TRCP Makes Final Push for Rocky Mountain Front Protections

WASHINGTON – The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership (TRCP) today strongly urged key members of Congress to ensure the passage of tax bill language protecting public land in Montana’s Rocky Mountain Front from future energy development. The language would disallow the federal government from offering new oil and gas drilling or hard rock mining leases in an area that spans from Glacier National Park to Rogers Pass. “In this action sportsmen can see the product of a final good turn done them by Senator Burns, who authored Rocky Mountain Front protection language earlier this year and has long championed our concerns,” said TRCP Chairman James D. Range. “We also applaud the admirable determination of Senator Baucus, who spurred the current protection efforts and is a tireless proponent of this very important area of unspoiled natural beauty and immense fish and wildlife resources.” “Embedded in these protections is an important recognition that some public lands are too important for reasons other than their fossil fuel values to be drilled for oil and gas,” said the TRCP’s Dr. Rollin Sparrowe, who chairs the TRCP Fish, Wildlife and Energy Working Group. This working group includes several of the country’s leading hunting, fishing and wildlife conservation organizations and is promoting a more balanced approach to energy development on public lands. Last week eight members of the coalition filed letters with congressional appropriators calling for the immediate passage of the Rocky Mountain Front protection language. Organizations signing these letters included TRCP Partners the American Sportfishing Association, Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, Federation of Fly Fishers, Izaak Walton League of America, Quality Deer Management Association, Wildlife Management Institute and The Wildlife Society. The working group’s approach is encapsulated in a set of guiding principles, Energy FACTS for Fish and Wildlife, designed to better address the needs of the renewable resources that reside on the same public lands facing energy development. A key tenet of the approach is that some areas, especially those like the Rocky Mountain Front that are defined by their exceptional fish and wildlife resources, should be off-limits to development. *** The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership is a coalition of leading conservation organizations and grassroots partners working together to conserve fish and wildlife and their habitat, increase funding for conservation and management, and expand access to places to hunt and fish.