posted in: Press Releases

February 2, 2022

TRCP Welcomes Four New Board Members

Their leadership and expertise will help steer the organization for the next three years and beyond 

Washington, D.C. — The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership is pleased to announce the onboarding of four new directors to its leadership team. Shawn Gorman, Rue Mapp, Sanjay Patel, and Simon Perkins bring a diverse set of experience to the TRCP’s Board of Directors.

“We’re thrilled to welcome these industry leaders and dedicated advocates to our Board at a time when the conservation community has become so influential and effective at securing bipartisan-backed conservation solutions,” says Whit Fosburgh, TRCP’s president and CEO. “We have even more opportunity to advance conservation in the years ahead, and Shawn, Rue, Sanjay, and Simon will have a strong impact as the Board works to set up our organization for success and empower our staff.”

Learn more about our newest Board members below and see the full roster here.

Shawn Gorman, Executive Chairman of L.L.Bean, Inc.

Shawn Gorman serves as executive chairman of L.L.Bean, a family-owned outdoor retailer that was founded by his great-grandfather, Leon Leonwood (“L.L.”) Bean, in Freeport, Maine in 1912. Previously, Gorman served the business in various roles in marketing, communications, and customer operations for more than 20 years. In addition to leading L.L.Bean’s Board of Directors, Gorman oversees the company’s audit and Board compensation committees and is a member of L.L.Bean’s governance committee.

Outside L.L.Bean, Gorman serves as chairman of the John T. Gorman Foundation and on the boards of the Outdoor Industry Association and University of New Hampshire Foundation. He is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Brooks School in North Andover, Mass., and recently joined the steering committee of the Friends of Katahdin Woods and Waters organization. He is also a former vice chair of the United Way of Greater Portland.

Gorman grew up in Exeter, New Hampshire and earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from UNH in 1989. He has also completed executive programs at the Wharton School of Business and the Kellogg School of Management. Like his great-grandfather was, Gorman is an avid outdoorsman, and enjoys spending time outside with friends and family.

Rue Mapp, Founder & CEO of Outdoor Afro

Rue Mapp is the founder and CEO of Outdoor Afro, a national not-for-profit organization with offices in Oakland, Calif., and Washington, D.C. She oversees a carefully selected and trained national volunteer leadership team of nearly 90 men and women from 30 states around the U.S. and has successfully connected thousands of people, especially from the Black American community, to nature and the benefits of spending more time outdoors. Since Outdoor Afro’s inception in 2009 as a blog, Mapp has captured the attention and support of millions through a multimedia approach that is grounded in personal connections and community organizing.

In 2010, Mapp participated in the America’s Great Outdoors Conference at the Obama White House and subsequently took part in a think-tank to inform the launch of the First Lady’s “Let’s Move” initiative. She has been recognized with numerous awards and distinctions including: The Root 100, as one of the most influential African Americans in the country in 2012 and 2016; the Outdoor Industry Inspiration Award; the National Wildlife Federation Communication award, received alongside President Bill Clinton; and one of America’s 20 Most Influential Moms as named by Family Circle Magazine. In 2020, Outdoor Afro was also chosen to be highlighted and visited by Oprah on her 2020 Vision Tour. She has served on the Boards of the Outdoor Industry Association and The Wilderness Society. In 2014, she was appointed to the California State Parks Commission by Governor Jerry Brown. She has also been named a National Geographic fellow and a lifetime member of Delta Sigma Theta, Incorporated.

As a graduate of UC Berkeley with a degree in Art History, Mapp’s skills and background make her a unique voice in the effort to enlighten a diverse community on the wonders and benefits of the outdoors. She resides in Vallejo, Calif., and is the proud mother of three young adults.

Sanjay Patel, Chairman International and Senior Partner of Private Equity at Apollo Management

Sanjay Patel is chairman international and senior partner of private equity at Apollo Management in New York City, where he is responsible for helping to build and develop Apollo’s international businesses. He was formerly head of their European division and managing partner of Apollo European Principal Finance based in London. He joined Apollo Management in 2010 as head of international private equity. He is a member of the firm’s management committee and investment committees. Patel started his career at Goldman Sachs in 1983 and spent 17 years working in European and Indian private equity for their Principal Investment Area in New York and London. Previously, he was president of Greenwich Street Capital from 1998 to 2003.

He currently serves on the Board of Directors for Tegra Apparel and is a member of the Financial Sector Forum for the Bank of England. He is also a member of the Board of Overseers for Harvard University and the Stanford Graduate School of Business Advisory Council. He serves on the Investment Committee of the Eton College Foundation and is the chair of the Eton Development Committee.

Patel received his AB and SM engineering degrees, magna cum laude, from Harvard College and received his MBA degree from Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he was an Arjay Miller Scholar. He was educated at Eton College in the UK, where he was a King’s Scholar concentrating on American foreign policy and international economics.

Simon Perkins, President of The Orvis Company

Simon Perkins is president of Orvis, representing the third generation of the Perkins family to lead the company since 1856—he is the son of Leigh “Perk” Perkins, former Orvis CEO, and grandson of Leigh H. Perkins, who purchased The Orvis Company in 1965. Simon joined Orvis in 2012 and has filled leadership roles across merchandising, adventures, and brand marketing teams. As vice president of brand marketing and chief operating officer, he oversaw the execution of the company’s long-term strategic planning and has championed projects aimed at diversifying the sport of flyfishing, such as the 50/50 On the Water initiative and the Breaking Barriers Award, which highlights individuals broadening the flyfishing audience.

Perkins has served on the Boards of the National Wildlife Refuge Association and Trout Unlimited Headwaters. He has been a driver of Orvis’s involvement in advocacy for conservation projects in locations such as Bristol Bay, Alaska and Florida’s Everglades. Before joining Orvis, Perkins spent 11 years as an upland hunting and flyfishing guide in Montana, sharing his love of the outdoors, fishing, and hunting with clients.

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posted in: Press Releases

January 27, 2022

Interior Cancels Hardrock Mining Leases in the Boundary Waters

A broad coalition of groups commended the administration’s action to ensure long-term protections for this bucket-list paddling, fishing, and hunting destination

Hunters and anglers are applauding the Department of the Interior’s decision to cancel two federal hardrock mineral leases located in the Superior National Forest within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness watershed, citing the importance of sustaining the Boundary Waters’ recreational, economic, and fish and wildlife values.

Sportsmen and sportswomen also commended federal agencies’ reinterpretation of the legal “m-opinion” that underpinned several previous agency decisions to allow for sulfide-ore copper mining permits and leases to be granted within the watershed. Thousands of members of organized hunting, fishing, and conservation groups support this decision, which is an important step in the effort to permanently protect the Boundary Waters watershed from the negative impacts of hardrock mining.

Over 250,000 people recently commented in a federally led process to set aside the over 225,000 acres in the Superior National Forest from destructive hardrock mining, with the public input overwhelmingly in favor of the area’s long-term conservation. The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is America’s most-visited wilderness area, which supports a regional economy highly dependent on access to public lands.

“Today’s announcement by the Biden administration is the right decision for the Boundary Waters and for the outdoor community that has worked so hard to protect it for future generations,” says Lukas Leaf, executive director of Sportsmen for the Boundary Waters. “Spending time outdoors is what rejuvenates and energizes us. The importance of preserving places like the Boundary Waters that provide that experience is immeasurable. We appreciate these steps taken by federal land management agencies that lay out the correct process by which we can protect our priceless public lands and waters. Now we must build on this momentum and achieve permanent protection for the BWCA.”

“We applaud the administration’s decision to cancel the hardrock mineral leases upstream of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area,” says Whit Fosburgh, president and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “The Superior National Forest was originally set aside by President Theodore Roosevelt to conserve this remarkable landscape, and today’s announcement renews the opportunity to permanently safeguard the Boundary Waters as a renowned canoeing, fishing, and hunting destination.”

Downstream of the mining leases are sensitive populations of native lake trout that are significant not only to anglers, but also as part of Minnesota’s natural heritage, says John Lenczewski, executive director of Minnesota Trout Unlimited. “Today’s decision is an important step to help ensure that populations of these unique fish remain healthy long into the future,” he says.

Local hunters and anglers have been vocal in their opposition to the leases for years. “We have worked hard to press decision-makers to ensure we keep these waters clean and safe,” says Matt Lee, chair of Minnesota Backcountry Hunters and Anglers. “I would like to thank all of our members—who have reached out to the last three administrations—with the goal of ensuring that these lands and waters are protected for future generations. We look forward to our continued work with the administration and congressional leaders to implement permanent conservation measures for the Boundary Waters.”

Other leaders in the hunting and angling community also reacted positively to the announcement:

“With memories of my family’s trip to the Boundary Waters this summer still fresh in my mind, I had the great pleasure of telling my kids today that an imminent threat no longer exists,” says BHA President and CEO Land Tawney. “We join a thunderous applause in thanking the administration for rescinding the leases that never should have been issued in the first place – and we look forward to continuing to work with Congress to assure the long-term protection of the Boundary Waters watershed.”

“The reasons to safeguard the magnificent Boundary Waters, America’s most popular wilderness area, are as crystal clear as the pristine waters of the Rainy River Watershed,” says Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “The Boundary Waters are a natural treasure that is simply too important to risk – and the costs for people and wildlife too steep. The Biden administration’s decision will safeguard essential habitat for hundreds of wildlife species and protect thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars of economic benefits that depend upon the Boundary Waters’ world-class camping, hiking, paddling, fishing, and hunting.”

Securing permanent protections for the Boundary Waters was on TRCP’s list of top priorities for the Biden Administration. Learn more about this issue on our blog.

Top photo courtesy of Sportsmen for the Boundary Waters

January 24, 2022

Patrick Donovan Joins TRCP as Chief Policy Officer

The former senior advisor to Senator Michael Bennet rounds out a team that includes newly appointed Government Relations Director Andrew Earl 

Washington, D.C. — The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership is proud to announce new leadership on its government relations team.

Patrick Donovan—formerly a senior advisor on farm bill, water, and public land issues for Senator Michael Bennet (D-Colo.)—starts today as TRCP’s new chief policy officer, rounding out the organization’s five-person executive team in Washington, D.C. In addition to his six years’ experience in the Senate, Donovan has a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in earth and environmental sciences. He grew up hunting and fishing in Michigan. Donovan’s bio and contact information can be found here.

“We’re excited to move into the new year with a reinvigorated government relations team that is more than capable of convincing elected officials to advance sound conservation policies and improve hunting and fishing long into the future,” says Whit Fosburgh, TRCP’s president and CEO. “Pat’s experience negotiating on important legislation, including the Farm Bill and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, will be invaluable to our work of pushing for increased investments in conservation, habitat, and hunting and fishing access.”

Andrew Earl, who has served as TRCP’s lead on private land conservation and chronic wasting disease for more than two years, has been appointed director of government relations under Donovan. Before coming to the TRCP, Earl spent five years in the Senate, advising Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) on agriculture and natural resource issues. His full bio and contact information can be found here.

Click here for TRCP’s full staff roster.

December 14, 2021

New Digital Mapping Tool Offers Look at Disturbances to Mule Deer Migration

Agencies and the public have a clearer view of the challenges facing Wyoming’s herds

The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership and the University of Wyoming released a web map today that highlights current levels of human disturbance in Wyoming’s three designated mule deer migration corridors, including the 150-mile Red Desert to Hoback corridor.

The web map was developed by University of Wyoming’s Geographic Information Science Center in collaboration with TRCP to serve as a resource for both wildlife and land-use managers, as well as the interested public. It incorporates the best available data on migration and disturbance to inform future decision-making when conservation opportunities arise or development is proposed in migration corridors.

“We would like to see this web map utilized as a resource for future decisions as it provides a unique piece of information about the current level of disturbance in these corridors,” said Nick Dobric, the Wyoming field manager for the TRCP. “The mule deer in the Sublette herd, for example, that migrate and winter in the Rock Springs area have been struggling since the early 2000s and are currently 34 percent below their population objective, resulting in the loss of hunting opportunity with shorter seasons and reduced tags. This web map highlights parts of the corridor that could benefit from habitat restoration and where future development could have a big impact on the health of our herds, such as in stopover areas.”

Using the township and range grid system, the web map provides disturbance calculations at three different scales and provides a feature to customize the analysis boundary. The information displayed utilizes publicly available data, including the disturbance layer developed by the state of Wyoming for sage-grouse conservation. Research has consistently demonstrated that anthropogenic disturbances impact mule deer, pronghorn antelope, and other big-game species. One study, conducted in 2020, indicates that migrating mule deer have a disturbance threshold of approximately 3 percent of a landscape’s surface area, dependent upon the size and configuration of development, as well as specific vegetation and migration habitats.

“Wyoming is fortunate to have robust wildlife populations and hunting opportunities, in large part because of our still functioning migration corridors,” said Joy Bannon, Policy Director for Wyoming Wildlife Federation. “Development is essential for our state, but it needs to be thoughtfully planned. As the web map shows, disturbance is relatively limited in most parts of the corridor and with smart planning in the future – it can stay relatively the same so that we can continue to enjoy our incredible wildlife.”

Wyoming has been at the forefront of migration corridor research and conservation for decades. In the 1960s, Frank and John Craighead developed the first maps of elk migrating in and out of Yellowstone National Park. In recent years, the development of GPS technology has revolutionized the field as researchers are now able to document movements in unprecedented detail. The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission adopted a migration corridor strategy in 2016 in part due to the growing body of knowledge regarding migratory animals’ behavior and habitat needs. Likewise, Governor Gordon issued an executive order in 2020 to conserve migration corridors while balancing multiple-uses and protecting private property rights. This web map is an additional piece of information for managers and the public to utilize.

Wyoming takes well-deserved pride in its role as a leader in researching and conserving the migration corridors used by our big game herds,” said Josh Coursey, CEO of Muley Fanatic Foundation. “Governor Gordon’s executive order, the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission’s migration strategy, and cooperative efforts between the state and federal agencies like the BLM, all demonstrate a recognition of the importance of this issue, and it is our hope that the web mapping tool will prove useful to those efforts and guide further action moving forward.”

December 8, 2021

House Passes Legislation to Boost CWD Management and Research

Swift passage of this bipartisan bill reflects the critical need for more resources to study and stop the spread of chronic wasting disease

In a 393-33 vote this evening, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Chronic Wasting Disease Management and Research Act, which would expand the federal government’s role in the fight to control a fatal wildlife disease that threatens the future of deer hunting in America. The bill was introduced by Representatives Ron Kind (D-Wis.) and Glenn Thompson (R-Pa.) in October 2021 and was quickly passed out of committee.

“This swift bipartisan passage of the Chronic Wasting Disease Research and Management Act reflects the incredible need for resources to study and stop the spread of the disease on behalf of our wild deer herds and hunting opportunities,” says Whit Fosburgh, president and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “This legislation has the federal government stepping up its responsibility for addressing CWD, giving state agency staff more support, focusing the scope of much-needed research, and educating the full spectrum of stakeholders—from hunters to the captive cervid industry—so that we are all accountable for advancing CWD solutions.”

The legislation calls for an annual $70-million investment through fiscal year 2028 on an even split of CWD management and research priorities. It also includes authorization for federal, state, and Tribal agencies to develop educational materials to inform the public on CWD and directs the U.S. Department of Agriculture to review its Herd Certification Program, which accredits captive operations as “low-risk” for CWD contamination but has proven inadequate to stem the spread of the disease.

$35 million per year for research would focus on:
  • Methods to effectively detect CWD in live and harvested deer and the surrounding environment
  • Best practices for reducing CWD occurrence through sustainable harvest of deer and other cervids
  • Factors contributing to spread of the disease locally, such as animal movement and scavenging
$35 million per year for management, including surveillance and testing, would prioritize:
  • Areas with the highest incidence of CWD
  • Areas responding to new outbreaks of CWD
  • Areas without CWD that show the greatest risk of CWD emerging
  • Jurisdictions demonstrating the greatest financial commitment to managing, monitoring, surveying, and researching CWD
  • Efforts to develop comprehensive policies and programs focused on CWD management

As a next step, the TRCP and its partners are working with lawmakers to secure the introduction of a companion bill in the Senate.

Learn more about chronic wasting disease and what’s at stake for hunters here.


Feature image courtesy of the National Deer Association



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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