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Kristyn Brady

October 6, 2021

Boozman, Cortez Masto, and Jordan Receive TRCP’s Conservation Awards

MeatEater’s Steven Rinella co-hosts the hybrid in-person/digital celebration with D.C. luminaries, outdoor industry leaders, and TRCP supporters

At its 13th annual Capital Conservation Awards Dinner, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership was proud to celebrate the conservation achievements of Senator John Boozman (R-Ark.), Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), and Kim Jordan, co-founder of New Belgium Brewing Company and founder and Board chair of the Mighty Arrow Family Foundation.

“Like TRCP founder Jim Range, our honorees are pragmatic conservationists, who understand that people are a part of the land and believe we are duty-bound to leave a natural legacy to future generations,” says Whit Fosburgh, TRCP president and CEO, who co-emceed the event from the historic Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium. He was joined via livestream by Steven Rinella, who helped to present the awards and select sweepstakes winners from the MeatEater studios in Bozeman, Mont. U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland gave the opening remarks in D.C.

Photo by www.jonflemingphotography.com

 

Sen. Boozman has used his long tenure on the Senate Agriculture Committee to enhance important incentives for fish and wildlife habitat conservation on private lands. As ranking member of the Committee and a member of the Migratory Bird Council, Boozman is a strong leader on Farm Bill conservation programs and a champion of wetlands conservation.

Photo by www.jonflemingphotography.com

 

Sen. Cortez Masto has led the fight to protect Nevada’s Ruby Mountains from development, engaging a diverse coalition of hunters, anglers, Tribes, and outdoor enthusiasts. She also serves as Chair of the Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests, and Mining. She was a key supporter of the Great American Outdoors Act and has been a strong proponent of sensible oil and gas leasing reform.

Photo by www.jonflemingphotography.com

 

Kim Jordan co-founded New Belgium Brewing, one of most respected craft breweries and innovative businesses in America. Since 1991, giving back has been a part of New Belgium’s guiding principles thanks to Jordan’s leadership. After selling the company to her employees in 2012, she remained an outspoken champion for clean water and the environment, and through the Mighty Arrow Family Foundation, Jordan and her family have become philanthropic leaders in the areas of climate change, sustainable food systems, land and water conservation, and social justice.

Photo by www.jonflemingphotography.com

 

“John Boozman, Catherine Cortez Masto, and Kim Jordan understand that conservation is not a partisan issue—it is something that should connect us all as Americans,” says Fosburgh. “We’re thrilled to recognize them for their stalwart commitment to conservation, habitat, and access.”

Learn more about the event here.

2 Responses to “Boozman, Cortez Masto, and Jordan Receive TRCP’s Conservation Awards”

  1. Curt Nizzoli

    Just wondering: 1) how much did this shindig cost, and who bore the costs, and 2) how much of that money could’ve gone to conservation?

    Unfortunately, we’ve seen, over the years, way too many organizations start seeing success, then it goes to the admin’s head, and they start spending on their junkets, parties, receptions, hosted speakers, outrageously expensive 5-star dining and wine, and lose their focus on what really matters…..

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Randall Williams

September 29, 2021

New Report Details Next Steps for Big Game Habitat Conservation in Colo.

Report outlines strategies and policy recommendations to safeguard migration corridors

In Colorado today, Governor Jared Polis announced the release of a report highlighting the need for new policy to conserve the state’s big game populations and the variety of habitats on which they depend for their survival.

Opportunities to Improve Sensitive Habitat and Movement Route Connectivity for Colorado’s Big Game Species, which was developed by the Colorado Department of Natural Resources in cooperation with Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the Colorado Department of Transportation, marks yet another step forward on this issue resulting from Governor Polis’s 2019 executive order, Conserving Colorado’s Big Game Winter Range and Migration Corridors.

“This document is the product of two years of leadership by Governor Polis and his agencies to conserve big game migration corridors and seasonal habitats across Colorado,” said Madeleine West, director of the Center for Public Lands for the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “It clearly lines out the next steps necessary to conserve our big game populations, acknowledging both the important roles of a broad set of state agencies, as well as those of federal public land management agencies, private landowners, and nongovernmental organizations. We look forward to working collaboratively with all of these stakeholders to implement the report’s recommendations.”

In the report, the governor calls for a comprehensive approach to improving habitat for Colorado’s iconic big game species, such as elk, mule deer, and pronghorn, including the development of a statewide habitat and connectivity plan that would clearly define priority landscapes in the state that support big game and other wildlife species. The report builds upon a 2020 Colorado Parks and Wildlife publication, Status Report: Big Game Winter Range and Migration Corridors, which assessed the challenges and threats facing these important habitats.

Other recommendations in the report include:

  • Development of a statewide conservation and recreation plan that balances the need to expand recreational opportunities with wildlife conservation values, including the conservation of wildlife routes and priority habitats for big game.
    • Encouraging the Colorado General Assembly to create dedicated funding for transportation projects that conserve wildlife populations and protect human health.
  • Support for new staff at CPW and CDOT to continue collaborative work between the two agencies to conserve wildlife corridors and limit wildlife-vehicle collisions.
  • Direction to CDNR and CPW to work with the Bureau of Land Management to initiate a statewide resource management plan amendment to conserve big game migration corridors, as well as a recommendation that the BLM, pending completion of the plan, issue guidance requiring the adoption of best management practices for conserving big game habitats.
  • Direction to CDNR and CPW to convene an interagency task force to explore opportunities to minimize the impacts of renewable energy development on big game habitat.
  • Support for continued investment in state programs like the Colorado Wildlife Habitat Program and Ranching for Wildlife that finance activities on private land that conserve wildlife habitats.

“Healthy, intact habitats, and particularly the corridors that allow for seasonal wildlife migrations, are essential for sustaining our big game herds,” said Jon Holst, Colorado field representative for the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “More than anyone, sportsmen and sportswomen know the value of Colorado’s elk, mule deer, and pronghorn, as well as the spillover effects that benefit all species when the conservation of these landscapes is prioritized.”

The release of the report was timed to coincide with the governor’s proclamation to officially designate September 29 as Wildlife Habitat and Connectivity Day in Colorado.

To read more from the report, click here.

 

Photo: Jeff Wallace via Flickr

Randall Williams

August 25, 2021

Migration Corridor Conservation Prioritized by New Mexico Governor

New executive order establishes collaborative approach to prioritizing big game seasonal habitats

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham today announced bold steps to conserve New Mexico’s land, water, and wildlife, adopting the goal of conserving 30 percent of all lands in the state by 2030. Through an executive order, the governor established a 30 by 30 Committee comprised of secretaries or designees of seven state agencies and directed it to “support and implement programs designed to conserve, protect, and enhance lands and natural environments across the state,” emphasizing among other things efforts that “support migratory wildlife habitat and ensure movement across the landscape.”

“Today’s commitment to safeguarding New Mexico’s migratory habitats is a strong step forward on a conservation challenge that has been front-and-center among the issues that matter most to sportsmen and sportswomen,” said John Cornell, the southwest field manager for the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “We want to thank Governor Lujan Grisham for recognizing the value of the outdoor recreation economy, for highlighting the importance of increased access and recreation, and for including these issues among her administration’s priorities. New Mexico has vast natural landscapes and incredible wildlife resources that will benefit greatly from the goals laid out in this order.”

Significantly, the executive order directs state agencies to “coordinat[e] as much as possible with federal agencies that manage lands and resources across New Mexico, including through direct engagement on natural resource management plans, transportation and energy development projects, and any other initiatives that impact land and water conservation, including wildlife migration.” In June, the TRCP released a report highlighting opportunities for the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service to work with state wildlife agencies to incorporate big game migration science and data into land management plans and decisions.

Governor Lujan Grisham’s executive order arrives as the Biden-led Departments of the Interior and Agriculture are shaping their next steps for migration corridor conservation, which was highlighted as a priority in the May 2021 report Conserving and Restoring America the Beautiful. The Interior Department began partnering with Western states on the issue in 2018 when then-Secretary Ryan Zinke signed Secretarial Order 3362. Sportsmen and sportswomen see considerable opportunity for the federal agencies to build upon these early successes to ensure meaningful and durable habitat conservation.

According to the executive order, the committee will also focus on land- and water-based solutions that help sequester carbon and greenhouse gas emissions. Last year, the TRCP and 40 other hunting and fishing conservation groups launched Conservationists for Climate Solutions to drive solutions-oriented policies that combat the impacts of climate change on land, water, and wildlife.

“Hunters and anglers applaud today’s announcement and look forward to working with the governor’s office and the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish to achieve these outcomes,” continued Cornell. “Our community is ready to collaborate with a diverse range of stakeholders to be part of the solution and to bring sportsmen’s and sportswomen’s voices to the table as we tackle these important issues.”

To read more from the Governor’s Executive Order click HERE.

Randall Williams

August 23, 2021

New Executive Order in Nevada Prioritizes Migration Corridor Conservation

Hunters & anglers celebrate the development of a statewide wildlife connectivity plan

Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak announced the creation of a new Nevada Habitat Conservation Framework to conserve, restore, and rehabilitate the Silver State’s sagebrush habitat. One of the key components of this initiative is the development of a Wildlife Connectivity Plan that will “identify and conserve migratory [big game] corridors.”

The Nevada Department of Wildlife, with input from stakeholders such as conservation groups, private landowners, and tribal communities, will identify and delineate migration corridors and seasonal habitats using the best-available science. As a result, these areas will receive much-needed special consideration in the land-use planning process.

“This plan recognizes the urgent need to ensure Nevada’s big game populations can continue to move across the landscape and access the seasonal habitats they need to survive,” said Carl Erquiaga, field representative for the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “By working together, we can come up with a plan to restore and connect critical habitat for mule deer, pronghorn, and bighorn sheep. We thank Governor Sisolak for his continued focus on conservation issues that support our rural economies.”

According to a poll conducted last year by the research firm FM3 for the Pew Charitable Trusts, more than 93% of registered voters in Nevada supported the implementation of new conservation measures to protect wildlife migration corridors.

Sagebrush habitat covers more than 50 percent of the Silver State and sustains an outdoor recreation economy generating more than $12.5 billion in annual consumer spending and supporting 87,000 jobs. More than 367 species of plants and animals rely on the sagebrush ecosystem, which is considered one of the most imperiled in the U.S. These habitats are also essential to the functionality of Nevada’s big game migration corridors, allowing for healthy populations of mule deer, pronghorn, and bighorn sheep.

With so much of Nevada’s landscape managed by federal agencies, successful implementation of Sisolak’s executive order will necessitate coordination with the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service, specifically their incorporation of big game migration science and data into land management plans and decisions. In June, the TRCP released a report highlighting opportunities for federal land managers in Nevada and across the West to do just that.

Fortunately, Nevada’s new executive order comes at a time when the Biden-led Departments of the Interior and Agriculture are shaping their next steps for migration corridor conservation, which was highlighted as a priority in the May 2021 report Conserving and Restoring America the Beautiful. The Interior Department began partnering with Western states on the issue in 2018 when then-Secretary Ryan Zinke signed Secretarial Order 3362. Sportsmen and sportswomen see considerable opportunity for the federal agencies to build upon these early successes to ensure meaningful and durable habitat conservation.

“Nevada’s Habitat Conservation Framework could help pave the way for increased partnership between the Nevada Department of Wildlife and federal agencies, like the Bureau of Land Management which is responsible for overseeing 48 million acres in Nevada,” said Madeleine West, director of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership’s public lands program. “We are hopeful that federal land managers will increase their focus and investment in migration conservation across the West. Doing so is critical to conserving and restoring the important habitats that sustain the region’s storied big game herds and hunting traditions.

To read a copy of the Governor’s Executive Order click HERE.

 

Randall Williams

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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