We Believe

This Week in NWF History

Since 1936, the National Wildlife Federation has worked to conserve the nation’s wildlife and wild places. As part of our 80th anniversary celebration, we are recognizing important moments in our history that continue to make an impact today. 

The National Wildlife Federation was created during a historic gathering of sportsmen and conservationists at the first North American Wildlife and Natural Resources conference in February 1936. The momentum from this first conference in Washington, D.C. inspired its participants from across the nation to return home and organize federations in their home states.

This strong network of conservation organizations, independent and affiliated with one another in a true federation, became the backbone of the National Wildlife Federation. Today, they come together each year at NWF’s Annual Meeting to provide governance for the organization, as well as the vision and grassroots needed to achieve our joint conservation goals.

annual meeting

Photos from NWF Annual Meeting by Kaila Drayton.

On this day at NWF’s 2015 Annual Meeting in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, NWF President and CEO Collin O’Mara unveiled a powerful statement to the group, titled We Believe.

This statement is a set of principles—passed unanimously by NWF affiliates—that outline our commitment to science-based conservation, our willingness to transcend political boundaries for the sake of stewardship, and our obligation to ensure that future generations enjoy healthy air, water, lands, and wildlife. This statement harkens back to the Federation’s foundation and is embodied by the organization and our affiliates today.

“This is the first time in 50 years that we’re stating the principles that unite us as a federation. We’re waking up the giant.” – Collin O’Mara, 2015 Annual Meeting

This year, we look to build upon our conservation history as the National Wildlife Federation celebrates 80 years of protecting wildlife for our children’s future. The 2016 Annual Meeting takes place June 16-18 in Estes Park, Colorado.

Do you believe that we can come together across political boundaries to make a better future for wildlife and our future generations?

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