Weekly News Roundup – March 23, 2012

from Wildlife Promise

Want to know what National Wildlife Federation was up to this week? Here is a recap of the week’s NWF news:

Tribes Welcome Home Yellowstone Bison

March 21 – After more than a century’s absence, wild, genetically pure bison have returned to tribal lands on the Great Plains in a homecoming that reunites Native Americans with the iconic species that was a fundamental part of their culture and the prairie ecosystem.

Sixty-three bison from Yellowstone National Park were trucked 500 miles to Fort Peck in Montana’s far northeastern corner. Tribal members from Fort Peck and Fort Belknap hosted Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer and representatives of the National Wildlife Federation and Defenders of Wildlife at the animals’ arrival Wednesday.

Celebrate EXTRA-Ordinary Wildlife During National Wildlife Week, March 19-25, 2012

March 19 – What do the bull shark, wood frog, rhinoceros beetle and pronghorn have in common? They all perform some amazing feats which is why they were selected to be featured during National Wildlife Week, March 19-25. The theme for the week this year is EXTRA-Ordinary Wildlife and will celebrate wildlife and their incredible talents.

Since 1938, National Wildlife Week has been a time to learn about wildlife and nature. This year, children, youth and adults are taking time to explore wildlife through five different lenses (innovative defenses, record breakers, super senses, survive in unusual habitats, and special adaptation). Forty-five wildlife species including plants will be highlighted. The bull shark for example can survive in both fresh and salt water. The wood frog freezes during the winter, then thaws in the spring to mate. The rhinoceros beetle can support 850 times its body weight. The pronghorn is the fastest U.S. mammal, clocking over fifty miles per hour.

Global Climate Change Will Increase Anxiety, Fear and Depression

March 22 – The impact of global climate change on Americans’ mental health has been largely ignored, even though the incidence of mental and social disorders will rise steeply if climate change is not curtailed, adding significant costs to the already $317 billion in annual mental health care expenditures and lost productivity in the U.S., concludes a major new study. “The greatest public costs could come from ignoring the effects,” the report concludes.

Because extreme weather events and disasters will be more severe and more frequent, the U. S. will see a rise in illnesses like depressive and anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress, substance abuse, suicide and violence.

New Guide Helps Parents Overcome Obstacles to Getting Kids Outdoors

March 20 – Spring has sprung but how many kids have noticed? Many may be glued to video games or too busy tweeting to go outside and hear a real tweet. In addition to the lure of electronic gadgets, the great outdoors has lots of competition when it comes to kids. To help parents incorporate more “green time” into their children’s lives National Wildlife Federation’s Be Out There movement has created “Outdoor Play for Every Day: A Parent’s Guide for Overcoming Common Obstacles to Kids and Outdoor Play”.

Most parents intuitively understand that spending time outdoors is good for their kids: it makes them grow lean and strong, enhances imaginations, and gives them time to let off steam and just be a kid.

President Obama’s Dangerous Wrong Turn on Energy

March 22 – Speaking on energy policy yesterday, President Obama said, “You have my word that we will keep drilling everywhere we can, and we will do it while protecting the health and safety of the American people.” Today he heads to Cushing, OK, site of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline’s southern leg, where he will announce efforts to rush its review, and those of future pipelines. A thorough review process is critical for protecting clean water from flawed oil projects.

The new emphasis on rushing oil companies’ projects comes on the heels of devastating oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico, Yellowstone River, and the Kalamazoo River. A 2010 NWF report found thousands of spills on and offshore have occurred over the last decade, with Oklahoma ranking seventh for most pipeline spills.

New Report: Strong Farm Bill Key to Great Lakes Restoration

March 21 – In a new report issued today, the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition is urging federal public officials to strengthen and support successful farm conservation programs that are vital to restoring the health of the Great Lakes. Read the full report here (PDF).

“Farm conservation programs are essential for Great Lakes restoration,” said Jeff Skelding, campaign director for the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition. “Farm conservation programs are producing results, but there is more work to do. Cutting support for these successful programs now will cause problems to get worse and more costly to solve.”

NWF Supports New Federal Wind-Wildlife Guidelines

March 23 – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) released the final version of its Land-Based Wind Energy Guidelines to assist federal agencies, wind energy developers, and the public in avoiding and minimizing impact on wildlife and habitat when locating, designing and operating wind energy projects. The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) applauds the Service, who developed the voluntary guidelines from the consensus recommendations of a Federal Advisory Committee composed of wildlife organizations, state and federal wildlife managers, wildlife scientists, and wind energy developers.

“Climate change poses an enormous threat to both the human environment and the earth’s biologic diversity, and for that reason, National Wildlife Federation is pursuing a rapid and responsible transition to clean energy,” says Justin Allegro, manager of the Renewable Energy and Wildlife Program at NWF. “However, poorly planned and designed wind energy activities can have significant adverse impacts to wildlife and habitats. This crucial framework will help lead to wind energy projects that wildlife advocates can feel good about in the short term, and avoid the types of bad projects that impede the growth of needed new energy solutions in the long term.”

Gulf Ads Thank Gulf Senators for Passing Gulf Restoration Amendment

March 23 – Five Gulf state newspapers will run full-page color ads starting today thanking the nine Gulf senators who recently voted in favor of legislation to dedicate 80 percent of the Clean Water Act fines from the parties responsible for the Gulf oil spill to restoring the Gulf ecosystem and economy.

The ads features a “thank you” from 62 Gulf businesses, business groups and restoration advocacy groups to the nine Gulf senators who “led an overwhelmingly bipartisan group of 76 senators to pass the RESTORE the Gulf Coast States Act [to] help repair and strengthen the communities, businesses and environment…still suffering nearly two years after the unprecedented Gulf oil disaster.”

And here are highlights from NWF in the News:

  • Television: Naturalist David Mizejewski was on the Today show live with 2 gray wolves as well as 17 TV outlets, via live satellite talking about how gray wolves are being poisoned in Alberta in a misguided plan to protect woodland caribou from energy development. 12.2 million views saw him on Today alone.David and Dr. Doug Inkley have or soon will be heard on 32 radio stations around the country commenting on this unfolding tragedy. They were interviewed by the following stations:
    • WISH-TV, INDIANAPOLIS, IN
    • KUSA/KDVR-TV, DENVER, CO
    • REUTERS TV, NATIONAL
    • WJBK-TV, DETROIT, MI
    • WHAM-TV, ROCHESTER, NY
    • WTVC-TV, CHATTANOOGA, TN
    • KOB-TV, ALBUQUERQUE, NM
    • WYAM-TV, REGIONAL – ALABAMA
    • WXIA-TV, ATLANTA, GA
    • WRAL-TV, RALEIGH-DURHAM, NC
    • WSET-TV, ROANOKE, VA
    • LIFESCRIPT TV, NATIONAL
    • KGUN-TV, TUCSON, AZ
    • WXYZ-TV, DETROIT, MI
    • FOXNEWS.COM, NATIONAL
    • KCTU-TV, WICHTIA, KS
    • XETV, SAN DIEGO, CA
  • Radio: Board member, Dr. Lise Van Susteren was our spokesperson in a day long radio tour about NWF’s new report on the psychological toll climate change will have on Americans. These interviews reached millions with this warning and what they can do to fight and prepare for climate change. Dr. Van Susteren was interviewed by the following outlets:
    • POLNET RADIO NETWORK, NATIONAL
    • WTBQ-AM, NEW YORK
    • WHCR-FM, NEW YORK
    • METRO NETWORKS, SEATTLE (SYNDICATED)
    • WICH-AM, HARTFORD
    • NORTHERN NEWS NETWORK, MONTANA (STATEWIDE)
    • WAMV-AM, ROANOKE
    • WALR-FM, ATLANTA
    • USA RADIO, NATIONAL
    • KMA-AM, OMAHA
    • WFIN-AM, TOLEDO
    • WJSS-AM, BALTIMORE
    • WXBR-AM, BOSTON
    • WOCA-AM, ORLANDO
    • WSRB-FM, CHICAGO
    • WDIS-AM, BOSTON
    • KPQ-AM, SEATTLE
    • WCHE-AM, PHILADELPHIA
  • 9.9 million viewers saw the story of the reintroduction of pure blood bison on to tribal lands in a story from NBC Nightly News. President Larry Schweiger commented for the report on this great NWF success. News of the bison’s return also ran a total 50 times on other regional TV stations.
  • Director of the National Advocacy Center, Adam Kolton was seen on 26 NBC stations nationwide as well as the #2 national newscast in Canada commenting on President Obama’s energy speech.
  • Marc Smith was on the radio tour in Minnesota and Wisconsin talking about the latest capture of invasive Asian Carp. He was heard in 5 markets including the #1 wacky rock’in morning show in the Twin Cities.
  • The Denver Post (op-ed): Guest Commentary: Appreciating wild creatures during National Wildlife Week
  • Public News Service (OH): Pain at the Pump? New Fuel Standards Could Ease the Burden
  • Reuters: At Oklahoma oil hub, Obama pledges to speed part of pipeline
  • The Washington Post: Stink bugs migrating to the Deep South

For more, visit www.nwf.org/News