Weekly News Roundup – June 8, 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:

Celebrate Get Outdoors Day With Help From National Wildlife Federation

June 8 – In celebration of National Get Outdoors Day (Saturday, June 9), the National Wildlife Federation provides a host of outdoor resources guaranteed to get Americans outside and connecting with nature.

Looking for the best place to enjoy a day with Mother Nature? Go to NWF’s NatureFind, to search for local parks, trails, nature sites and events by zip code, city or state. Exploring the outdoors couldn’t be easier because the site even includes directions and visitor ratings for each location. NWF’s Activity Guide offers up fun outdoor activities for the whole family which provide hours of fun so kids won’t even miss those electronic games and toys they are so often glued to.

Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee Slashes Funding for Conservation Programs

June 7 – The Agriculture Subcommittee of the House Committee on Appropriations is proposing to cut more than $500 million from vital conservation programs for FY 2013. This move continues the trend in Congress of disproportionately targeting wildlife and conservation programs despite their proven track record of helping the environment and rural economies.

“Once again, members of Congress have chosen to slash funding for programs that protect soil, conserve water and enhance wildlife habitat,” said Aviva Glaser, agriculture legislative representative for the National Wildlife Federation.

The Clean Water Act Under Attack Again

June 6 – The Clean Water Act is under attack yet again with the introduction of another dirty water bill introduced by Representative John Mica (R-FL) and Representative Nick Rahall (D-WV). The bill (HR 4965) is scheduled for markup by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on Thursday, June 7th. If enacted, the Mica-Rahall bill would prohibit the Army Corp of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency from finalizing and implementing the much needed Clean Water Act guidance that would protect the nation’s prized water resources.

HR 4965 undermines the future of clean water, leaving streams, rivers and wetlands vulnerable by blocking Clean Water Act guidance and anticipated rulemaking—now and indefinitely.  Derailing the guidance now would lock in the current confusing regulatory process. Furthermore, the bill could nullify the previous guidance issued in 2008 under the Bush administration, leaving the public and federal agencies with no roadmap for implementing the Clean Water Act.

House Energy and Water Bill Would Hurt Wildlife and Cost America Jobs

June 6 – The U.S. House of Representatives today is expected to pass the 2013 energy and water appropriations bill (H.R. 5325).

Josh Saks, legislative director of the National Wildlife Federation, said today:

If this bill were to become law, it would be a major step backwards both for America’s economy and its wildlife. The House bill slashes conservation investments far below the already-deep cuts agreed to under the Budget Control Act, making drastic cuts to many clean energy, energy efficiency and vehicle technologies programs that are creating jobs and cutting our carbon pollution and oil dependence. Even worse, the bill includes a measure blocking the Environmental Protection Agency from taking steps to reduce pollution in drinking water supplies that millions of Americans depend on and to protect wetlands, lakes, rivers and streams vital to sustaining hunting and fishing opportunities.

Ohioans Support Continued Action on Great Lakes Funding, Asian Carp

June 6 – Ohioans of all political colors agree that the federal government should be protecting and spending money to restore Lake Erie and all the Great Lakes, according to a new poll released today by the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition. Majorities of Democrats, Republicans and Independents indicate support for continued funding of Great Lakes restoration, and for an expansive view of the Clean Water Act. Further, far more Ohioans support than oppose building a barrier in the Chicago canals to prevent an Asian carp invasion into the Great Lakes.

Read the poll and graphic of findings at www.healthylakes.org

County Commissioners Urge President Obama to Protect America’s Waters

June 4 – Over the last 18 months, scores of county leaders from across the country have repeatedly called upon the Obama Administration to restore longstanding Clean Water Act protections for America’s wetlands, lakes, and streams.  Today, the National Wildlife Federation and the Conservation Leaders Network released a list of 114 county leaders who have sent letters or passed resolutions urging the Administration to finalize its clean water guidance and proceed with a more lasting rulemaking.

In just the past few months, 45 County Commissioners from 17 different states have requested that President Obama move quickly to finalize the Administration’s clean water guidance and protect America’s wetlands and streams to ensure clean water, safe communities, and healthy habitats. Finalizing the clean water guidance is an important first step in clearly restoring protections for the nation’s small streams that feed the public drinking water supplies for 117 million Americans.

And here are highlights from NWF in the News:

For more, visit www.nwf.org/News