Affiliate of the Week: Minnesota Conservation Federation
In honor of our 80th Anniversary celebration throughout 2016, the National Wildlife Federation is recognizing each of our Affiliate Partners in a special “Affiliate of the Week” blog series that showcases the dedicated conservation efforts taking place across the country each day. This week we celebrate our affiliate, Minnesota Conservation Federation, and their commitment to wildlife.
Who We Are
Established in 1936, the Minnesota Conservation Federation (MCF) is made up of hunters, anglers, and others who are dedicated to the enjoyment, education, and ethical use of our natural resources. The MCF has close to 40 sportsmen’s clubs as members who have pledged to save and faithfully defend from waste the natural resources of our country: its air, soils and minerals, its forests, waters and wildlife.
What We Do
Founded as the Minnesota affiliate of the National Wildlife Federation, MCF offers a mutually beneficial partnership to develop national and global conservation policies. They help all members to have a proactive effect on sound conservation policy.
This month, MCF is starting the Minnesota Conservation Leadership Corps (MNCLC). The first class of young conservation leaders of the future will come together for training sessions to develop leadership skills, and learn how leadership relates to the conservation field. Modeled after the Wisconsin Conservation Leadership Corps, the program will use similar resources to help cultivate new environmental stewards.
In addition to training future conservation leaders, MCF also works to ensure communities and wildlife have protected, wild lands to thrive on in the future. MCF is focused on protecting the state’s public lands, including the “crown jewel of Up North,” the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW), a key priority for the Federation. The BWCAW is a 1.1 million acre wilderness area compromised of more than 1,200 miles of streams, thousands of lakes, and an abundance of sandy beaches and wetlands surrounded by a rich forest.
Making a National Impact
Both the Minnesota Conservation Fund and the National Wildlife Federation are members of the Sportsmen for the Boundary Waters coalition. Sportsmen for the Boundary Waters was formed by a group of sportsmen and women who are concerned about protecting the rich habitat of the area where wildlife thrive and where they hunt, fish and camp. The coalition aims to protect the clean water, clean air and forest landscape of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) and its wilderness edge from toxic pollution caused by mining copper, nickel and other metals from sulfide-bearing ore.
As one of the last wild and unspoiled places in the contiguous United States, many wildlife species, such as moose, elk, white-tailed deer, owls, waterfowl, and more rely on this healthy water habitat.
Of all wilderness areas in the National Wilderness Preservation System, the Boundary Waters is the most visited, drawing in 250,000 visitors annually. As part of the greatest canoe country wilderness in the world, the Boundary Waters provides unparalleled opportunities for wilderness experiences. The economic health of local communities in northeastern Minnesota, including the livelihood of the 18,000 people who work in the region’s thriving outdoor recreation and tourism industry, depends on the clean water, healthy fisheries and intact ecosystem of the Boundary Waters and Voyageurs National Park.
MCF and NWF are calling for the protection of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness’ watershed from toxic sulfide mining. A sulfide-ore copper mine is currently proposed within the BWCAW watershed, potentially exposing the nation’s most visited wilderness area to toxic mining pollution (acidic waters, heavy metal contaminants and sulfates), forever damaging this pristine wilderness. Take action today and sign the Sportsmen for the Boundary Water’s petition now to show your support for protecting this important habitat.
Connect with MCF
Connect with the Minnesota Conservation Federation to keep up with their latest conservation efforts by visiting their website or connecting with them on Facebook.