Over the last several decades, mindsets have shifted in the country away from the hunting and subsistence lifestyle. Voices for conservation have waned, and mediators are needed for the fight. The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership is trying to meet the challenge.
TCRP's mission is plainly stated on its website: "To guarantee all Americans quality places to hunt and fish." Founded in 2002 by James D. Range, TRCP aimed to put the voices of hunters and anglers back into the legislation conversation. This conservation group is appropriately named if you know anything about the accomplishments of President Theodore Roosevelt. As an avid outdoorsman, Roosevelt ensured that he would use his position of authority to champion conservation efforts in the United States. Millions upon millions of acres have been adequately preserved thanks to Roosevelt's institution of the United States Forest Service and the institution of many National Parks and National Monuments. He also is credited as a founder of Boone and Crockett Club, another leading wildlife conservation group.
Now headed by President and CEO Whit Fosburgh, TRCP seems more robust than ever. Countless projects and partnerships have grown the group and allowed them to become a stronger voice in the legislative arena as well as the mainstream hunting community. With the mission of providing quality hunting and fishing to everyone, TRCP also has its hands in several specific projects to improve access and rights to both.
Habitat and Clean Water
TRCP is focused on several projects under this initiative. The big one is restoring the Mississippi River Delta, the three-million-acre wetlands along the Gulf Coast. According to the TRCP, almost 2,000 square miles of fish and wildlife habitat has vanished thanks to things like development and oil spills. TRCP is focused on increasing fines on oil companies to restore this area.
Another major project is big game migration corridor conservation. Decades of research and technological advancement have helped define the exact migration patterns of big game, and TRCP considers it "imperative that efforts to conserve these habitats advance on both public and private lands."
Other issues that TRCP is addressing under this initiative include:
- Strengthening Farm Bill Conservation Programs
- Defending the Clean Water Act
- Sage Grouse Conservation
- Chronic Wasting Disease
- Improving Menhaden Management
- Prioritizing Natural Infrastructure
"Sportsmen can't afford to get edged out" of the wilderness, according to TRCP. The country is rapidly growing out of the cities and suburbs and encroaching into rural areas. As this happens, TRCP is committed to preserving plenty of lands for hunters and anglers to ply their trade or hobbies. Projects include:
- Unlocking Millions of Acres of Inaccessible Public Land
- Modernizing Public Land Data
- Backcountry Conservation Management
Outdoor Recreation Economy
"As a robust part of the $887-billion outdoor recreation economy in the U.S., hunters and anglers drive spending in local communities and fund conservation through our excise taxes and license purchases," says the TRCP. With that in mind, the group is focused on the lack of funding for conservation as part of the federal budget. The organization is rebuilding efforts to fortify investments in the outdoor economy.
Issues that TRCP is addressing under this initiative include:
- Land and Water Conservation Fund
- Investing in Farm Bill Conservation Programs
- Overall Conservation Funding
TRCP has formed a great network through partnerships and sponsorships with other conservation-minded groups aimed at accommodating hunters and anglers. They have partnered with 62 conservation groups in the outdoor space, with some of the more well-known organizations including the Archery Trade Association, B.A.S.S., Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, Boone and Crockett Club, Ducks Unlimited, the National Deer Association, Pope and Young Club, and Trout Unlimited.
TRCP has many sponsors who have also dedicated themselves to conservation, and prolific ones include MeatEater, Bass Pro Shops, Coca-Cola, OnX, Patagonia, Yamaha, and Yeti. TRCP also has a corporate council formed by representatives from their various sponsors tasked with educating and engaging sponsor companies with hunting and fishing-related issues.
How You Can Help TRCP
You can start by joining the TRCP text and email chain to stay connected with issues dear to you. TRCP.org also has an Action Center that allows you to plug in and provide your input on specific topics. The Action Center has multiple conservation-related messages you can forward to Congress, open letters to sign for preservations, and opportunities to voice opinions on conservation dollars with actual decision makers. No voice is too small, and TRCP allows you to express your views and fight for conservation in an organized, thought-out way.
TRCP also has a donations tab on its webpage. You can donate however much or little you want and set up an automatic monthly contribution.
Like other outdoor industry conservation groups, TRCP is doing some real, meaningful work. Less like other groups, they're giving each and every one of us tangible actions to take and opportunities to make a difference.
READ MORE: 4 STATES WITH THE BEST PUBLIC LAND HUNTING
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