Kristyn Brady

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September 30, 2020

BLM Revises its Conservation Plans

The DOI and BLM release final revised sage grouse conservation plans that strip back certain conservation measures. LEARN MORE >

Kristyn Brady

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September 24, 2020

Veasey, Graves, and Michaelcheck Receive TRCP’s Conservation Awards

MeatEater’s Steven Rinella and TRCP’s Whit Fosburgh co-hosted the annual awards event in an all-digital format on Wednesday evening

Last night at the organization’s virtual Capital Conservation Awards Dinner, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership was proud to honor Representative Marc Veasey (D-Texas), Representative Garret Graves (R-La.), and business leader William J. Michaelcheck for their commitment to bipartisan conservation solutions. MeatEater’s Steven Rinella co-emceed the online event with TRCP’s president and CEO, Whit Fosburgh.

“This year’s honorees share a dedication to commonsense conservation solutions that unite not only decision-makers on both sides of the aisle but also the various factions of the outdoor recreation community,” says Fosburgh. “Whether it’s finding common ground to make federal investments in the health of our wild deer herds, responding to the habitat impacts of sea-level rise and climate change, or rethinking a defunct approach to fisheries management, these champions of conservation have worked for many years to clinch conservation victories and they deserve our thanks as hunters and anglers.”

Michaelcheck, who won the TRCP’s Conservation Achievement Award, is founder and co-chief investment officer of Mariner Investment Group and has been instrumental in the effort to modernize the management of menhaden, a critical bait fish that supports some of the most popular and economically important marine predators.

Congressmen Veasey and Graves were awarded the James D. Range Conservation Award, named after TRCP’s founder.

As House co-chair of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus and member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, Rep. Veasey has advocated for strong investments in outdoor recreation infrastructure, clean water, and wildlife resources—particularly research and testing for chronic wasting disease in deer.

Rep. Graves serves on both the Committee on Natural Resources and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, where he champions critical conservation issues related to transportation, infrastructure, fisheries, and coastal restoration. He also managed the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority under Governor Bobby Jindal, helping to oversee Louisiana’s recovery from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

It was the 12th annual dinner but the first-ever all-digital presentation held over YouTube Live. More than 1,200 TRCP supporters viewed the presentation, which featured live remarks and Q&A sessions with the honorees as well as pre-recorded videos from VIPs, including sports stars (and avid outdoorsmen) Bo Jackson and Pete Alonso and Minority Outdoor Alliance Founder Durrell Smith.

The event, which included a silent auction and grand-prize sweepstakes featuring a Michigan turkey hunt with Rinella, raised more than $700,000 to support the TRCP’s mission of guaranteeing all Americans quality places to hunt and fish.

Pre-COVID, the in-person gala has drawn crowds of up to 500 people—including decision-makers, outdoor recreation business leaders, and other champions of conservation—and is known as a can’t-miss conservation event in D.C. Past awardees Sen. Martin Heinrich, Sen. Debbie Stabenow, Rep. Mike Simpson, Rep. Rob Wittman, philanthropist Liz Storer, and Bass Pro Shops’ Johnny Morris were also featured via video last night.

The Capital Conservation Awards Dinner was made possible with the support of the following generous sponsors: Coca-Cola, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Shell Oil, Schlumberger, Walton Family Foundation, Yamaha, American Sportfishing Association, Bass Pro Shops, Boone and Crockett Club, L.L. Bean, Matt Cook, FSI, Outdoor Industry Association, Pure Fishing, Range Resources, Tod Sedgwick, Sitka Gear, Vista Outdoor, AFL-CIO, Archery Trade Association, The Baird Group, Browning, Coastal Conservation Association, Everglades Foundation, Costa, Elliotsville Foundation, First Lite, Leupold, Mossy Oak, Natural Resource Results, The Nature Conservancy, Next Era Energy, Outdoor Research, Outtech, Peak Design, Pheasants Forever, PotlatchDeltic, Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, RV Industry Association, REI Co-Op, RMS, Shimano, Simms Fishing Products, The Trust for Public Land, Weyerhaeuser, YETI, Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, Bonefish and Tarpon Trust, Captains for Clean Water, The Conservation Fund, Contender, Fly Fishers International, Forbes-Tate Partners, Land Trust Alliance, , Mystery Ranch, North American Falconers Association, Power-Pole, Ruffed Grouse Society, Stone Glacier, Property and Environment Research Center, Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers, and Allied Workers, Vortex, The Cypress Group, Filson, National Park Foundation, National Wildlife Refuge Association, onX, Sage, The Turner Foundation, Brown-Forman, and New Belgium Brewing.

Click here to watch an uncut recording of last night’s online event.

Next year’s CCAD will be held on April 28, 2021, at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium.

Kristyn Brady

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September 18, 2020

Senate Passes Legislation with Benefits for Fish, Waterfowl, and Deer

The ACE Act breathes new life into successful programs that fund and facilitate habitat restoration and creates an all-new task force to take on a wildlife epidemic

This week, the U.S. Senate passed the America’s Conservation Enhancement Act, which supports investments in wetland and watershed restoration as well as advancements in chronic wasting disease research.

In particular, the ACE Act reauthorizes the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, which leverages private investments to improve millions of acres of waterfowl habitat, and establishes a task force to address the spread of CWD. (Our CEO testified in support of this idea last fall, but also urged House committee members to make robust investments in CWD response.)

The bill also codifies the National Fish Habitat Partnership, which tackles riparian and stream restoration projects through regional coalitions, and reinvests in the Chesapeake Bay Program’s clean water work. (Here’s what it’s going to take to clean up the Bay’s dead zone.)

“We applaud our senators for this latest effort to prioritize fish and wildlife habitat improvements and invest in programs that help put Americans back to work in conservation jobs of every kind,” says Whit Fosburgh, president and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “Sportsmen and women are encouraging the House to follow suit and swiftly send the ACE Act to the president’s desk.”

You can still support the ACE Act before the House votes. Take action here.

TAKE ACTION >

Top photo by Tim Donovan/FWC

Randall Williams

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September 17, 2020

Senate Committee Considers the MAPLand Act

Sportsmen and women call for swift passage of important public land access legislation

Hunters and anglers around the nation voiced support for the bipartisan Modernizing Access to our Public Land Act as the bill received its first congressional hearing on Capitol Hill.

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests, and Mining held a hearing on Wednesday for the MAPLand Act, introduced by Senators Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) and Angus King (I-Maine).

The bill would enhance recreational opportunities on public land by investing in modern mapping systems that allow outdoor enthusiasts to access the information they need using handheld GPS technology commonly found in smartphones.

“Unfortunately, when it comes to public lands, incomplete and inconsistent mapping data prevents outdoor recreationists as well as land management agencies—including the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, and Corps of Engineers—from utilizing the full benefit of these technologies,” noted the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership in its formal testimony. “The MAPLand Act would help fix this problem by moving our federal land management agencies into the modern era so that public land users of all types can use digital mapping systems and smartphone applications to identify new opportunities for access and recreation while understanding the rules to help reduce unintentional conflicts and violations of the law.”

More specifically, the MAPLand Act would direct federal land management agencies to consolidate, digitize, and make publicly available recreational access information as GIS files. Such records include information about:

• legal easements and rights-of-way across private land;
• year-round or seasonal closures on roads and trails;
• road-specific restrictions on vehicle-type;
• boundaries of areas where special rules or prohibitions apply to hunting and shooting;
• and areas of public waters that are closed to watercraft or have horsepower restrictions.

In July, a coalition of 150+ hunting- and fishing-related businesses called on Congress to support the bill, highlighting the importance of public land access to the $778-billion outdoor recreation economy.

“GPS technology has become a part of everyday life and is now an essential part of the public-land user’s toolkit,” said Whit Fosburgh, president and CEO of the TRCP. “Sportsmen and sportswomen thank Senators McSally and King and the members of the subcommittee for their attention to this issue and ask that lawmakers in both the House and Senate support the MAPLand Act.”

Earlier this year, the TRCP produced a short-animated video explaining the benefits of the bill. The video can be viewed HERE.

TRCP’s full testimony in support of the MAPLand Act can be read HERE.

 

Photo: Rick Hutton

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New Landlocked Data

Read our latest study of inaccessible public lands, this time in Florida, N. Carolina, Arkansas, and Tennessee.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

WHAT WILL FEWER HUNTERS MEAN FOR CONSERVATION?

The precipitous drop in hunter participation should be a call to action for all sportsmen and women, because it will have a significant ripple effect on key conservation funding models.

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