March 20, 2024

How Congress Can Help Hunting and Fishing Adapt to The Impacts of Climate Change 

Four bills exemplify how Congress can safeguard natural resources and protect the future of hunting and fishing in 2024. 

The impacts of climate change on our hunting and fishing opportunities are undeniable. Across the United States and around the world, altered weather patterns, increased air and water temperatures, intensified natural disasters, and other climate effects are influencing wildlife habitats, migrations, and populations – with long-term consequences for hunters and anglers. Now, more than ever, it’s crucial for the hunting and fishing community to recognize these impacts and to stand up for solutions that help secure the long-term resilience of our lands and waters. 

At the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, we’ve assembled a coalition of organizations to amplify the voices of hunters and anglers on climate change. In 2021, TRCP and its partners created the Climate Resilience Working Group to advocate for nature-based solutions that allow ecosystems, communities, and economies to adapt to a changing future. Together, the members of the working group develop and establish a unified policy platform, highlighting federal legislation that can make a meaningful difference for the continued legacy of hunting and fishing in America. 

In 2023, the Climate Resilience Working Group updated its policy platform for the 118th Congress, outlining how policymakers could expand and mature the role of nature-based solutions in climate mitigation and adaptation. With just over nine months left before the end of the second session, the working group is making it clear to Senators and Representatives that there is still time to act on this platform and to pass effective resilience legislation. Below are four bills from the platform that exemplify how Congress can safeguard our natural resources and protect the future of hunting and fishing in 2024.    

Agriculture Innovation Act

Across the country, agriculture is not only a vital component of American economies and livelihoods, it’s also a major influence on America’s natural environment. For hunters and anglers, working lands can provide beneficial habitats and ecosystem services for wildlife. However, with inadequate management, agriculture can be harmful to these species, contributing to habitat destruction, climate-harming emissions, and air and water pollution.  

To ensure the best possible management of our working lands, Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and John Thune (R-S.D.) have introduced S. 98, the Agriculture Innovation Act. This bill helps farmers nationwide to make better on-farm decisions that support wildlife while protecting productivity. If enacted, the Agriculture Innovation Act would require the USDA to collect and analyze data on conservation practices, establish a conservation and farm productivity data center, enable collaboration among USDA agencies, make data secure and available to researchers, and provide technical assistance to producers. 

Reinvesting in Shoreline Economies and Ecosystems Act

America’s coastal areas are at risk. Over the next 30 years, sea levels are expected to rise by 10 to 12 inches, and coastal flooding is expected to occur more than 10 times as often as it does today. As these impacts worsen, they threaten roughly 40 percent of the population, as well as some of our nation’s most treasured hunting and fishing spots. 

To protect America’s nearly 100,000 miles of shoreline, Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La), and Representative Lizzie Fletcher (D-Texas-7), have introduced H.R.913 and S.373, the Reinvesting in Shoreline Economies and Ecosystems (RISEE) Act. The RISEE Act offers ongoing funding for damage mitigation, natural infrastructure, and ecosystem restoration along our coasts and Great Lakes. If enacted, the bill would create a new revenue sharing model for offshore wind development, investing proceeds in state-led adaptation and resilience projects. The bill would also remove state funding caps for both the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act and the Land and Water Conservation Fund, allowing higher proceeds for state-led restoration programs. Both of these reforms give federal and state governments resources to conserve coastal habitats, bolstering fish and wildlife populations and the outdoor recreation economies that rely on them.  

Coastal Communities Ocean Acidification Act

Increased awareness of climate change has helped the public recognize some of its most noticeable effects, including temperature increases, sea level rise, drought, flooding, and extreme weather. But there’s another, lesser-known climate effect that is threatening America’s coastal communities. Earth’s oceans now absorb roughly thirty percent of carbon dioxide from the air, causing seawater to be more acidic. This phenomenon, known as ocean acidification, wreaks havoc on marine ecosystems, threatening shellfish and coral-based fish habitats that provide a foundation for the seafood industry and for recreational anglers alike. As greenhouse gas emissions rise, acidity and the connected habitat destruction will increase. 

To help coastal habitats and communities, Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), and Representatives Chellie Pingree (D-Maine-1) and Michael Waltz (R-Fla.), introduced H.R. 676 and S. 1808, the Coastal Communities Ocean Acidification Act. The bill spurs planning and action to combat acidification, bringing new resources, stakeholders, and ideas to the table. If enacted, the Coastal Communities Ocean Acidification Act would require the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Ocean Acidification Advisory Board to collaborate with state, local and tribal entities to conduct and improve community, research, and climate action plans, related to acidification. The bill would also encourage information sharing between communities to expand the use of best practices and would increase cooperation with affected Tribal communities. As a result, the legislation would foster innovative and widespread strategies for protecting wildlife and their habitats from harmful climate impacts.  

National Coordination on Adaptation and Resilience for Security Act

When you hear the term “national security” people rarely think of conserving habitat, but they should. Across the federal government, several agencies are pursuing efforts to bolster adaptation and resilience in response to increased disasters and climate change hazards. In order to meet the scale of this challenge, federal agencies will have to work together, as well as with states, local governments, private businesses, and nonprofit partners. We know well that conserving habitats is supporting the adaptation and resilience of the communities and wildlife that depend on them. But it is going to require increased collaboration and proactive planning and coordination.  

To bring America’s adaptation and resilience efforts together, Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), and Representatives Scott Peters (D-Calif.) and Maria Elvira Salazar (R-Fla.), introduced H.R. 6311 and S. 3261, the National Coordination on Adaptation and Resilience for Security Act (NCARS). If enacted, the bill would create a “National Adaptation and Resilience Strategy” and implementation plan with federal, state, local, private sector, and nonprofit partners; install a Chief Resilience Officer in the White House to lead the implementation of resilience planning; establish interagency working groups to align joint efforts; and form an information hub to improve access to vital resilience resources. NCARS would both streamline and expand America’s adaptation and resilience efforts, utilizing the power of numbers and eliminating duplication and under-communication. Doing so would ensure a whole-of-government approach toward activities like habitat conservation, expanding innovation and implementation across agency boundaries, and improving the viability of hunting and fishing across the United States.  

Click here to learn more about TRCP’s climate work.

Change is possible—we see it every day. Hunters and anglers have pushed for and secured meaningful solutions to habitat challenges of every size and scope, from the days of the Lacey Act to the widely celebrated legislative victories and conservation investments of recent years. You can make a difference for habitat and our climate by standing with us when it comes to nature-based solutions. Take action here to make lawmakers aware of the climate benefits of restoring fish and wildlife habitat.  

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posted in: Climate Change

December 21, 2023

Our Top Conservation Wins of 2023

Your support helped make these conservation successes possible

As the year draws to a close, we’re pleased to highlight some of our top conservation wins of 2023.  We’re proud to say that hunters and anglers continue to speak out meaningfully on the issues that matter most to them. Thanks to you, and the actions of our 63 partners and 29 corporate partners, TRCP secured key victories for conservation funding, fish and wildlife habitat, and sporting access.  Here are our top achievements to date in 2023.

Momentous Clean Water Safeguard Secured for Bristol Bay, Alaska

This monumental win saw momentous safeguards issued for Bristol Bay, Alaska – home of the largest sockeye salmon run on the planet – that effectively said NO to the proposed Pebble Mine. Click here to read more.

Protecting Redfish and Conserving Habitat from the Industrial Menhaden Fishery

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission proposed that the state require a minimum 1-mile coastwide buffer restriction on industrial netting of Gulf menhaden to protect redfish and Gulf Coast habitat, plus more stringent penalties for net spills. Click here to read more.

Historic Protections for the Boundary Waters Canoe Wilderness Area

The Department of the Interior and Agriculture cemented historic protections for the Boundary Waters Canoe Wilderness Area by banning federal hard rock mineral leasing for the next 20 years. Click here to read more.

New Federal Funding to Support Design and Construction of Wildlife Crossings

New federal funding was made available to support the design and construction of wildlife crossings through the five-year, $350 million Wildlife Crossings Pilot Program. Click here to read more.

Once-In-A-Generation BLM Investment Sets the Stage for Habitat Improvements Across the West

A $161 million investment to restore landscapes across the West was made by the Bureau of Land Management, allocating funds to 21 projects in 11 states. Click here to read more.

BLM Decision to Conserve Bennett Hills

Six distinct elk, mule deer, and pronghorn migration corridors and winter ranges were conserved in south central Idaho when the Idaho BLM adopted the Bennett Hills Backcountry Conservation Area.  Click here to read more.

Louisiana Commences Unprecedented Coastal Habitat Restoration Project

Louisiana broke ground on the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion – America’s largest habitat restoration project to date – to promote long-term fishery health of the Gulf Shore basin. Click here to read more.

On The Horizon

As we look ahead, we know we are only getting started.  In the coming year, we remain committed to our staff and partners who work every day to create common-sense, lasting solutions — like protecting Alaska’s Brooks Range from a major industrial access corridor; directing federal agencies to digitize water and fishing access through the recently introduced MAPWaters Act; and, ensuring that the crucial Farm Bill conservation programs enjoyed by hunters and anglers are protected and adequately funded.

Commitment to Transparency

In 2023, TRCP once again received top ratings by charity watchdog groups Charity Navigator, GuideStar, and the Better Business Bureau. We work hard to ensure that every dollar you give goes as far as possible for conservation, and this recognition of where we stack up against other charities is very important to us.

Given all that we’ve accomplished this year to guarantee Americans quality places to hunt and fish, we hope you’ll consider supporting TRCP during this season of giving. SITKA Gear will match every dollar you give, doubling your impact towards conservation.  There’s no better time to get involved in conservation and make twice the impact.

Stay in touch!  Are you interested in receiving our weekly Roosevelt Report in 2024? Subscribe here.

June 1, 2023

Eight Things We Wish All Hunters and Anglers Knew About Climate Change 

Answers to the most frequently asked questions we hear from decision-makers, business leaders, social media users, and TRCP members.

As TRCP’s director of climate solutions, I field a lot of questions about climate change. From those who are deep in the weeds to those who are deeply skeptical, there is rampant confusion and misinformation across the spectrum.  

TRCP’s core values include transparency and being rooted in science, so speaking openly and clearly about climate change is critical to our mission. But it’s also essential to the future of hunting and fishing. You, our members, are key to the success of nature-based solutions, which will benefit the fish and wildlife we love to pursue while enhancing the ability of our soils, waters, and landscapes to slow climate change.  

Here we’ve gathered the most common questions we get—at events, in meetings, and online—about this important but divisive issue and laid out our very best answers.  

People used to talk much more about global warming, but now you only hear about climate change. Are they the same thing? 

Global warming is the overall warming of our atmospheric temperature. Climate change refers to the long-term changes to our temperature and weather patternsour climate. The term better describes what we’re experiencing on a daily basis. Yes, the average temperature of Earth’s air and seas is rising due to global warming, and because of this, sea levels are rising, season timing is shifting, droughts are longer and more expansive, migration patterns are changing, weather is less predictable, and fish and wildlife populations are declining. These impacts taken together are climate change. 

Photo: BLM

Don’t temperatures naturally fluctuate? What about the Ice Age? 

Of course, global temperatures have changed in the past. These fluctuations are well documented in geological records—ocean sediment, ice cores, sedimentary rocks, tree rings, and coral reefs—and occurred very slowly over thousands or millions of years. Recent evidence shows that, unlike the incremental shift in temperatures over millennia, the current global average surface temperature has risen by 2 degrees Fahrenheit or 1.1 degrees Celsius in just the past 150 years. This is roughly 10 times faster than the ice-age recovery warming on average.  

More alarmingly, the rate of temperature change has more than doubled since 1981We know this isn’t just a changing climate as we’ve seen in the past, but human-driven climate change.  

Weather has always been variable, so how do we know that climate change is influencing weather events?

Weather describes the conditions that we experience day-to-day. The weather and temperatures we experience locally fluctuate over short periods and have usually been predictable based on seasons. Climate describes the patterns and trends that we observe over a longer period. However, weather and climate are interdependentas our global climate changes, we’ll continue to experience increasingly variable weather locally. Our new normal is already punctuated by more heatwaves, drought, catastrophic wildfires, and frequent thousand-year storms. 

If forest fires are naturally occurring, how does climate change cause them too?

Climate change increases the likelihood and severity of forest fires by creating conditions that make them more likely to start and spread quickly, including drier soils and vegetation, invasive plant species that are more fire-prone, and the increased frequency and severity of lightning strikes and extreme weather events.  

Photo: USDA

What does climate change even look like? What impacts will the next generations witness?  

We know climate change is affecting our opportunities to hunt and fish right now. Depending on where you are, drought and reduced rain and snowfall has lowered the water level in rivers, lakes, and streams. Many rivers in the West are now regularly closed to fishing as water temperatures reach a point where fish are in distress. Those same high-water temperatures are causing fish populations to decline, inviting toxic algal blooms, and forcing fish to migrate to cooler areas. Land-based migration is also changing with rising temperatures, increasingly frequent natural disasters, and variable weather patterns, often causing wildlife to move out of traditional ranges and display unexpected behavior, like early wakeup or bugling late into the season.  

These impacts will only intensify for the next generation of hunters and anglers. 

Photo: Nicholas Aumen, USGS

Humans have made mistakes when it comes to shaping our lands and waters in the past. Shouldn’t we just leave nature alone to right itself?  

It’s important to recognize that nature is impacted by us, both positively and negatively, whether intentionally or not. Centuries of our giving to and taking from the land have already altered the landscape and the process of undisturbed nature. As a threat multiplier, climate change is bringing more frequent and intense weather events and exacerbating existing declines in fish and wildlife populations, leaving our lands and waters less resilient to future changes and impacts. Human action is necessary—there is no turning back. 

Will taking climate action reduce my ability to hunt and fish?

Hunters and anglers are longstanding conservationists, who take responsibility for maintaining and restoring habitats for the good of all. Our work to support wildlife and their habitat is crucial to maintaining the future of hunting and fishing as climate change impacts continue to evolve. And many of the solutions we already want and need to maintain our ability to hunt and fish can actually help to slow climate change. Learn how this is possible here. 

Photo: Kegen Benson, BLM

With a global challenge as immense and existential as climate change, how can hunters and anglers hope to have any impact? 

Change is possible—we see it every day. Hunters and anglers have pushed for and secured meaningful solutions to habitat challenges of every size and scope, from the days of the Lacey Act to the widely celebrated legislative victories and conservation investments of recent years. You can make a difference for habitat and our climate by standing with us when it comes to nature-based solutions. Take action here to make lawmakers aware of the climate benefits of restoring fish and wildlife habitat.  


posted in: Climate Change

May 17, 2023

Plumer’s Senate Testimony Encourages Fish and Wildlife Focused Solutions to Water Management Challenges

Appearing before the Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure, TRCP Chief Conservation Officer Christy Plumer encouraged lawmakers to make strategic investments and improve agency collaboration  

Yesterday, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership was honored by the invitation to testify before the Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure on water management issues including drought and water conservation.

The TRCP is dedicated to ensuring the places Americans love to hunt and fish are conserved and the species upon which we depend as hunters and anglers are managed at sustainable levels. Therefore, water conservation and federal and state authorities related to water quantity and quality are core to our mission.

Chief Conservation Officer, Christy Plumer, touched on the growing water management challenges, particularly in the West, and the opportunity for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee to advance nature-based solutions. As Congress heads toward consideration of the Water Resources Development Act of 2024, we are encouraging the Committee to invest in existing drought resilience programs including the Sustainable Rivers Program, Continuing Authority Program, and drought-specific WRDA 2022 provisions; strengthen technical assistance through the Silver Jackets Program and other community-based efforts; enhance cross-boundary partnerships; update the Corps’ benefit cost analysis to advance natural and nature-based infrastructure; and invest in recreational infrastructure through the LAKES Act (S. 1358). Click here to read Plumer’s written testimony.

We stand ready to work with the Subcommittee and full Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Congress, and the Corps to advance these fish and wildlife focused solutions.

View Plumer’s Senate testimony here.

April 5, 2023

Report Highlights Aquatic Invasive Species Solutions

Recommendations focus on modernizing marine fisheries laws, making strategic investments, and improving collaboration among federal, state, local, and tribal agencies

The Aquatic Invasive Species Commission, which includes the TRCP and key partners, has released a new report titled, “Improving the Prevention, Eradication, Control and Mitigation of Aquatic Invasive Species.” In the report, the commission calls on Congress to modernize laws, increase spending, and improve coordination at federal, state, local, and tribal levels to combat harmful aquatic invasive species.

Founded in 2022 by scientists, conservationists, anglers, boaters, business leaders, and policy experts, the AIS Commission has worked to assess existing mitigation efforts and identify more effective eradication solutions for invasive species in our nation’s waters, culminating in this detailed report.

“Aquatic invasive species are a tremendous threat to our nation’s waters, causing billions of dollars in economic harm and unquantifiable—often irreversible—damage to ecosystems,” said Dr. Marc Gaden, communications director at the Great Lakes Fishery Commission and associate professor at Michigan State University. “I commend the outdoor industry for taking the threat of aquatic invasive species seriously and for presenting a roadmap for effective policy. I am particularly pleased to see that many of the recommendations focus on the importance of leveraging science to affect policy. I urge Congress to act on these recommendations so that our nation can take immediate action on invasive species prevention and control.”

Many stakeholders consulted by the commission urged Congress to direct agencies to identify regulatory gaps and weak links across all levels of government. Information sharing and the development of data-driven solutions would enable the Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force, an intergovernmental organization, to spread costs and eradicate invasive species in an increasingly interconnected natural environment, the report states.

Empowering this task force with autonomy, staff, and resources was another focus of the report. AIS eradication efforts can cost up to $100 billion per year, and these changes would reduce the burden on individual agencies.

The report also says that laws should maintain access for boaters and anglers, balancing safe usage with the long-term health of natural resources.

“Access to healthy waters, safe usage, and the long-term health of our natural resources is always on the minds of anglers and boaters while on the water,” said Bassmaster Elite Series pro Mark Menendez. “Ensuring the long-term health of our waterways is crucial in lessening the economic burden that aquatic invasive species unfortunately present to communities impacted by these harmful species. Control, eradication, and beneficial burgeoning industries will play a key part in collaborating to reduce many harmful species from our aquatic systems.”

The American public has a role to play in this effort, as well. The report calls on natural resource managers to maintain and strengthen public engagement over AIS issues. Coordinated, science-based education on AIS prevention is key to effectively stopping the spread of AIS in our waters. The commission recommends securing additional funding for the appropriate agencies to expand signage and work to address language barriers at boat launches and fishing access points to promote angler-led AIS prevention activities, including “Clean, Drain, Dry” decontamination actions.

The TRCP played a key role in a similar process to engage marine fisheries stakeholders in planning for the future. The organization convened and helped to lead the Morris-Deal Commission—name for its two industry champions, Johnny Morris of Bass Pro Shops and Scott Deal of Maverick Boats—whose 2014 report laid the groundwork for many of the solutions secured by the Modern Fish Act in 2018.

We’re excited to advocate for the many recommendations in this latest report that will help improve recreational fishing in America.

Read the Aquatic Invasive Species Commission report here.
View the executive summary here.


Photo by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service



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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