TRCP president and CEO looks to 2021 as a fresh start for partnership and dedication to science-based conservation
For nearly 20 years, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership has brought people together, built coalitions, and advanced conservation. We pride ourselves in working with policymakers of all political backgrounds. No matter who controls the White House or Congress, we roll up our sleeves and focus on what unites us—not what tears us apart.
That is why the violent events at the Capitol last week shook us to our core. We not only believe in the strength of our democracy and democratic institutions, but our staff members regularly walk those hallowed halls to carry the collective voice of sportsmen and women to decision makers. On a personal level, I worked in those halls for years and still marvel at America’s citadel of democracy that has endured for more than two centuries.
To do what we do, you have to believe in public service and the rule of law. Yet, the siege at the Capitol was the culmination of years of fact-free rhetoric aimed at inflaming passions and securing political advantage, not providing solutions.
In short, it was a disgrace and those who carried out and incited this terror should be held accountable.
At the end of the day, however, we will see the peaceful transition of power. And my hope is that we also see a return to partnership, where Americans can disagree about ideas, but not about the foundations of democracy, and where telling the truth is again seen as a virtue.
Even in the divisive atmosphere of the last few years, conservation has been an area where Democrats and Republicans worked together on behalf of the people. The successful passage of the Great American Outdoors Act, the Dingell Act, the ACE Act, and many more are prime examples.
This year brings with it many opportunities to enact conservation policy that further strengthens habitat and access. Whether by putting Americans back to work through conservation or advancing land and water-based solutions to climate change, we have our eyes on the issues that affect sportsmen and women.
Every time a new administration or new Congress is sworn in, we build relationships so we can tackle these pressing issues. Those relationships are built on trust and the understanding that we share a common goal: to guarantee all Americans quality places to hunt and fish.
The moderate middle is often a lonely place, where both sides turn up the heat and pressure you to be someone you are not. While it can be uncomfortable, it is where we find success. Our mission is based on science and facts and does not change with the political winds or fall pressure to the blue and red waves in an election. It stays true and focused, and it stays loyal to the institutions upon which this great nation was built.
TRCP has always sought to be a voice of partnership and cooperation in our efforts to advance conservation policy across the nation, because we believe that conservation unifies all Americans. In that same spirit, we look forward to continuing to work with lawmakers—Republican, Democrat, and Independent—who share these values.
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