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Talking wildlife conservation with Teddy Roosevelt's great great grandson

Shepherds of Wildlife founder Tom Opre gave the keynote address at this year's Congressional Sportsman's State Legislator Summit in Arkansas. He screened a 30-minute cut of Killing the Shepherd and fielded questions from more than 100 state legislators from 27 different states.

Simon Roosevelt (pictured above), who is the great great grandson of President Theodore Roosevelt, chairs the Congressional Sportsman's Foundation and also presented at the event. Roosevelt recognized the importance of Killing the Shepherd saying, "It gets into the real issues faced by rural communities and wildlife."

Roosevelt has a keen passion for Africa and told stories of his most memorable safaris. He also loves Alaska and recently returned from a barren-ground caribou hunt.

"To have access to so many decision-makers regarding wildlife conservation policy at the state level is critical to the mission of Shepherds of Wildlife Society," Opre said. He built solid relationships with many new society partners at the summit.

"Killing the Shepherd is an important film," said Tennessee Wildlife Federation CEO Mike Butler. "its messages about human rights and wildlife conservation are important to our members."

Opre's new connections with lawmakers included Rep. Bruce Westerman, ranking Republican in the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources. Opre and Westerman discussed a potential screening of the film in front of that committee.

Arkansas Rep. Jeff Wardlaw (R) actually booked a screening of the film with the entire Arkansas State Legislature. State legislators like Wardlaw have powerful positions in Congress, but they often serve part-time.

"They rely on outside experts when crafting laws or determining support for a bill," said Opre. "Building these relationships helps position Shepherds of Wildlife as a trusted source."

The 2022 Summit is slated to occur next November in Bozeman, Montana, which will allow the entire Shepherds of Wildlife staff and leadership to attend and engage at the event.

A 30-minute version of Killing the Shepherd is available for events, political meetings, and classrooms. Email to schedule a screening.

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