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August 16, 2021

Glacier NP

T Schultz

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August 13, 2021

TRCP Responds to Forest Service Draft Plan for 3.2 Million Acres in Colorado

Encourages members to speak up for hunting and angling opportunities in the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forests

Today the U.S. Forest Service released a Draft Forest Plan that—when finalized—will guide future land-use management decisions on more than 3.2 million acres of public lands in central Colorado for the next 15 to 20 years. Hunters and anglers have been anticipating the release of the draft plan because of the significant potential impact it could have on the state’s fish and wildlife resources, and hunting and fishing opportunities.

The Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison (GMUG) National Forests provide habitat for nearly 20 percent of Colorado’s iconic mule deer and elk populations, as well as large populations of bighorn sheep, moose, wild turkeys, and multiple trout species. More than 50,000 big game hunting permits are issued each year for the game management units within the planning area.

“The GMUG forest planning process should be viewed as critically important to hunters and anglers in Colorado, and it will no doubt shape outdoor recreational opportunities for decades to come,” said Jon Holst, Colorado field representative with the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “Sportsmen and sportswomen from all across our state know how important these public lands are to our hunting and fishing traditions, as well as the tremendous economic benefits they provide to local communities.”

The GMUG planning area is a vast and diverse landscape, covering more than 3.2 million acres of lands that range in elevation from 5,000 to over 14,000 feet, with mountain streams cascading through dense forests of spruce-fir, meadows interspersed in aspen groves, and riparian oases throughout sagebrush and oak shrublands. These lands contain large, unfragmented backcountry habitats that are essential for keeping seasonal big game migrations intact.

The release of the Draft Forest Plan is a key step in determining how fish and wildlife habitat, outdoor recreation opportunities, and resource development are balanced in this area. The agency’s Preferred Alternative in the Draft Forest Plan contains key provisions supported by hunters and anglers, such as conserving important habitats as Wildlife Management Areas to prevent incompatible development in these places.

A 90-day public comment period on the draft plan begins August 13 and is slated to close November 10.

“The TRCP is taking steps to ensure that hunters and anglers weigh in on the draft plan, and we’re continuing to work with local stakeholders and agency partners to ensure that the final plan reflects our shared conservation priorities,” continued Holst. “It’s important that members of our community speak up on behalf of the provisions of the plan that benefit wildlife, while also encouraging the agency to revise elements that remain in need of improvement.”


Photo: Jerry and Pat Donaho via Flickr


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August 12, 2021

New Federal Commitment Will Help to Conserve Migration Corridors

Departments of Interior and Agriculture take steps to conserve and enhance wildlife migration corridors in partnership with states and tribes

Today, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership celebrated a joint announcement by the U.S. Department of the Interior, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the state of Wyoming regarding cooperative efforts to partner in the conservation and enhancement of wildlife migration corridors.

“Functional migration corridors and other seasonal habitats are essential to healthy populations of elk, mule deer, and antelope and help to ensure that all Americans have opportunities to enjoy our storied big game herds,” said Whit Fosburgh, president and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “We greatly appreciate the leadership shown today by Secretaries Haaland and Vilsack, in partnership with state and tribal governments, to invest in the conservation and restoration of migratory wildlife habitats.”

Today’s statement included a commitment by the federal agencies to support the implementation of Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon’s 2020 executive order prioritizing the conservation of mule deer and pronghorn migrations. In addition, the agencies announced the availability of $2 million in new grant funding from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Improving Habitat Quality in Western Big Game Migration Corridors and Habitat Connectivity program, as well as a commitment from USDA to leverage programs such as Working Lands for Wildlife, the Sage Grouse Initiative, and the Conservation Reserve Programs.

Wildlife migration corridor conservation was highlighted in the May 2021 Conserving and Restoring America the Beautiful report, and today’s announcement marks the first agency actions under the Biden Administration to address the issue. These steps signal that the new administration is genuinely interested in building upon the migration-focused DOI Secretarial Order 3362, signed in 2018 by then-Secretary Ryan Zinke. That order, and the federal funding associated with it, catalyzed significant investment from state agencies and non-governmental organizations.

“Given recent advancements in migration research and mapping, there is enormous opportunity for state and federal agencies to make more precisely informed land management decisions and to invest strategically in conservation and restoration projects,” continued Fosburgh. “The TRCP looks forward to continuing to work cooperatively with the administration, states, tribes, and private landowners to advance and further expand this exciting work, which is fundamental to the future of hunting in America as we know it.”


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August 10, 2021

Senate Passes Bipartisan Infrastructure Package with Major Conservation Investments

Senators make the most of this opportunity to fund wildlife crossings, public land road repairs, and natural infrastructure solutions that benefit habitat and American communities

Washington, D.C. — After working through the weekend, Senators passed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act in a 69-30 vote today, advancing numerous conservation investments and priorities.

“Making this commitment to habitat restoration, water quality, climate resilience, wildlife crossings, and road access on our public lands signals that Senate lawmakers understand the job-creating power of conservation and the foundational importance of outdoor recreation and natural resources in America,” says Whit Fosburgh, president and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “These efforts are not only worth the investment as we think about the future of the nation’s infrastructure—many are long overdue. We look forward to working with House lawmakers to advance these priorities and make robust investments in conservation as the infrastructure package moves forward.”

Among the conservation provisions in the $1.2-trillion bipartisan deal are top TRCP priorities, including:

  • $350 million to create a pilot program that will help fund wildlife-friendly roadway crossings
  • $250 million for the Legacy Roads and Trails Remediation Program to improve access on Forest Service public lands and safeguard fish and wildlife from habitat damage caused by failing roads
  • Reauthorization of the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, which pays for conservation, access improvements, and angler recruitment
  • $1.4 billion for natural infrastructure solutions through the Promoting Resilient Operations for Transformative, Efficient, and Cost-Saving Transportation (PROTECT) Grant Program
  • $14.65 billion for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund Program, which helps to improve water quality and fish habitat through estuary restoration, stormwater management, and more
  • $400 million for WaterSMART grants, with $100 million set aside for natural infrastructure solutions to reduce the impacts of drought, create new habitat, and improve water quality

Click here to see what else we’re tracking in this package as it moves forward.


Top photo courtesy of Wildlands Restoration Volunteers via Flickr.


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August 5, 2021

Remembering TRCP Supporter and Conservationist Rich Trumka

Above: Rich Trumka (center) with former TRCP president and CEO George Cooper (left) and former Union Sportsmen’s Alliance executive director Fred Myers in 2007.

It was with a heavy heart today that I learned about the death of Richard Trumka at the age of 72.

As president of the AFL-CIO, Rich will be remembered as a champion of labor and the working person—and for good reason. But his role in conservation cannot be overlooked.

Rich grew up hunting and fishing in his native Pennsylvania, and that remained a core part of who he was. In 2007, he joined with Jim Range, the founder of TRCP, to champion creating incentives for private landowners to open their lands for public hunting and fishing. This became the Voluntary Public Access program of the 2008 Farm Bill and what is now a $50-million Department of Agriculture program that has opened millions of acres of land and water for the public to enjoy.

Because Rich saw hunting, fishing, and conservation as important to the AFL-CIO’s rank-and-file membership, he then worked with Range to create the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance under the TRCP banner. In 2010, the USA spun off as a standalone organization, on the Board of which I proudly serve. Rich also served nine years on the TRCP board, where he became a friend and mentor.

Just two weeks ago, I had lunch with Rich, at his request, so that Nick Pinizzotto, CEO of the National Deer Association, and I could brief him on the spread of chronic wasting disease in his beloved Pennsylvania. The lunch lasted more than two hours as the conversation swerved from CWD to ballistics and reloading, to the new foods plots he was trying on his farm.

Rich Trumka loved life, his work, hunting and conservation, and his family. I have no doubt that his spirit will be stalking that 200-inch buck in the Pennsylvania woods this fall. For those of us still on Earth, we will miss him, but we certainly will not forget him.



Theodore Roosevelt’s experiences hunting and fishing certainly fueled his passion for conservation, but it seems that a passion for coffee may have powered his mornings. In fact, Roosevelt’s son once said that his father’s coffee cup was “more in the nature of a bathtub.” TRCP has partnered with Afuera Coffee Co. to bring together his two loves: a strong morning brew and a dedication to conservation. With your purchase, you’ll not only enjoy waking up to the rich aroma of this bolder roast—you’ll be supporting the important work of preserving hunting and fishing opportunities for all.

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