“We have worked with Martha Williams for years as she has been committed to conserving our nation’s fish and wildlife resources,” says Whit Fosburgh, president and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “She is collaborative and will be a strong partner to the hunting and fishing community. She recently oversaw the largest expansion of fishing and hunting on lands and waters managed by the Service, which is a testament to her support for outdoor recreation opportunities. And as a hunter and angler herself, she understands the importance of hunting and fishing as wildlife management tools that also support our uniquely successful model of conservation funding in the U.S.”
New Legislation Introduced to Study and Help Stop the Spread of CWD
The Chronic Wasting Disease Research and Management Act provides a bipartisan avenue for hunters, wildlife managers, and captive industry stakeholders to address the growing threat posed by the disease
The TRCP applauds the Chronic Wasting Disease Research and Management Act, which is the result of several months of discussion and debate among wildlife partners and captive industry stakeholders. The legislation would expand the federal government’s role in the fight to address CWD in four key ways:
By authorizing $35 million annually for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to partner with state wildlife and agriculture agencies for CWD management activities. Learn how states use these funds here.
By authorizing another $35 million annually for CWD research. Specifically, research grants will focus on improved testing techniques, long-term suppression strategies, environmental transmission factors, and more.
By directing the USDA to solicit feedback for improvements to the Herd Certification Program, which accredits captive operations as “low-risk” for CWD contamination.
By requiring the USDA to develop, maintain, and publicize educational materials on CWD best practices and precautions based on the best-available science.
“The threat posed by CWD to deer hunting in America is difficult to overstate—for too long, funding woes, research questions, and ineffectual enforcement have resulted in a worsening status quo,” says Whit Fosburgh, president and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “Curbing the accelerated spread of this disease each year requires an all-encompassing effort that can only be achieved by the pragmatic, bipartisan approach in this bill. The TRCP and our partners are grateful for the leadership of Representatives Kind and Thompson and look forward to working alongside both lawmakers to bring this critical legislation to passage.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.”
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.
“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.
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.
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.