Western Governors John Hickenlooper of Colorado and Matt Mead of Wyoming were honored on April 26, 2017, by the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership (TRCP) for their bipartisan leadership in ongoing collaborative conservation efforts and advocacy.
Governors Mead and Hickenlooper were presented with the 2017 James D. Range Conservation Award — named for TRCP’s co-founder, a conservation visionary, and presented to one Democrat and one Republican each year — for their collaborative efforts to help restore sagebrush habitat as co-chairs of the Sage Grouse Task Force. They are the first state governors to receive the award, which is typically given to members of Congress.
Gov. Mead shared credit with his task force colleagues and cited Wyoming’s unique outdoor-recreation-driven economy and future generations of outdoorsmen and women as his inspiration. His award was presented by Jim Ogsbury, executive director of the Western Governors’ Association.
Gov. Hickenlooper accepted his award from Sen. Michael Bennet and addressed the many benefits of public lands for Coloradans—including hunting and fishing access—and “the magic” of the simplest outdoor experiences.
Television personality, writer, and outdoorsman Steven Rinella also was honored at the event with the Conservation Achievement Award.
The awards were presented at TRCP's ninth annual Capital Conservation Awards Dinner at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C. Tucker Carlson of FOX News Channel and Rachel Maddow of MSNBC served as co-masters of ceremony for the event, which brought together policy-makers, outdoor industry innovators, and conservation group leaders. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke made closing remarks emphasizing the value of America’s public lands.
The TRCP has supported the past two WGA Chairman's Initiatives: the Species Conservation and Endangered Species Act Initiative and the National Forest and Rangeland Management Initiative. The TRCP's mission, in part, is "to guarantee all Americans quality places to hunt and fish" by helping "create federal policy and funding solutions by uniting our partners and amplifying the voices of American sportsmen and women in service of Theodore Roosevelt’s conservation legacy."