Weekly News Roundup – March 22, 2013

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:

NWF: Keystone XL Tar Sands Vote a Test of Climate Commitment

March 22-The U.S. Senate is set to vote today on what’s known as the Hoeven amendment, a non-binding amendment that expresses support for building the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline regardless of its impacts on wildlife, climate change, and clean water.

Larry Schweiger, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, said today:

“We’re coming off America’s hottest year on record as the cleanup from climate-fueled superstorm Sandy is still ongoing, and what’s the Senate hard at work on? Earning its low approval rating by capitulating to polluting special interests with a meaningless vote on the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.

Check out more on Keystone XL

Westerners Praise Salazar Plan to Protect Water from Costly Oil Shale Speculation

March 22-Westerners praised the Salazar oil shale plan released by the Interior Department today for its smart approach to protecting water and local communities from costly oil shale speculation.

“We commend Secretary Salazar for developing a commonsense plan that makes public land available for research but requires results and environmental safeguards before any commercial leasing can proceed,’’ said Michael Saul, attorney with the National Wildlife Federation. “This new plan aims to ensure that we won’t risk precious water, air quality, fish, wildlife and the regional economies that depend on those resources on a gamble that might never pay off.”

The plan requires that companies conduct successful research operations of oil shale and prove oil shale’s economic viability before the Bureau of Land Management will consider commercial development. Companies will also be required to put proper safeguards in place to protect water supplies, land, wildlife, air quality and local economies.

For more on Carbon Pollution, visit  Stopping Carbon Pollution

 

NM Sportsmen and Business Applaud Designation of Rio Grande del Norte National Monument

March 22-President Barack Obama’s announced designation of the Rio Grande del Norte as a national monument fulfills a longtime goal of New Mexicans who treasure the area for its diverse wildlife, iconic Western landscapes and importance to the economy, hunters and anglers.

“This designation would provide permanent protection for this incredible area that is long overdue,” said Max Trujillo of the New Mexico Wildlife Federation. “It will ensure that the outdoor traditions of northern New Mexico can continue on into the future, and protect the lands and rivers that so many people rely on for food, recreation and livelihood.”

The 236,000-acre area managed by the Bureau of Land Management in northern New Mexico includes the Rio Grande Gorge and 10,093-foot Ute Mountain. With broad local support, New Mexico’s U.S. senators and representatives have spent years leading efforts to protect these traditions only to be thwarted by congressional gridlock and partisan posturing.

Check out more on Protecting Public Lands.

Draft Water Bill “Business As Usual” In Unusual Times

March 20-The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee unanimously moved a draft of the Water Resources Development Act this morning.

Larry Schweiger, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, said in response:

“As America suffers from increasingly extreme weather, we can no longer afford a ‘business as usual’ approach to our water resources.

“The current draft of the Water Resources Development Act does not address the fundamental overreliance on costly, destructive and unsustainable projects and it rolls back key environmental protections in a misguided attempt to move outdated projects more quickly.

Check out more on protecting and restoring Clean Water.

Wildlife Groups Say Spill Underscores Need For Riparian Setbacks, Better Water Monitoring

March 19-The discovery of a spill near a natural gas plant and a creek that flows into the Colorado River “should be a wake-up call” for state regulators to finish what was started five years ago – establishing safe setbacks from waterways.

The Colorado Wildlife Federation and National Wildlife Federation noted that riparian buffers for oil and gas wells and infrastructure were one of the issues left on the table when the state overhauled its oil and gas rules in 2008.

“We’re all waiting for more details of the spill near Parachute and results from the investigation, but whatever the precise facts, this should be a wake-up call for the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission,” NWF attorney Michael Saul said Tuesday.

Check out more on protecting and restoring Clean Water.

PS 57 in Staten Island Awarded Eco-Schools USA Green Flag for Exceptional “Green” Achievement

March 19-PS 57 Hubert H. Humphrey School was recognized today with the Green Flag by National Wildlife Federation’s Eco-Schools USA program for exceptional achievement in conserving natural resources and integrating environmental education into the curriculum. PS 57 is the first school in New York City, and only the 10th in the country, to achieve “Green Flag” status.

Check out more on the Green Flag program and NWF’s Eco-Schools USA.

National Wildlife Federation Announces Conservation Achievement Award Winners at Annual Meeting

March 18-Six National Wildlife Federation volunteers were recognized for their outstanding contributions to the organization’s conservation efforts at NWF’s annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico on Saturday, March 16th, 2013.

Check out more on the Connie Awards.

And now here are highlights from NWF in the news:

For more visit www.nwf.org/news