Young conservationists to Sally Jewell: Listen

“How’s your energy level, guys?” I asked as we waited in the lobby of the U.S. Department of the Interior.





Each of the teenagers replied with focused enthusiasm, an attitude reminiscent of Theodore Roosevelt. If any of the four in the group was nervous, it failed to show.

I was with the winners of an essay contest sponsored by Sportsmen for Responsible Energy Development, a coalition dedicated to balancing conservation with the need for responsible energy development led in part by the TRCP. The contest’s theme was “the importance of public lands to me,” and the winners’ essays highlighted the forests, mountains, sagebrush steppe and backcountry waters that are as diverse as the winners themselves.

Hailing from across the country, the group traveled to Washington, D.C., to meet with elected officials, including Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and members of their states’ congressional delegations, and leaders in the conservation community.

I have read the winning essays (you should, too) and knew that the students possessed a high level of thoughtfulness and intellect. But I remember what it was like to be that age. One minute you are focused and kicking butt, and the next you are flustered and overwhelmed (did I just described my own life?). But let me tell you: These teens exceeded my expectations of young conservationists in America. We all should take notes.

I spent some time chatting with the group about their backgrounds, favorite game to hunt and impressions of the nation’s capital. Before we knew it, we were ushered into the elevator that took us up to the sixth floor to the secretary’s office.

I was excited to meet Secretary Jewell. I look up to her as a mountain climber, a woman, a leader, a champion for the outdoors and more. But I was most excited to hear what the teens had to say to her.

As the conversation unfolded between Jewell and Matt, Haley, Jarred and Rebecca, the contest winners, it was clear that the secretary was enthralled by what these young people had to say. They talked about what strategies should be employed to get more young people – and more people of color – outdoors. They discussed how time spent outdoors better prepares people for life. They told Jewell what they might prioritize if they were in her position. They talked about the importance of public service, our conservation heritage and more.

Not one person left Secretary Jewell’s office unchanged. Young people bring the unbridled depth and bright ideas that are crucial to the future of conservation.

If you know any young conservationists, hunters or anglers, spend some time talking with them. Use the winning essays to kick off a conversation about why our public lands and our hunting and fishing heritage are important. Listen to their ideas as to how we might engage more people in outdoor pursuits. And please, share your ideas below and on our Facebook page.

Only 3 More Days to Speak up for Bristol Bay

Join the TRCP and the sporting community in protecting the abundant fish and wildlife resources in Bristol Bay, Alaska. Speak up today and be entered to win a trip for two in Alaska’s Crystal Creek Lodge.

The time is now to tell the EPA to act upon its scientifically sound watershed assessment showing Bristol Bay salmon are at grave risk if Pebble Mine is allowed to proceed.

Pebble would be the largest open pit mine in North America and would create up to 10.8 billion tons of waste containing heavy metal toxins known to destroy salmon spawning and rearing habitat.

Southwest Alaska’s remarkable web of abundant wildlife, including salmon, bears, moose, wolves and migratory waterfowl, is in serious jeopardy – along with one of the nation’s foremost sporting destinations.

Take a stand for Alaska’s greatest fish and wildlife habitat and you’ll be entered to win a trip for two to Crystal Creek Lodge in Bristol Bay.

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 by Friday for your chance to win a copy of the first season of the Sportsmen Channel’s “MeatEater” featuring Steven Rinella.

Wednesday Win: Photo Caption

For this week’s “Wednesday Win,” we’re going back to our roots. Leave a comment on the blow photo of TRCP’s co-founder and compass, Jim Range, and we’ll pick our favorite on Friday. The winner will receive a TRCP camo hat.

Photo by Steve Belinda.

Wednesday Win: T.R.ivia

Photo courtesy of Harvard Library.

While campaigning in Milwaukee, Wis. Theodore Roosevelt was was shot in the chest before a scheduled speech. Roosevelt continued on to give an hour speech, with the bullet still in his body, before being rushed to the hospital.

What was the name of the man who shot Roosevelt?

Send your answer to or submit it on the TRCP Facebook page by Friday morning for your chance to win a TRCP hat.

Wednesday Win: T.R.ivia

Theodore Roosevelt is the only person to have won the Medal of Honor AND which other prestigious award?

Photo courtesy of the Harvard College Library.

Send your answer to or submit it on the TRCP Facebook page by Friday morning for your chance to win a TRCP hat.

Wednesday Win: Caption Contest

For this week’s “Wednesday Win” we’re holding a caption contest for the photo below. Leave a comment and we’ll pick our favorite on Friday, Nov. 30. The winner will receive a TRCP camo hat.

Photo by Neil Thagard.

Wednesday Win: Guess the TRCP’er

We’re throwing some vintage TRCP your way for this week’s Wednesday Win. Check out this blast from the past photo of one of our staffers, and see if you can guess who it is. If you need clues, visit our staff page for a comprehensive list of staff members and current photos. If you answer correctly, you could win a Gigantic Book of Hunting Stories.

Submit your answer via our Facebook page, email us at or leave a comment on the TRCP Blog. Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, we will announce the winner on Monday, Nov. 26.

Wednesday Win: T.R.ivia

Who was vice president of the U.S. during Theodore Roosevelt’s first term as president?

Photo courtesy of the Harvard College Library.

Send your answer to or submit it on the TRCP Facebook page by Friday morning for your chance to win a TRCP hat.



Wednesday Win: Post an Opening Day Photo

At the TRCP, we work hard so we can play hard, and when opening day rolls around it’s like Christmas for our staff.

For this week’s Wednesday Win, we’re giving away a hand-tied, commemorative Bully Bugger to the individual who posts a picture of their opening day outing on the TRCP Facebook page and gets the most likes by next Wednesday. Here are some photos of TRCP staff from various opening days in their respective states.