What would Theodore Roosevelt do?

When Donald Trump was elected president, sportsmen had high hopes that the president and his cabinet would commit to, in President Trump’s words, “honoring the legacy of Theodore Roosevelt.” As our 26th president, Roosevelt worked tirelessly to stop special interests from developing and privatizing our public lands and waters, conserving more than 230 million acres by establishing 150 national forests, 51 federal bird reserves, four national game preserves, five national parks, and 18 national monuments.

Sportsmen have applauded the administration for some Roosevelt-like actions, such as their proposal to expand hunting and fishing on 10 national wildlife refuges and their calling on Congress to create a permanent solution to the practice of “fire borrowing.”

Yet we will continue to hold administration officials accountable for pursuing the rollback of conservation protections on millions of acres of national monuments, scrapping collaborative habitat management plans for sage grouse, and not fighting administration proposals to cut popular public access programs like the Land and Water Conservation Fund. These actions threaten to undermine Roosevelt’s legacy, and I join Backcountry Hunters & Anglers in urging the Trump administration to do the right thing and stand up for our public lands.

Ric Martinelli

Madera

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