conservation organizations today applauded the reintroduction of the Ruby Mountains Protection Act in the U.S. Senate.

Introduced by Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), the proposed legislation would permanently withdraw 450,000 acres of U.S. Forest Service-managed public lands in northern Nevada’s Ruby and East Humboldt Mountains, as well as 40,000 acres in the adjacent Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge, from future oil and gas leasing.

The Sportsmen for the Rubies coalition hopes to raise awareness, both around the state and in Washington, D.C., of the potential threats posed by speculative leasing and energy development in the area. The coalition is part of a growing movement seeking permanent protections for the Ruby Mountains, while advocating for responsible energy development in the right places. The coalition has worked alongside Tribal governments and numerous other local interests to advance these protections.

“Hunters and anglers thank Senator Cortez Masto for her continued leadership to protect the outstanding recreational opportunities found in the Ruby Mountains,” said Carl Erquiaga, Nevada field representative with the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “These public lands are critical to one of Nevada’s most important big-game migration corridors, utilized by the state’s largest mule deer herd, and home to many other iconic fish and wildlife species, including the Lahontan cutthroat trout.”

Known as the “Swiss Alps of Nevada,” the Rubies stretch for nearly 100 miles in Elko County, with ten peaks towering over 10,000 feet. These rugged, glacier-carved mountains and their cold, clear streams serve as a stronghold of native cutthroat trout and wildlife habitat, while also providing an abundance of world-class opportunities for hunters, anglers, and other outdoor recreators.

“We are glad to see the Rubies once again on a path that will secure this landscape for future generations of Nevadans and all Americans,” said Pam Harrington, Nevada field coordinator with Trout Unlimited. “The fishing opportunities that abound around the Rubies and the Ruby Marshes are unrivaled. Senator Cortez Masto deserves the appreciation of sportsmen and sportswomen for her work on this issue and we hope for swift passage in the Senate as the bill moves forward toward becoming law.”

Despite the Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service determinations that the Ruby Mountains have low energy resource values, speculators have in recent years expressed interest in opening the area to drilling. Additionally, in 2019 and 2020, hundreds of acres were nominated for oil and gas leasing around the Ruby Marshes. Habitat fragmentation and degradation could occur as a result of such development, having consequences for fish and wildlife. Hunters and anglers have pointed to this sustained threat as cause for urgent action by lawmakers to safeguard the Rubies.

The Ruby Mountains Protection Act was originally introduced last Congress by Senator Cortez Masto and co-sponsored by Senator Jacky Rosen (D-Nev).

Learn more and take action at SportsmenfortheRubies.com.

 

Photo: Beau Rogers via Flickr

Marnee Banks

March 3, 2021

TRCP Expands its Team to Strengthen Conservation, Access, and Habitat

The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership adds six new staff members

The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership is proud to announce the hiring of six new staff members in its Washington D.C. and Denver offices to advance its mission of guaranteeing all Americans quality places to hunt and fish.

“By investing in top talent, the TRCP will bolster our vision of uniting and amplifying our partners’ voices to advance America’s legacy of conservation, habitat, and access,” said Whit Fosburgh, president and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “We welcome all of these individuals to the team and thank our board and donors for making it possible to expand our reach and capacity. Together, these new team members will expand our outreach to Hispanic and other underserved communities, strengthen our work on climate and public lands policies, amplify conservation messages to a digital audience, and maintain the highest standards for transparency and financial accountability.”

Jon Holst, Colorado Field Representative

Jon brings to the TRCP 27 years of experience working on wildlife conservation and federal public land policy issues in both the public and private sector. As Colorado Field Representative, Jon will be implementing public education and advocacy campaigns in the state of Colorado to conserve big-game migration corridors; stop the sale or transfer of federal public lands; and support federal and state programs that enhance access, funding, and habitat conservation.

Lise Robinson, Director of Finance

Lise brings 19 years of experience in nonprofit finance, accounting, administrative, and operations management to the TRCP. As Finance Director, she will be responsible for overseeing the entire organization’s accounting and finance functions. In this critical role, she will be responsible for ensuring transparency and accuracy in all financial reporting, while also maintaining the organization’s top charity ratings.

Jared Romero, Director of Strategic Partnerships

Jared’s background in conservation ranges from boots on the ground as a wildland firefighter to a researcher studying ecological toxicology, and an educator and administrator. As TRCP’s Director of Strategic Partnerships, Jared will build relationships to expand hunting and fishing opportunities for underserved communities. He will also work cooperatively with regional and national organizations that serve people of color to advance our shared conservation goals.

Tara Schultz, Digital Coordinator

Tara’s background in digital communications makes her a great fit to help TRCP advance our numerous conservation campaigns in a digital world. As Digital Coordinator, Tara will be responsible for maintaining TRCP’s social media channels, website, and digital communications.

Tiffany Turner, Director of Climate Solutions

Tiffany brings more than 15 years of experience in environmental health and sustainability to the TRCP as Director of Climate Solutions. In this role, Tiffany will be responsible for ensuring that the voices of America’s hunters and anglers, and the needs of fish and wildlife, are a meaningful part of the climate policy discussion. She will also develop and implement comprehensive advocacy and communications strategies, including building diverse coalitions, to advance land- and water-based climate policies.

Mandy Zalmanek, Development and Operations Associate

Mandy’s background in donor engagement, event planning, and operational administration will support the TRCP as we grow our fundraising and operational capacity. As Development and Operations Associate, Mandy will support all departments to ensure they are achieving their strategic goals.

Biographies for all six new staff members and the entire TRCP staff are available HERE.

Marnee Banks

February 24, 2021

Leading Nonprofits and Associations Call on Congress to Pass Legislation that Puts Americans Back to Work Through Conservation

Conservation Works for America campaign calls for policies that build resilient communities, combat climate change, and create jobs

Today a coalition of ten organizations collectively called on Congress to consider conservation priorities as policymakers draft economic recovery legislation.

The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, National Audubon Society, Environmental Defense Fund, National Wildlife Federation, Ducks Unlimited, National Marine Manufacturers Association, American Sportfishing Association, Pheasants Forever, and others joined forces in identifying a list of shared legislative priorities with House and Senate leadership. The goals of the coalition include building resilient communities that can withstand the impacts of a changing climate, restoring and preserving outdoor spaces, investing in nature-based solutions, and sustainably managing water resources.

“The value of investing in our most common goods—our land and water—cannot be overstated,” wrote the coalition. “Beyond the clear ecological value, investment in the outdoors provides jobs, energizes local economies, improves the resilience of our communities, and holds a lasting public benefit for generations.”

The groups highlighted nine main areas of focus:

  • Invest in our nation’s private lands.
  • Improve the resilience of transportation infrastructure.
  • Invest in the value of clean water.
  • Support multi-benefit watershed management in the West.
  • Support effective watershed management.
  • Strengthen America’s coasts and restore iconic ecosystems.
  • Invest in pre-disaster mitigation.
  • Prioritize wetland restoration.
  • Invest in Army Corps ecosystem restoration projects.

 

“Following the economic downturn of the past year, we are calling for bold investments in conservation that put people back to work and strengthen the habitat, fish, and wildlife we value,” said Whit Fosburgh, president and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “Hunters and anglers are joining this diverse coalition to ensure that Congress considers our land and water as part of the solution to the many challenges that we face. The policy proposals that we have put forward will create more resilient communities, combat climate change, and strengthen our outdoor industries.”

“From restoring the Colorado River watershed, to shoring up our beaches and wetlands on the coast, investing in conservation not only protects our communities from future droughts or floods, it also provides job opportunities as well as critical habitat for birds and other wildlife,” said Sarah Greenberger, senior vice president of conservation policy at the National Audubon Society.

“Our coastal communities are at greater risk than ever from more intense storms and sea level rise,” said Steve Cochran, associate vice president of Coastal Resilience at the Environmental Defense Fund. “By investing in shovel-worthy programs, Congress can restore and enhance the coastal ecosystems that help protect communities, while also creating jobs and reducing the costs of future disasters.”

“Investing in 21st century infrastructure that benefits every community is a critical step toward addressing the historic crises facing our nation — the pandemic, mass unemployment, racial injustice, and climate change,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “What better way to create millions of well-paying jobs than working together to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure, restore our lands and water, deploy cleaner sources of energy, bolster community and natural resilience, and reduce pollution, especially in frontline communities? We look forward to working with Congress to pass an infrastructure package that meets this moment by investing in our communities and our natural resources.”

“The challenges facing the 117th Congress are as numerous as they are immense,” said Adam Putnam, CEO of Ducks Unlimited. “But these challenges also provide a tremendous opportunity to invest in our land and water like never before. Following a difficult year, there’s no question smart investments in conservation can help get our economy back on its feet and our people back to work. At the same time, America’s renewed interest in the outdoors calls for a greater investment in the spaces that connect kids to nature, create memories for families, support millions of jobs and pump billions of dollars into the communities that surround our parks, refuges and magnificent wild places.”

“As we look to rebuild our country and economy, investing in resilient outdoor recreation infrastructure and sound conservation programs will help achieve both objectives, while protecting our nation’s cherished pastimes for generations to come,” said Frank Hugelmeyer, president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association. “We call on all members of Congress to support and include these vital initiatives as they continue to develop their economic relief and infrastructure measures.”

“The significant increase in fishing and other forms of outdoor recreation during the COVID-19 pandemic illustrates how much Americans deeply value the outdoors, and how important it is for our public lands and waters to be conserved and maintained,” said Glenn Hughes, president of the American Sportfishing Association. “We must invest in the outdoors not only for the physical and mental health benefits, but also to further expand the job opportunities in this booming sector of the economy that is responsible for 2.1% of the GDP.”

“The year 2020 revealed some important lessons for Americans moving forward, including the value of outdoor recreation, the need for more public lands, and the endless benefits to ecosystems throughout the United States when we invest in private lands conservation,” stated Howard Vincent, president and CEO of Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever. “Congressional leaders have the means to make significant impacts in the year ahead for America’s natural resources. Science-based conservation solutions to build resilient communities and combat climate change should be considered as policymakers draft economic recovery legislation, and ‘The Habitat Organization’ stands ready to assist with this important endeavor.”

The letter to Congressional leadership can be read HERE.

Sportsmen and women can take action in support of #ConservationWorksforAmerica priorities HERE.

Marnee Banks

February 11, 2021

Interior Will Ensure Land and Water Conservation Fund Is Used Where It’s Needed Most

Hunters and anglers call for prioritization of projects that increase public access to recreational opportunities

The Department of Interior announced today that it will be reducing restrictions on the availability of Land and Water Conservation Fund investments, ensuring that these dollars are used for the best possible opportunities to enhance public land access and habitat.

The LWCF was plussed up last August after the Great American Outdoors Act became law, marking one of the greatest bipartisan conservation achievements in decades. The bill guarantees full funding for the program at $900 million each year. Today’s announcement overturns Secretarial Order 3388, which deprioritized Bureau of Land Management lands for consideration for LWCF projects and gave county commissioners veto authority over private landowners’ decisions to sell their land.

“We are pleased the Department is doing away with rules that could have crippled getting these critical dollars to the ground,” said Whit Fosburgh, president and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “Sportsmen and sportswomen want to ensure that the LWCF is working to increase public access to outdoor recreation opportunities and conserve important habitats. This is going to require investments in agency capacity, prioritization of areas with recreational value, and coordination between federal, state, and private partners. We appreciate that hunters and anglers are being heard in this process.”

In addition to prioritizing the conservation of habitat and access through federal lands, the Land and Water Conservation Fund provides matching grants to state and tribal governments for the development of fishing areas, hunting access, hiking and biking trails, city parks, and urban green spaces.

“Whether you live in New York City or Cody, Wyoming, the COVID pandemic has shown us that access to the outdoors is critical for our health and wellbeing,” said Christy Plumer, chief conservation officer of the TRCP. “The LWCF opens doors for people to experience our natural resources, while also investing in local economies and creating jobs.”

The Great American Outdoors Act requires the federal land management agencies to set aside a minimum of $27 million annually for recreational access projects. The TRCP has partnered with onX to release five reports detailing 16 million acres of inaccessible public land in 22 states.

“Proper implementation of the Land and Water Conservation Fund can make a lasting difference on these landscapes,” said Joel Webster, senior director of TRCP’s western programs. “Looking forward, if states can put these investments toward conserving fish and wildlife habitat and increasing public access, it will benefit generations of hunters and anglers to come.”

To read more about the administration’s announcement, click HERE.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

CONSERVATION WORKS FOR AMERICA

As our nation rebounds from the COVID pandemic, policymakers are considering significant investments in infrastructure. Hunters and anglers see this as an opportunity to create conservation jobs, restore habitat, and boost fish and wildlife populations.

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