The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership 2015 Annual Report

The TRCP: Honoring Louis Bacon’s conservation contributions and celebrating a year of achievements

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Tonight, The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership (TRCP) celebrates its eighth annual Capital Conservation Awards, and will honor three honorees who are building a legacy of support for fish and wildlife on Capitol Hill and across the country. The TRCP’s 2016 Lifetime Conservation Achievement Award will go to Louis Bacon, who, as Founder and Chairman of The Moore Charitable Foundation and its affiliate foundations, has spent more than two decades conserving threatened habitat, protecting open spaces, and safeguarding clean water through the support of more than 200 local, national, and international organizations. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho) will be presented with the 2016 James D. Range Conservation Award—named after TRCP’s co-founder and conservation visionary—for their dedication to protecting what sportsmen value from both sides of the aisle in Congress. In recognition of this award today, this blog space would like to highlight the important work that the TRCP does every day to unite and amplify the voices of conservation, in particular those of sportsmen and women and their organizations. Below is a recent post from their content- and issue-rich... read more +

Zion National Park in Utah by Tom Morris (

Secretary Jewell: The Next 100 Years of American Conservation

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On April 27th, The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership will be awarding the 2016 Lifetime Conservation Achievement Award to Louis Bacon. As The Moore Charitable Foundation gears up to this event and we celebrate both Earth Day and National Parks Week, we reflect on the state of conservation, open spaces nationally – and on our responsibility to guarantee the future for our next generations.  This week, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell released a statement about the need for a course correction in the way America conserves our public lands, waters and wildlife. Here is her statement, as repurposed from Medium. The Next 100 Years of American Conservation This week is National Park Week — a time when we celebrate the more than 400 natural, historical and cultural sites that make up the most incredible parks system on Earth. Places that attract visitors from around the world and inspire other nations to follow our lead. But being the “best” wasn’t always a forgone conclusion. During World War II, national parks fell into a state of disrepair. Congress, needing to fund the war effort, directed... read more +

The Rio Grande Water Fund is a successful program channeling resources to restore healthy forests and protect water needed by people and nature.

Terry Sullivan: Safeguarding the Rio Grande Water Shed with Innovative Forest Management Practices

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A major element of the enchantment of New Mexico is the beauty of our forested mountains. Until the last 100 years, those forests were maintained by natural processes such as frequent, low-intensity fires that would act to cleanse the landscape and create the perfect balance of vegetation and trees. However, over the past century, as we have suppressed natural fires, our forests have grown significantly more dense with trees.  This creates more fuel for fires, and combined with steadily increasing summer temperatures is causing wildfires to burn hotter, this often results in catastrophic wildfires. These wildfires not only destroy wildlife habitat, homes and community infrastructure, but they also impact rural economies through the loss of tourism and recreational opportunities. Restoration of overgrown forests that act as fuel for wildfires is a critical strategy to reduce the risk of high-intensity wildfire, and a few years ago such treatments were underway only at a very small scale. The Las Conchas Fire of 2011 illustrated the problem we faced: nearly 45% of the 156,000 acres fire burned at high severity. Thunderstorms... read more +

Image by gettyimages

Ocean Unite: Generation Z to Alpha – the ocean cannot wait another 20 years for our protection

by Ocean Unite Category: , ,

Some changes come as lightning bolts, others as waves. And when it comes to international negotiations, even the waves can feel like they’re happening in slow-motion – with long periods stuck in freeze-frame. This may be inevitable in a world where delegates argue all night over a comma, and can take years deciding whether or not to even discuss something at all, but it is out of sync in our fast-moving age of high-speed technology, short attention spans and escalating ecological challenges. Take the ocean. You could grow a whole adult person in the length of time it has taken to move from governments recognizing the need to protect areas of the ocean beyond national jurisdictions, to governments agreeing to negotiate an international agreement to actually do it (you may want to read that sentence again!). I should know; I’ve been closely following the progress of both this nascent agreement and just such a person for over 20 years. My youngest son was born in 1997, part of Generation Z. He was five and just starting school when... read more +

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A Life in the Harbor with New York Harbor School Graduate and Marine Conservation Leader

by Luis Mendelez Category: ,

This post is published in interview format, reflecting a conversation with The New York Harbor School‘s Peter Matthiessen Award for Leadership in the Marine Environment winner, Luis Mendelez. Mr. Mendelez is a New York Harbor School graduate, assistant waterfront director for New York Harbor Foundation and School, and active Captain for New York Water Taxi. His story is inspiring and now part of the new Billion Oyster Profiles, which will tell the story of the Billion Oyster Project through the people who have shaped and been shaped by it. The Moore Charitable Foundation and founder Louis Bacon are proud to partner with the school, the BOP, and to be associated with next generation conservation leaders such as Mr. Mendelez. Congratulations, Luis. Louis Bacon Blog (LBB): When did you attend and graduate from the New York Harbor School? Luis Mendelez (LM): I was part of the first graduating class.  I attended from Fall of 2003 and graduated in 2007. LBB: How did you learn about the Harbor School? LM: Murray Fisher walked into my third period class in 8th grade; I believe it was my... read more +

The U.S. Atlantic waters are home to fragile populations like the North Atlantic right whale, one of the most endangered species on the planet with only about 500 individuals still alive.

Victory for U.S. Oceans: Obama Administration Protects East Coast from Offshore Drilling

by Andrew Sharpless, CEO & Ted Danson, Board of Directors - Oceana Category: ,

Here’s some great news: the United States Government has announced it will remove the Atlantic Ocean from its five-year plan for oil and gas development. This is an important victory for the U.S. Oceans. Our organization, Oceana, has campaigned against proposals to drill for oil in the Atlantic since 2009. We and our allies helped organize citizens from 110 East Coast municipalities and helped get more than 100 members of Congress, 700 state and local elected officials and 1,100 business interests to join the effort. This week, we learned that the Obama Administration listened and, as a result, will protect the Atlantic coast from the dangers of offshore drilling activity. In its newly proposed five-year program for oil and gas development on the Outer Continental Shelf, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has removed the Atlantic Ocean for leasing from 2017 to 2022. This announcement will help protect marine life. East Coast fisheries also provide cod and haddock, two of the most commonly-caught fish in an $11.8 billion Atlantic fishing industry. Now, these creatures and more will not... read more +

Opponents organize a protest against Titan America's planned cement plant near Wilmington. Photo: N.C. Coastal Federation

Todd Miller: In North Carolina, Plenty Remains to Be Done As Titan Calls It Quits

by Todd Miller, Executive Director, North Carolina Coastal Federation Category:

Opponents organize a protest against Titan America’s planned cement plant near Wilmington. Proof-positive that ordinary people can wage extraordinary campaigns to protect their quality of life and environment – plus a call to action to be ever-vigilant about protecting the waterways and coasts we love. Photo: N.C. Coastal Federation.  Eight years ago a business lobbyist who had formerly worked for then N.C. Governor Mike Easley called just as I was leaving the office for the day. He said he wanted to give me a “heads-up” that a major new industry was about to announce plans to locate in Wilmington, and that it would be a wonderful economic stimulus for southeastern N.C. He assured me that the company would be a good coastal steward, and encouraged the North Carolina Coastal Federation to welcome the project. The next day Titan America, a Greek international conglomerate, announced its plans to build one of the nation’s largest cement kilns and limestone mines next to the Northeast Cape Fear River just upstream of downtown Wilmington. Secret meetings with state and county leaders had already “cemented”... read more +

A beautiful sunset (and dusk) view across the Cape Fear River of the USS North Carolina from the Riverwalk in downtown Wilmington.

Derb Carter: Supporting a New Vision for the Cape Fear Region

by Derb Carter Category:

Named for the treacherous shoals at its mouth that wrecked many ships, the Cape Fear River drains much of eastern North Carolina, entering the Atlantic Ocean below the historic port of Wilmington. Today, in the face of serious environmental challenges, there is an emerging consensus in the lower Cape Fear region around Wilmington that the best way forward is to protect and capitalize on its tremendous cultural and natural riches: its waterways and wetlands, its beaches and offshore waters, and the river that defines this area. In recent years, Wilmington itself has steadily redeveloped its waterfront with plazas, shops, restaurants, and public spaces—turning the city to embrace the river. With support from Louis Bacon’s Orton Foundation, the Southern Environmental Law Center is using its legal skills to help local citizen groups fulfill this vision for the region’s future. One of the challenges facing the Cape Fear region—and coastal communities all along the south Atlantic—is the Department of the Interior’s proposal to open the waters offshore to oil and gas drilling. The coastal communities that would bear the brunt... read more +

An undated supplied Greenpeace photo released Thursday, May 6, 2010 of Bluefin tuna swim inside a transport cage. The Rainbow Warrior is in the Mediterranean for a three-month ship tour taking action on the threats to the sea and calling for a network of large-scale marine reserves to protect the health and productivity of the Mediterranean Sea. (AAP Image/Greenpeace, Marco Care) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY, NO RESALES, MANDATORY CREDIT, NO RESALES, MANDATORY CREDIT

Ascension Island is a hot spot for marine diversity.


Why a UK-sized marine reserve off the Ascension Island matters for ocean biodiversity

by Chuck Fox Category:

Today, as some will have read in the Sunday Times, the Telegraph, or the BBC News, The Bacon Foundation, founded by conservationist Louis Bacon, announced a £300,000 grant to the Blue Marine Foundation to support establishment of the largest Marine Reserve in the Atlantic Ocean. This historic new reserve is expected to protect an area only slightly less than the size of the United Kingdom in the waters surrounding Ascension Island in the Atlantic. Grant funds from The Bacon Foundation, to be administered by the Blue Marine Foundation, will support work by the Ascension Island government to close more than half of Ascension’s waters to fishing, manage a tuna fishery, and determine the boundaries of a permanent marine reserve to be established as soon as 2017. The protection of these waters is essential for the incredible number of species that exist here, including some of the largest marlin in the world, one of the most significant populations of green turtles, colonies of tropical seabirds and the island’s own unique frigate bird. The Bacon Foundation grant will cover the costs... read more +


The Conservation Easement Incentive Act is the result of years of hard work and advocacy.


Historic Conservation Easement Legislation Passes

by Mary Pope Hutson Category:

For those who love the great outdoors, the holidays have come a week early this year. Instead of a new pair of hiking boots, Santa brought a bipartisan budget deal, which includes a provision that will drive over $1 billion in private lands conservation over the next ten years. With tremendous bipartisan support, Congress has finally made permanent an incentive for conservation easements, encouraging land owners to preserve their land in perpetuity. The incentive advanced through Congress as part of the America Gives More Act, a package of incentives to encourage charitable giving. The White House issued a formal endorsement of the tax and spending bills, specifically citing the tax incentives for charities as one reason for supporting the package. The Land Trust Alliance has been seeking permanency for this incentive for a over decade, and we know it will have a major impact on the future of conservation. First enacted as a temporary provision in 2006, the incentive is directly responsible for conserving millions of acres of America’s open spaces and natural heritage. This agreement is the most... read more +