Wednesday Win: Fill in the Blank

Can you name the catalog that is featuring Mia?

Our Oregon Field Representative Mia Sheppard can be found on page 38 of ____________ Fishing Products. Name the catalog she’s featured in, and we will send you the first season of Steven Rinella’s “MeatEater.”

Send your answers to info@trcp.org or post a comment on the TRCP Blog by Friday.

 

What Matters Most to Hunters and Anglers?

The TRCP has a simple mission. We strive to guarantee you a place to hunt and fish. Our work falls into three main categories:

  • strengthening laws, policies and practices affecting fish and wildlife conservation;
  • leading partnerships that provide a strong sportsmen’s voice in the decision-making process;
  • building consensus in the conservation community to advance policy solutions.

While our mission sounds simple, we often deal with complex issues. Laws, policies and decision making – the “insider baseball” that takes place on Capitol Hill can be hard for the average person to understand.

In an effort to put our work in tangible and applicable terms, we developed a “cheat sheet” for the everyday sportsman interested in conservation policy. The 2013 Sportsmen’s Conservation Priorities outlines the main areas where we at the TRCP will be focusing our work on behalf of hunters and anglers in 2013.

We’ll be hosting a live chat on Tuesday, March 5, to give you an opportunity to ask questions about the 2013 Sportsmen’s Conservation Priorities. Expect more information and a link to the video conference later this week. In the meantime, take a look and let us know what you think in the comments section below.

Conserving the Last of the Old West

Nevada is truly a sportsmen’s paradise, a place where you can still find vast expanses of public lands and feel like you’ve got it all to yourself. If you haven’t already had the opportunity to hunt or fish in the Silver State, I hope that someday you will.

The TRCP is working closely with sporting groups across the West to make sure that places like this will be available for future generations of hunters and anglers to enjoy, and we need your help.

It’s no secret that the continual development of new roads, power lines, pipelines, gas wells and wind farms on public lands creates pressure on our best fish and wildlife habitat and hunting and fishing across the West. Energy development is important and necessary, but if we develop irresponsibly and in the wrong places, our outdoor traditions will suffer.  

The fragmentation and loss of key habitats are serious threats facing fish, wildlife and our sporting heritage. In Nevada, specific threats largely come from wind developments as well as transmission projects

Sportsmen are at the center of it all. The amount of quality habitat that could be lost just in our lifetimes is staggering. Hunters and anglers are at a crossroads, and the direction we move will have lasting ramifications for generations to come.

To that end, sportsmen across the West are getting involved in a grassroots effort to identify and conserve our highest value intact fish and wildlife habitat and hunting and fishing areas on BLM lands. By promoting the creation of “backcountry conservation areas” (called “backcountry wildlife conservation areas” in Nevada), sportsmen are acting to maintain our sporting traditions and the Western way of life.

We need you to speak up for the responsible management of our best fish and wildlife habitat. Learn more and let the BLM know that Nevada’s backcountry lands are important to hunters and anglers.

“I feel pretty lucky to be able to work is such an amazing state. There are so many amazing places in the West, and each has its own special character. Nevada is one of those special places where you can still get away from crowds in vast unspoiled landscapes. Whether your passion is hunting for big game, pursuing upland birds, or fishing, the only way we’re going to protect the Western way of life is to get involved, stay informed and speak out – and then get out and enjoy our Western public lands.”

- TRCP’s Nevada Field Representative, Eric Petlock.

If we want to continue chasing big bull elk, mule deer, antelope and bighorn sheep in the West we must take action and get involved – and work together to conserve areas of core habitat key to the fish and wildlife we cherish. The more habitat we lose the more hunting and angling opportunity we will lose.

Learn more about the TRCP’s efforts to ensure backcountry conservation.

Wednesday Win: TRCP Staff Trivia

For this week’s Wednesday Win, we’re exploring the past of one of our awesome staff. Which TRCP staff member received their Bachelor’s of Science from the University of Montana School of Forestry? Check out our staff page to look through bios and discover the answer.

Submit your answer by Friday, and we will send one lucky winner the first season of “MeatEater” featuring Steven Rinella.

 

North American Model of Wildlife Conservation

Thanks to the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation, America’s hunting and fishing resources are characterized by a unique system of management.

  • Hunting and fishing in North America, and the management of our wildlife and fisheries, are characterized by a unique and successful system of management called the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation.
  • Underlying principles behind the North American Model include the ideas that 1) wildlife is owned by the public, 2) wildlife can be killed only for legitimate purposes and 3) the management of our wildlife resources should be accomplished through science-based management.
  • The model is a concept that distinguishes the U.S. and Canada from many other nations where the opportunities to hunt are restricted to those who have special status, such as land ownership, wealth or other privilege.

Small Game and Hunting Access

Small game hunting has a special place in the hearts of hunters and is the perfect platform from which to introduce people to hunting, ethics and the outdoors.

  • For most of America’s history, gaining access to hunting grounds has been as easy as a knocking on a landowner’s door, but with public access declining, it becomes harder to get kids hunting.
  • Hunters and anglers contribute $7.4 billion a year in taxes and fees and help to fund some of the most important conservation work.
  • Programs such as the Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentives Program have been short-changed by Congress, and with the Farm Bill still not signed, states have had to put access programs on hold.

Wednesday Win: T.R.ivia

Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress.

In honor of Valentine’s Day, we’re recognizing our favorite sweethearts in this week’s Wednesday Win. What was the name and location of the church where Theodore Roosevelt and his second wife, Edith, were married?

Leave us a comment on the TRCP Blog, or email your answers to info@trcp.org by Friday for your chance to win a copy of the first season of the Sportsmen Channel’s “MeatEater” featuring Steven Rinella.

Feral Pigs and the Impacts of Invasive Species

Steven addresses the widespread problems created by exotic and invasive wild pig populations across the United States and how hunters are engaged in the effort to solve the problem.

  • Feral pigs destroy native plant communities by their rooting and trampling, reducing forage and altering habitat for native fish and wildlife species important to sportsmen.
  • Feral pigs out-compete native wildlife for food and other valuable resources, spread parasites and diseases, and substantially decrease water quality.
  • The only long-term solution to many of these problems is reducing pig population’s size and range.

Public Lands Yield Iconic Game and Pristine Backcountry

This past August, I had the opportunity to hunt deer with archery equipment in central Nevada. This would be my first Nevada mule deer tag and I was able to hunt in a pristine backcountry area with abundant deer and little hunting pressure. I was blessed to have the opportunity to hunt this iconic animal in such a spectacular setting.

One reason Nevada consistently provides outstanding opportunities for hunting and fishing are the large areas of intact and undeveloped backcountry on Bureau of Land Management lands. Most people don’t realize it, but just over 86 percent of the land in Nevada is public land. It is these large intact areas of backcountry land that provide the core habitat that gives us some of the finest big game hunting in the West where trophy mule deer, elk, antelope and bighorn sheep are taken every season.

Large intact areas of backcountry land provide the core habitat that gives us some of the finest big game hunting in the West. Photo by Dusan Smetana.

Unfortunately, throughout the West some of our best public lands are threatened by a massive wave of new energy development and deteriorating habitat conditions. Here in Nevada, poorly planned wind energy projects and transmission lines could threaten to further fragment prime fish and wildlife habitat. In other parts of the West, oil and gas developments are being proposed in some of the best remaining big game habitat.

As development pressures continue to grow, the TRCP and partners are working to maintain the high quality fish and wildlife values of our public lands. Western hunters and anglers are working through local land use plans in Colorado, Nevada and Oregon to conserve intact fish and wildlife habitat and are calling on the BLM to manage high value areas as backcountry conservation areas or BCAs.

BCAs would provide BLM land managers with clear guidelines that would help conserve our best wildlife habitat while protecting public access and at the same time would allow common-sense activities to restore habitat and honor existing rights like ranching.

Learn how you can help conserve backcountry and hunting and fishing heritage today.

In Praise of the Rural Life

Dodge ran a commercial during Sunday’s Super Bowl that sparked memories for me and my friends. Featuring a series of evocative images of U.S. agricultural life and landowners, the two-minute spot is narrated by the late, great broadcaster Paul Harvey, drawing from a speech Harvey gave at a Future Farmers of America convention.

Since Sunday, I’ve gotten emails and phone calls from folks who know I spend most of my time in the country where I also work on conservation issues related to agriculture and the Farm Bill. I must admit I got a goose bump or two when I heard Harvey’s old, familiar voice.

The memory lots of people have of their grandparents’ farm or their uncle’s ranch is encapsulated in Mr. Harvey’s comforting tone and wholesome subject matter. I’m pleased that a nation full of an increasing number of urbanites found the opportunity to reflect on the rural life that created and sustains this country.

Farms are where our food comes from, where our fish and game live and where our future resides. While I’ll avoid the cliché reference to the rest of the story out of respect, I can’t help but hope that there is a continued story to tell of the American farmer and his or her love for the land, hopefully as expressed through the stewardship of our collective natural resources.

We should take heed of the image developed of the farmer in this brief attempt to sell trucks.  Our soil and water are under increasing demand as the world creates more mouths to feed and more alternative uses for grain products. The fish and wildlife that so many of us respectfully pursue depend on the quality and quantity of clean air and clean water as much as we do, and as such, fish and wildlife depend in no small measure on the American farmer.

I hope this commercial and this trip down memory lane with an American icon remind us all that farmers and ranchers are vital to this country: We all depend on what they do and ultimately, how they do it.