Ron Arnold's Green Tracking Library

Tony Dean
alias of Anthony DeChandt
A NODOG Cluster
influential activist

Tony Dean

Real name, Anthony DeChandt
Born November 26, 1940 - Died October 19, 2008 in Pierre, South Dakota.
Tony Dean was a widely respected and politically active American outdoors broadcaster, columnist, and long-time environmental activist. He was press secretary for former South Dakota Governor Frank Farrar (a Republican), and later a Democratic party promoter for Senator Tim Johnson, and just before he died, a television commercial producer for Barack Obama. Dean was set to serve on Obama's transition team in the event he won, but died before the election, after complications from an appendectomy .

Anthony Eastman DeChandt II ("Tony Dean") was born on November 26, 1940, in Mandan, North Dakota, to Anthony and Marion (Smith) DeChandt. He grew up in Mandan and was graduated from Mandan High School. After high school he attended Bismarck Junior College.

Dean lived in Bismarck until 1962 when he moved to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where he managed several racetracks and performed play by play and commentary duties for radio broadcast. Establishing his home in Pierre for his last 40 years, Dean started doing radio broadcasting at KCCR and also managed the State Fair Speedway racing operations. From 1970 to 1972 he served as Republican Governor Frank Farrar's press secretary.

Dean then started His daily radio show at KCCR, "Tony Dean Outdoors," which was broadcast in Pierre and the surrounding media markets. In 1985 he started "Tony Dean Outdoors," a weekly hunting and fishing television series which aired for more than eighteen years and reached an audience of more than 100,000 people each week. During that time, he produced another daily radio broadcast, "Dakota Backroads," which aired throughout the Midwest along with an interactive Web site, Tony Dean Outdoors.

In his last fifteen years Dean became increasingly active in political affairs in land conservation, wetlands preservation and climate change, serving on the boards of the Isaac Walton League and Outdoor Writers Association of America.

He recorded several episodes of the show co-hosted with Jason Mitchell for Tony Dean Outdoors prior to Mitchell's purchase of the program in 2008, now known as Jason Mitchell Outdoors. Dean also produced the daily radio show "Dakota Backroads" for nearly two decades and wrote columns for the Argus Leader, the daily newspaper of Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

NoDOG connection : In December 2002, Dean worked with foundation and green groups to create the strategy of recruiting hunters and fishermen into environmentalist programs to stop all resource extraction on federal and state government lands in America. He was instrumental in gaining approval for the Pew Charitable Trusts program, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Alliance, giving its first director, Bob Munson, substantial publicity on his website. Over $2 million in Pew donations for the Alliance was funneled through Trout Unlimited, big-money influence which Tony Dean never acknowledged. A December 2002 guest editorial web page was donated by Dean to the Alliance:

Tony Dean Outdoors
Conservation Issues

Teddy Roosevelt Conservation Alliance on the Grasslands

Editor's Note: The following opinion editorial was written by Bob Munson, Executive Director of the Teddy Roosevelt Conservation Alliance.

“I would never have been President if it had not been for my experiences in North Dakota.” – President Theodore Roosevelt

After arriving in the region in 1883 – seven years before North Dakota achieved statehood – Theodore Roosevelt immediately set about becoming not only a successful and popular rancher, but also polishing his image as an avid outdoorsman by the standards of the day. Twenty years after North Dakota’s prairie grasslands helped shape the character of our premier conservation President, he began carving out a 230-million acre public lands legacy that remains unparalleled throughout the world today. Since the time when Roosevelt hammered out the laws to begin conservation and restoration of our wildlife and public lands, the Dakota Prairie Grasslands have been adversely affected by overgrazing, increased human populations and changing environmental conditions.

To remedy these problems in North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska, the U.S. Forest Service has invested nearly six years and millions of dollars into the Northern Great Plains Plan to move the Dakota Prairie Grasslands toward land management that will benefit fish and wildlife, hunters and anglers, and various recreation and industry interests. The North Dakota Governor’s office and North Dakota Consensus Council were instrumental in spearheading a collaborative effort, which garnered more than 75,000 individual public comments to help shape the plan.

Now the Heritage Alliance of North Dakota is attempting to circumvent the planning process – a process tens of thousands of North Dakotans and Americans participated in. Refusing to acknowledge years of public effort and involvement, HAND is attempting to derail the plan, essentially crippling the democratic ideals in which North Dakotans and other Americans placed their trust.
With an eye to the future, President Roosevelt gave succeeding generations of Americans the gift of untrammeled lands, rich in fish and wildlife resources. With a nod to a comparatively miniscule faction unwilling to participate in the open forum, the North Dakota delegation has bent under special interest demands and called on Forest Service Chief, Dale Bosworth, to circumvent the process and redraft the management plan. North Dakota’s citizens participated in good faith in the planning effort, adhering to guidelines set for all – to be heard equally – and the wishes of the public should be implemented.

Interestingly, similar changes on the Fort Pierre National Grasslands in South Dakota have not resulted in the negative effects ranchers in North Dakota are predicting. In fact, South Dakota’s grazing reduction has improved range conditions through decreased rainfall run-off and erosion, which has aided recovery of woody habitats and increased nesting habitat for prairie chickens and sharp-tailed grouse – bird species that draw hunters from throughout the country to the area helping broaden the economic base of local communities.

Roughly one third of all the grasslands managed by the Forest Service are in the Dakota Prairie Grasslands and they host incredible fish, wildlife and recreational values. As hunters and anglers, it is our responsibility to ensure these values are properly recognized and managed without being jeopardized by any single special interest group that repeatedly refused to play by the rules. Support the completed public planning process and encourage North Dakota’s Congressional delegation and the Forest Service to move ahead with the Dakota Prairie Grasslands Management Plan.

North Dakota’s delegation currently has an opportunity to honor the public lands legacy President Roosevelt left for all Americans. What better way to manage this legacy than to heed Roosevelt’s advice: “We do not intend that our natural resources shall be exploited by the few against the interests of the many… Our aim is to preserve our natural resources for the public as a whole, for the average man and the average woman who make up the body of the American people.”


Robert W. Munson

Robert W. Munson is the Director of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Alliance – a non-partisan affiliation of more 64,000 partners and 920 organizations, representing 5 million individual hunters and anglers – working to ensure you a place to hunt and fish, now and forever.

The need for a hunter/angler alliance was recognized by Pew Charitable Trusts which gave the Alliance a grant and the directive to inform and engage Americans to foster our conservation legacy while working to nurture, enhance and protect our fish, wildlife and habitat resources on our National Forest System. TRCA is an alliance, led by six national conservation organizations, which include the Izaak Walton League of America, Mule Deer Foundation, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Trout Unlimited, Wildlife Forever and Wildlife Management Institute. The Roosevelt family has given permission to the TRCA to use the former President’s name.

[end editorial]


  • The Pew grant came with a DIRECTIVE, which is called a "prescriptive grant," in which the foundation creates the project and gives money to those willing to do its bidding.

  • The Roosevelt family gave its permission because Theodore Roosevelt, IV is a Trustee of Trout Unlimited.

  • Bob Munson had previously served as executive director of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

  • Munson engaged in typical eco-lies by claiming Fort Pierre National Grasslands in South Dakota did not result in negative effects ranchers in North Dakota predicted. In fact, South Dakota’s grazing reduction drastically affected ranchers, reducing cattle production, while shifting land use to hunters and anglers who "diversified" the economy by filling their leisure time enjoyably while reducing production of food for Americans, which they didn't care about.

  • The Alliance originally covered anti-industry activism only on National Forest lands. It later changed its name to Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership and expanded its mission to cover anti-industry activism on all government lands, federal and state, and legislation that affects all private lands, such as the Endangered Species Act.

  • Wildlife Forever also received a $50,000 grant in 2002 from the Surdna Foundation for "General support for the Teddy Roosevelt Conservation Alliance (TRCA) a new umbrella organization dedicated to motivating hunters and fishermen to participate more actively in national forest management decision making."

  • Tony Dean gave numerous speeches in support of Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Alliance to destroy ranching and energy development on government lands in America.

 Back to Green Tracking Library Home Page