The Orvis Commitment
Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership
Informative info about the TRCP water program:
Today, however, progress has stalled and we’re actually moving backwards.
Two Supreme Court decisions in the early 2000s have effectively undermined the Clean Water Act’s protections for wetlands and intermittent streams that are critical for fish and wildlife by failing to recognize their connections to larger water bodies. According to recent data from the US Fish and Wildlife Service, wetland losses have increased by 140 percent in the last decade. Moreover, wetland restoration programs are under attack by Congress. If the House of Representative’s has its way, all funding for the North American Wetlands Conservation Act and the Land and Water Conservation Fund, the two programs that have funded most of the nation’s wetlands conservation work, would be eliminated.
Congress’s inability to pass a Farm Bill also threatens the two most important private land conservation programs that benefit wetlands and rivers: the Conservation Reserve Program and the Wetlands Reserve program. In the last five years, we’ve lost more than 6 million acres of conservation lands. Pheasant or duck hunters in the northern prairies can look at the drained wetlands and bulldozed shelter belts on their way to their hunting grounds this fall and see priceless habitat disappearing. And fishermen in the Gulf can expect to see the largest dead zone in history, thanks in large part to the nutrients that are washing off farmers’ fields in the northern plains.
Finally, a 2005 loophole in the Safe Drinking Water Act allows the oil and gas industry to keep secret the chemicals it injects into the ground during the fracking process. The industry is now fighting common sense rules that would require disclosure during development on our public lands.
The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership is bringing together the conservation community to speak in one voice on the policy issues that affect hunters and anglers everywhere. After all, it was sportsmen who spoke up to put the nation’s environmental safeguards in place and who reached into their own pockets to fund the conservation system that is today the envy of the world. Now is the time for us to make our voices heard again.
All photos on this page by Dusan Smetana