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May 13, 2024

Hunters and Anglers Applaud Senate Passage of the Bipartisan ACE Reauthorization Act  

The ACE Reauthorization Act aims to boost funding and provide vital enhancements to conservation programs benefiting fish and wildlife. 

The America’s Conservation Enhancement (ACE) Reauthorization Act of 2024 passed the Senate on Wednesday May 8, 2024, by unanimous consent. The ACE Reauthorization Act was sponsored by Senators Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Shelly Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and would reauthorize multiple programs that benefit hunting and angling including, the National Fish Habitat Partnership, the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, the Chesapeake Bay Program, and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. It also helps address threats like chronic wasting disease. This reauthorization provides technical improvements, administrative streamlining, and increased authorized funds to improve these programs. 

“The America’s Conservation Enhancement Reauthorization Act will benefit fish and wildlife while enhancing outdoor recreation opportunities for millions of hunters and anglers,” said Becky Humphries, CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, “TRCP applauds the Senate’s passage of this important bipartisan legislation and looks forwards to building on the success of these crucial programs.” 

The original ACE Act was passed in 2020 and sponsored by Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.). Many of its authorizations expire next year, necessitating the passage of the ACE Reauthorization act to ensure these programs can continue to operate in good legal standing.  

The ACE Act is co-sponsored by Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Angus King (I-ME) and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.). 

The legislation is endorsed by the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, Ducks Unlimited, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, the National Wildlife Federation, American Sportfishing Association, the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers and the National Audubon Society. 

The TRCP looks forward to working with the House of Representatives to ensure this essential legislation for hunters and anglers becomes law.  

TRCP works to maintain and strengthen the future of hunting and fishing by uniting and amplifying our partners’ voices in conserving and restoring wildlife populations and their habitat as challenges continue to evolve.   

Learn more about TRCP’s commitment to healthy habitat and clean water here. 

Photo: Josh Metten

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May 8, 2024

New Legislation Would Support Wildlife Habitat on Private Lands 

The Habitat Connectivity on Working Lands Act is aimed at expanding voluntary efforts to enhance wildlife habitat connectivity on private and working lands. 

Today, Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Congressmen Ryan Zinke (R-Mont) and Gabe Vasquez (D-N.M.) introduced the Habitat Connectivity on Working Lands Act. This bill would support and expand voluntary efforts to improve wildlife habitat, including big game habitat, on private and working lands.  

Building on the success of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Migratory Big Game Initiative in Wyoming, the bill would allow the USDA to leverage unique cost-share, technical assistance, and payments provided under the Grassland Conservation Reserve Program (GCRP) and Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) for the benefit of wildlife and agricultural producers. These common-sense improvements remove administrative barriers that limit both the conservation outcomes and relevance to producers working to conserve important fish and wildlife habitat on private land.  

“Working lands provide key habitat for migratory fish and wildlife, including big game like elk and mule deer. USDA’s voluntary conservation programs need to work together to support farmers and ranchers who create and enhance this habitat, and the next Farm Bill is our opportunity to make that happen.” said Becky Humphries, CEO at the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “The Habitat Connectivity on Working Lands Act removes unnecessary barriers to working lands stewardship. The TRCP thanks Senator Heinrich and Congressmen Zinke and Vasquez for their leadership on this bill and urges its inclusion in the Farm Bill.” 

The bill also spurs UDSA research on virtual fencing technologies, which allow for greater wildlife movement and animal safety on livestock operations and provides greater incentive through EQIP for the adoption of conservation practices that conserve or restore wildlife habitat connectivity.   


Learn more about Farm Bill conservation programs here

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April 24, 2024

Dingell, Westerman, and Newberg Receive TRCP’s Conservation Awards

Gala event co-hosted by Outdoor Afro’s Rue Mapp and MeatEater’s Ryan “Cal” Callaghan brings together D.C. luminaries, outdoor industry leaders, and TRCP supporters

At its 16th annual Capital Conservation Awards Dinner, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership proudly celebrated the conservation achievements of Representative Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), Representative Bruce Westerman (R-AR), and Fresh Tracks host Randy Newberg. 

The gala event was co-hosted by Rue Mapp, CEO and founder of Outdoor Afro, and Ryan “Cal” Callaghan, director of conservation at MeatEater —at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.

“We are thrilled this year to be presenting our 2024 awards to Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, Congressman Bruce Westerman, and hunter, public land advocate, and host of Fresh Tracks, Randy Newberg,” said Becky Humphries, TRCP interim president and CEO. “Representatives Dingell and Westerman have been instrumental in clinching legislative victories for habitat, access, and conservation funding that will impact hunting and fishing opportunities for years to come. Our event is also a fitting way to celebrate a deeply appreciated champion in conservation, Randy Newberg, who has been part of this community for many years.”

Michigan Congresswoman Debbie Dingell has been a champion for conservation from the first day she set foot in D.C. Over nearly a decade in Congress, she has fought for game changing investments in fish and wildlife conservation and expanded access for hunters and anglers, including through her leadership on the Voluntary Public Access Improvement Act and the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act. Both bills are rooted in broad support from the hunting and fishing community and ensure that future generations enjoy the same opportunity that we do.  

Photo by www.jonflemingphotography.com

As Chair of the House Committee on Natural Resources, Arkansas Congressman Bruce Westerman has been a leading voice on improving forest health, protecting, and expanding access, and bolstering fish and wildlife habitat conservation. His bipartisan EXPLORE and LAKES Acts would remove barriers to access and modernize outdoor infrastructure, while the America’s Wildlife Habitat Conservation Act delivers several long-standing hunting and fishing community priorities like a fix to the Cottonwood court decision and would create additional pathways for proactive, voluntary conservation.

Photo by www.jonflemingphotography.com

Randy Newberg, host of the Fresh Tracks and On Your Own Adventures hunting television shows, the long-standing Hunt Talk web forum, and the Hunt Talk Podcast is a true champion of conservation and a steadfast advocate for the hunting community. As a true champion of conservation and a steadfast advocate for the hunting community, his unwavering dedication and humble passion make him a true advocate for the everyday hunter. 

Photo by www.jonflemingphotography.com

The 16th Annual Capital Conservation Awards Dinner was made possible with the support of the following generous sponsors:


The TRCP is your resource for all things conservation. In our weekly Roosevelt Report, you’ll receive the latest news on emerging habitat threats, legislation and proposals on the move, public land access solutions we’re spearheading, and opportunities for hunters and anglers to take action. Sign up now.

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April 19, 2024

BLM Announces Big Wins for Wildlife, Hunters, and Anglers on 13 Million Acres of Public Lands in Northern Alaska

The Central Yukon Resource Management Plan includes measures to safeguard important habitat and world-class recreation opportunities

Today, after more than a decade of engagement with local residents, Alaska Native Tribes, hunters and anglers, and conservation and development interests, the Bureau of Land Management released a revised resource management plan for 13.3 million acres of BLM-managed public lands in northern Alaska.

The Central Yukon planning area features some of the most valued big game species in Alaska—including Dall sheep, moose, and caribou—and 25 species of fish. The area is perhaps best recognized for the Dalton Highway Corridor, also known as the Haul Road. This unique recreation destination allows for some of the most remote—yet road accessible—hike-in and float trips in Alaska. BLM-managed lands within the 56-million-acre planning area provide important habitat connectivity between several conservation units that are prized by hunters and anglers, including five national wildlife refuges.

“The BLM’s revised Central Yukon plan is great news for Alaskans and visiting hunters and anglers who know and treasure these wild public lands, and for everyone who dreams of an iconic Haul Road hunting or fishing trip,” said Jen Leahy, Alaska senior program manager for the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “The hunting and fishing community has been involved in this plan revision for many years. We thank the BLM for adopting several habitat-focused measures in the final plan, which, as a whole, appropriately balances conservation and development interests.”

The plan contains measures that avoid or minimize impacts to fish, wildlife, and important habitats; outlines steps to prepare for the growing recreational demand along the Dalton Corridor that is expected to increase over the next two decades; and maintains existing conservation safeguards that were already in place to uphold the quality hunting, fishing, and other recreational opportunities of the region. To manage for continued hunting and fishing opportunities in the Dalton Corridor, the BLM is proposing to adopt a Backcountry Conservation Area, a land use allocation focused on habitat conservation and wildlife dependent recreation that allows for other traditional uses to continue. The plan additionally includes provisions to conserve habitat for caribou and Dall sheep. 

Following a 60-day review period, the BLM will issue an approved RMP and Record of Decision. Once final, the RMP will guide landscape-level management and the various uses allowed on BLM lands in this region for the next 20 or more years.

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BLM Poised to Deny Permit for Industrial Corridor in Alaska’s Brooks Range

Hunters and anglers cheer important milestone to maintain America’s most wild and remote hunting and fishing grounds

Today, the Bureau of Land Management released the final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement concerning the proposed Ambler Industrial Road in Alaska’s Brooks Range. The development proposal has gained national attention for its potential to permanently alter the remote character of Alaska’s largest remaining swath of wild country.

After months of analyzing the potential impacts of the major industrial corridor on fish, wildlife, rural subsistence, and outdoor recreation in the region, the BLM selected the “No Action” alternative in the final SEIS, which indicates the agency’s intent to deny the permit for the Ambler Industrial Road later this year.

“Today’s announcement is a big step toward an enormous conservation win for all Americans who value the unbroken landscapes, exceptional habitat, and opportunities for solitude in this awe-inspiring region,” said Lewis Pagel, owner of Arctic Fishing Adventures in Kotzebue, Alaska.

“By selecting the ‘No Action’ alternative in this final environmental review, the BLM is acknowledging that the risks of the proposed Ambler Road far outweigh the rewards,” said Jen Leahy, Alaska senior program manager for the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership.

“This milestone is the result of broad opposition to this project, led by local residents and Alaska Native Tribes, and supported by thousands of conservation-minded hunters and anglers from across the country,” continued Leahy, who lives in Anchorage, Alaska. “Those sportsmen and sportswomen have helped turn the tide of public opinion against the Ambler Road, and we appreciate the BLM recognizing this in their preferred alternative.”

Known as the Ambler Road, the proposed private industrial corridor would partially bisect the home range of the Western Arctic Caribou Herd, one of Alaska’s largest remaining herds. The 211-mile industrial corridor would cross 11 major rivers and require nearly 3,000 culverts, degrading habitat and potentially impeding fish passage for species such as Arctic grayling and sheefish.

“Brooks Range rivers are beautiful, wild, and there are few other places like them in the world,” said fly fishing guide Greg Halbach of Remote Waters in Anchorage, Alaska. Halbach’s small operation offers guided wilderness floats on the Kobuk River, one of the only places in North America to target sheefish—also known as “tarpon of the north.”

“Roads are the very opposite of remote and wild,” Halbach said. “A single road can fragment habitat, disrupt wildlife migrations, and introduce chemical pollutants on a scale much wider than the narrow strip of gravel that we see. A float down the Kobuk River that included passing under bridges and listening to the hammering of engine brakes from tractor-trailers would be a radically different recreational experience.”

The proposed Ambler Road has prompted strong opposition from the hunting and fishing community. In 2023, more than 40 Alaska-based businesses, leading outdoor brands, and conservation organizations launched Hunters & Anglers for the Brooks Range. The collective—which includes guides, outfitters, and transporters who operate in the Brooks Range—is urging the Bureau of Land Management to deny the permit for the private industrial corridor. To date, the growing coalition has delivered nearly 10,000 individual letters to the agency opposing the Ambler Road.

“While the BLM’s ‘No Action’ finding is a cause for celebration, our most important work is still ahead,” said Leahy. “Until the agency issues a final decision, hunters and anglers will remain engaged to help ensure a positive outcome and defend the Brooks Range from future threats.”

Individuals can sign a petition opposing the Ambler Industrial Road HERE.

Learn more about Hunters & Anglers for the Brooks Range and sign up for updates on the status of the Ambler Industrial Road HERE.


About Hunters & Anglers for the Brooks Range: Hunters & Anglers for the Brooks Range, a project of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, is a collective of seasoned hunters, anglers, conservationists, and leading outdoor brands. We are committed to defending the wild and remote character of Alaska’s Brooks Range—a world-class hunting and fishing destination—from the proposed Ambler Industrial Road.

Photo Credit: Greg Halbach

HOW YOU CAN HELP

CHEERS TO CONSERVATION

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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