What We’re Grateful for this Thanksgiving: You!
Across the country, National Wildlife Federation is working with our members, partners and affiliates to protect wildlife and their habitat. And everywhere we look, we see the impact you’ve had in helping us accomplish that mission. Here are a few highlights of our work throughout the country, made possible with the help of passionate people like you.
Giving Bighorn Sheep a Chance to Roam
Here are just a few wildlife victories that we’ve achieved regionally in the Western United States this past year that your support made possible. We eliminated conflict between domestic and wild bighorn sheep by “retiring” domestic sheep grazing privileges on 12,000 acres of Montana’s Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest. This $50,000 investment will prevent domestic sheep from spreading fatal disease to two herds of bighorn.NWF supporters convinced Montana’s Supreme Court to clear the way for the return of 34 wild bison to their historic habitat on the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation. This reversed a lower court ruling that blocked the transfer.
We also secured New Mexico’s Rio Grande Del Norte as a national monument. This rugged 242,000-acre landscape is now permanently protected habitat for cougars, black bears, mule deer and more.
In addition, we Educated over 15,000 Colorado students and families on environmental sustainability and the value of getting kids outdoors and eliminated the threat of dirty oil shale development and protected over a million acres of crucial mule deer, elk and sage-grouse habitat in the rugged, open lands where Colorado, Utah and Wyoming meet.
In 2014 we will work to further reduce wildlife conflicts on high-risk grazing allotments through our Adopt a Wildlife Acre program. We’re continuing to protect public lands against a constant barrage of harmful national legislation. And we’re partnering with tribes and other key constituencies to restore iconic bison to their native habitat on tribal lands and the expansive Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge.
Learn more about how you can help make a difference for wildlife in the Northeast.
Securing Victory for Herons, Crabs and Terrapins in Chesapeake Bay
Today we’re celebrating a victory for great blue heron, diamondback terrapin, blue crab and other Chesapeake Bay wildlife. A federal judge recently ruled in favor of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Chesapeake Bay clean-up plan.Thousands of wildlife supporters like you helped deliver the victory by speaking out to protect the fate of more than 3,600 animal and plant species that rely on the Bay.
The fight to protect the Chesapeake Bay for wildlife is a tough, uphill battle—as is the challenge of confronting the effects of climate change that puts wildlife at risk. Our success on both these fronts depends on the continued commitment of people like you, who care about the Chesapeake Bay and its wildlife.
In the year ahead, we will continue to fight for clean water and habitats that sustain critical wildlife. Already, our opponents have announced that they will appeal the Chesapeake clean-up decision.
We’ll also continue our work to certify Baltimore as the largest Community Wildlife Habitat® along the Chesapeake Bay. By greening city streets, backyards, schools and places of worship, we will help the city provide a haven for local wildlife and help people connect to nature.
Learn more about how you can help make a difference for wildlife in the Mid-Atlantic.
Restoring the Gulf of Mexico
For many years we’ve advocated for the restoration of our nation’s wetlands—from Louisiana’s deteriorating coastal wetlands to the bays of Texas, which are increasingly starved of fresh water.
But after the 2010 Gulf oil disaster, our work took on a renewed sense of urgency. Those feelings still motivate us today.Unfortunately, more than three years after the spill, dolphins are still dying in the Gulf. In fact, during the first four months of 2013, they were dying at a rate four times the historical average. Dolphins are suffering anemia, liver damage, lung disease and other debilitating symptoms that are all indicative of oil exposure.
The continued support of our dedicated members has allowed National Wildlife Federation to remain active on the frontlines as a fierce advocate for dolphins and other vulnerable wildlife across the entire Gulf coast and central states. Together, we secured passage of the historic RESTORE Act, which will send oil-spill penalties back to the Gulf to aid with restoration and recovery. In the year ahead, we’ll be working to ensure that the money BP owes for the environmental damage it caused is used for conservation.
Learn more about how you can help make a difference for wildlife in Texas, the South and along and in the Gulf.
Keeping the Wild Alive in California
Yosemite National Park is one of the most beautiful places on earth. So we remember with perfect clarity watching the eerie glow of flames engulfing tens of thousands of acres of Yosemite.
Wildfire isn’t always a bad thing. But across the American West there’s growing evidence that these intense fires are permanently changing landscapes that are already being altered by climate change. And while some species can handle that level of drought and heat, others—like desert bighorn sheep, pronghorn and sage grouse—are being pushed beyond their ability to cope.Here in California, we’re doing everything we can to help wildlife adjust not only to climate change, but to the impact that regular urban sprawl has on viable habitat.
In Los Angeles, we’re partnering with researchers to track a mountain lion that lives in the middle of the city, marveling over how a cougar could survive in Hollywood. Your support helped us launch our new Wildlife and the City campaign, through which we’re working to connect urban green spaces and provide safe corridors in which wildlife can live, travel and breed.
Learn more about how you can help make a difference for wildlife in California.
Protecting Alaskan Salmon from Pebble Mine
Recently, after years of hard work, we saw a major victory in the fight to stop a massive mine proposed for Bristol Bay, Alaska. Bristol Bay is home to the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery as well as strong runs of chum salmon, silver salmon and king salmon.
Anglo American, one of the two companies that make up the partnership seeking to build Alaska’s Pebble mine, dropped out of the project in the face of growing public concern over the mine’s effect on wild salmon and other wildlife that depend on them.Thanks to thousands of wildlife supporters like you, we’re one monumental step closer to stopping this ill-advised mine that would be devastating for our wildlife.
Next year we hope to stop Pebble Mine once and for all—and protect other at-risk marine and terrestrial habitats in Alaska, Hawaii and the Pacific Northwest. Critically-endangered orcas in Puget Sound and Hawaiian monk seals, one of America’s most endangered marine mammals, are just two of the beloved species we’re working hard to protect for future generations to know and enjoy.
Learn more about how you can make a difference for wildlife throughout the Pacific region.
Safeguarding Moose in a Warming World
It isn’t often that a moose wanders into a press conference. But when it does, it is something you never forget. Imagine our surprise when, during public press conference held at a critical wildlife crossing, a beautiful bull moose walked by!
As amusing as this incident was, it also reminded us about a serious threat facing these gentle giants today. In just the past five years, moose numbers in New Hampshire have plummeted by an alarming 40 percent due to the impacts of climate change.Too-hot summers in New Hampshire have stressed moose, causing females to eat less and leaving them too thin to reproduce. Milder winters have also led to spikes in winter tick numbers, which leave moose weakened from blood loss and dotted with hairless patches where they have attempted to rid the pests from their coats.
Climate change is having a significant impact on wildlife and their habitat across the Northeast. To meet this unprecedented challenge, National Wildlife Federation’s Northeast Regional Center is working with state wildlife staff across the region to identify which habitats and species are the most at-risk.
Through the help of wildlife supporters like you, we’ve been able to become a national leader in developing strategies to protect wildlife from heat waves, storm surge, extreme weather and other effects of climate change.
Learn more about how you can help make a difference for wildlife in the Mid-Atlantic.
Fighting the Mackinac Pipeline Beneath the Great Lakes
In recent years, National Wildlife Federation has helped secure record-breaking federal funding to help restore the Great Lakes.
As a result, critical efforts to clean up toxic pollution, combat invasive species like Asian carp, and restore fish and wildlife habitat are already paying off. Fish and wildlife are returning to places they have not been decades.This victory was achieved in large part due to the unwavering support of dedicated NWF supporters like you.
While we’re already seeing progress, there’s still much work left to be done. One of the most urgent new threats to the Great Lakes lies in an aging pipeline that runs under the Straits of Mackinac, where Lake Michigan and Lake Huron meet. It pumps crude oil and natural gas fluids through waters that great blue herons, piping plovers and river otters rely on.
Our success fighting this disastrous pipeline depends on the continued support of people like you.
Learn more about how you can help make a difference for wildlife around the Great Lakes.
Looking forward to 2014
As grateful as we are for all your help this year, we need your continued support to keep up our fight for wildlife in 2014.