Weekly News Roundup- May 23, 2013


Bill to Force Keystone Approval a Giveaway to Oil Companies

Tar Sands development in Alberta, Canada

May 22– The U.S. House is set to vote this week on a bill by Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE) to shut down the review process and public comment, override protections for clean air and water, and force approval of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. Despite more than 1 million comments from Americans asking the State Department to say no to Keystone XL, the bill is expected to pass by a wide margin.

“It’s the wrong approach to put a foreign energy company ahead of more than 1 million Americans who have expressed concern for our nation’s wildlife, energy security and public health,” said Larry Schweiger, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “This bill is nothing more than an effort to run roughshod over protections for landowners, wildlife and drinking water supplies so that TransCanada can get oil to Gulf coast refineries for export to China and other countries.”

Read more about the Keystone XL pipeline here.


National Sportsman’s Group Urges Gulf Restoration Council to Prioritize Ecosystem Projects

May 22– Today, more than 350 hunting and fishing businesses and organizations sent a letter to the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council, asking that the Council prioritize restoration of the Gulf ecosystem in order to also achieve economic restoration in the region.

The Restoration Council is a multi-state, multi-agency group that has been tasked with developing a comprehensive ecosystem restoration plan for the Gulf. The Council is currently developing the plan, with a draft due for public comment this spring.

Vanishing Paradise drafted the letter, which illustrated that hunting and fishing are major economic drivers in the Gulf and are supported by habitat restoration and wildlife conservation. In 2011, in the five Gulf states alone, nearly 8.5 million hunters and anglers spent $15.7 billion on their outdoor pursuits. This spending supports more than 255,000 jobs and generates $3.3 billion in federal, state and local taxes.

Read the letter here.


National Wildlife Federation names Maureen P. Smith Head of Marketing and Communications

May 21- The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) has hired longtime entertainment industry executive and former conservation organization president, Maureen P. Smith, as its new Vice President of Marketing and Communications. In this role, Smith will be part of NWF’s executive leadership team and play a key role in a wide variety of areas throughout the organization and its programs, including: the global marketing and branding of NWF and its cherished mascot, Ranger Rick; internal and external communications; children’s publishing; digital products and online integration; consumer insight; and video and multi-media productions.

Maurine Smith

As the former top executive at Animal Planet, Fox Kids Network and Fox Family Channel, as well as at the non-profit Jane Goodall Institute, Smith brings to NWF years of experience in all aspects of communication and engagement; fundraising; developing and managing new revenue streams; and bringing the wonders and needs of the natural world to life – across a variety of media platforms and other consumer touchpoints.

“Bringing Maureen aboard is not only strategic, it is truly symbolic of NWF’s commitment to remaining the leading wildlife conservation-focused organization in America and to maximizing the impact of our voice and the voice of our members and affiliates – especially during these critical times for our environment,” said Jaime Matyas, NWF’s Chief Operating Officer.



National Wildlife Federation and National Aquarium Announce Plan to Certify Baltimore as the Largest Community Wildlife Habitat Along the Chesapeake Bay

May 20– For years, Baltimore has been known as “Birdland” and now, thanks to the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) and the National Aquarium, it’s official. Today, First Lady of Maryland Katie O’Malley joined leaders from NWF, National Aquarium and city officials to launch a program aimed at greening city streets, backyards, schools and places of worship.

“We believe that your backyard can be a place for exploring and unleashing children’s curiosity,” said Hilary Harp Falk, Regional Executive Director for National Wildlife Federation. “Baltimore has always been a city for the birds, and we intend to work with partners in the City to create beautiful places which will offer opportunities to learn about and connect with the outdoors.”

By greening the city for birds, butterflies and other wildlife, residents of Baltimore will also help to improve both air and water quality for humans. The more native plantings that are used to attract wildlife, the greater potential the city has of reaching its Healthy Harbor goals and helping to clean the Chesapeake Bay.


And now here are highlights from NWF in the news:

For more visit www.nwf.org/news