Weekly News Roundup – August 2, 2013

Want to know what National Wildlife Federation was up to this week? Here is a recap of the week’s NWF news:

Sportsmen Back Stronger Federal Fracking Rules

August 1-A national sportsmen’s coalition that supports updating federal rules for hydraulic fracturing is calling on Congress to reject a bill that would prohibit the Interior Department from regulating the practice.

The coalition Sportsmen for Responsible Energy Development said Wednesday that H.R. 2728 would hamstring efforts to establish consistent, minimum standards to safeguard important resources on public lands.

The bill, being considered now by the House Natural Resources Committee, would bar Interior from regulating fracking on federal lands in states that have their own rules and guidance. The prohibition would apply even if the state rules weren’t as stringent as the federal regulations.

“The law requires that our public lands be managed for multiple uses. The American public supports conserving the fish and wildlife on those lands and protecting air and water quality,” said Brad Powell, senior policy director of the Sportsmen’s Conservation Project at Trout Unlimited. “Proposed updates to federal fracking rules are a good step forward in sensible regulation of a practice that has changed and expanded dramatically in the past few years. The House bill blocking federal regulation would be a huge step backward.”

NWF: Report underlines public lands’ value

July 29-A new Interior Department report further underlines the importance of our public lands to the U.S. economy and health of our fish, wildlife and waterways.

The activities of Interior, our nation’s largest landlord, contributed $371 billion to the U.S. economy and supported 2.3 million jobs in fiscal 2012, according to a report released Monday. Of that, $45 billion was generated by an estimated 417 million visits to national parks, wildlife refuges and other lands managed by Interior.

The report outlines the economic contributions from conservation, energy development, mining and other activities.

However, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell noted that many of the long-term benefits provided by public lands, including conservation of wetlands and wildlife habitat, can’t be easily quantified and, thus, aren’t included in the report’s bottom line.

A new report by the National Wildlife Federation titled “Valuing Our Western Public Lands: Safeguarding Our Economy and Way of Life,’’ highlights recent studies and surveys on the importance – economically, environmentally and socially – of conserving our public lands, the bulk of which are in the West.

  • Read NWF’s full report here.

And now here are highlights from NWF in the news:

For more visit www.nwf.org/news