Weekly News Roundup: Great American Backyard Campout Quickly Approaching and more

With June only a couple of days away, that leaves our Great American Backyard Campout only a couple of weeks away! This year, we are aiming for 200,000 people to join our Campout! Have you pledged to campout this year? If you haven’t, take the time to pledge today!

In other news, NWF celebrated World Turtle Day with our Facebook community by sharing photos of turtles and the company they keep. Photos were chosen from past entrants to our National Wildlife Photo Contest, which is now open!

Loggerhead sea turtles will benefit from clean energy. Photo donated by National Wildlife Photo Contest entrant Cindy Messinger.
Loggerhead sea turtles will benefit from clean energy. Photo donated by National Wildlife Photo Contest entrant Cindy Messinger.

Also, there’s still time to join us and make the most of Garden for Wildlife Month!

What’s happening at the National Wildlife Federation this week?

House Leaders Target Wildlife with Steep Cuts

ElkMay 29 – “This bill is a blatant attempt to rollback many of the hard-won gains for wildlife in the Farm Bill, supported by 251 members of the House and signed into law just three months ago,” said Aviva Glaser, Senior Specialist for Agriculture Policy at the National Wildlife Federation. “Instead of building off the success of the Farm Bill, this funding measure takes us two steps back. Programs to conserve wildlife and boost our rural economies cannot achieve success unless given the full funding promised in the recently passed Farm Bill.”

Coalition: New Farm Bill Program Will Help Great Lakes

Bear CreekMay 28 – The Great Lakes are one of eight priority regions across the country that will receive funding as part of a new $2.4 billion, 5-year program in the recently passed Farm Bill. The Regional Conservation Partnership Program, as it is known, targets conservation funding on agricultural land to areas of greatest need. The new program will also fund state and national conservation projects to improve soil quality, water quality, and wildlife habitat through a competitive, merit-based process.

In the Great Lakes region, federal conservation efforts will focus on reducing harmful algal blooms that are caused when manure and excessive fertilizer flow off of farm fields and into rivers, streams and the Great Lakes. Toxic to people, pets, and wildlife, algal blooms can close beaches, kill fish, harm drinking water supplies, and hurt local businesses.

U.S. to Host IUCN World Conservation Congress in 2016

Hawaiian Monk SealMay 22 – The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) today announced that it has selected the United States to host the 2016 World Conservation Congress (WCC). After a lengthy selection process, the IUCN has chosen Hawai’i as the site of the next WCC, making 2016 the first time a U.S. location will host the conference since the IUCN’s founding in 1948.

“This is truly an historic moment for the U.S., for Hawai’i and for conservation globally,” said Les Welsh, National Wildlife Federation’s Associate Director for the Pacific. “It also represents a huge opportunity to bring the world’s attention to Hawai’i’s rapidly disappearing native flora and fauna, and to the many important climate and conservation issues we face throughout the Pacific.”

Outdoors Alliance for Kids (OAK) Supports Healthy Kids Outdoors Act to Reconnect Kids with Nature

Family HikingMay 21 – Today, Congressman Ron Kind (D-WI) and Senator Mark Udall (D-CO) introduced legislation aimed at connecting children, youth and families with the outdoors. Supported by the Outdoors Alliance for Kids (OAK), the Healthy Kids Outdoors Act would support state, local and federal strategies to reconnect Americans with nature, improve children’s health, and support future economic growth and conservation efforts.

“Our nation’s kids are out of shape, tuned out and stressed out, because they’re missing something essential to their health and development – a connection to the natural world,” said Kevin Coyle, vice president for education and training for National Wildlife Federation. “We applaud Congressman Kind and Senator Mark Udall for introducing legislation to reverse this trend by getting kids and families outside on a regular basis.”


NWF in the News:

Fox News: Wounded wildlife pose dilemmas for intervention

“It depends on the circumstances in each case, and often it depends on how man has affected the situation,” said Doug Inkley, a senior scientist with the National Wildlife Federation.”

NBC News: Michigan lawmakers step up fight against nuke dump

“Andy Buchsbaum, director of the National Wildlife Federation’s Great Lakes office, endorsed Pavlov’s measures and said burying nuclear waste so close to Lake Huron was “a shockingly bad idea.”

Natural Life Magazine: Plant a Pollinator Garden for Biodiversity, and Attract Butterflies, Bees, and Hummingbirds

“If you’re committed to maintaining a habitat for pollinators and other wildlife, you can apply for wildlife habitat certification (and the associated bragging rights) through the National Wildlife Federation. Even planting a small area of pollinator-friendly plants may provide critical refueling for some migrating butterfly or bird, or a hard-working bee, so plant and then sit back and enjoy.”

Daily Journal: Environmental groups sue Army Corps, questioning efforts to manage Mississippi River

“We don’t want to stop navigation by any means whatsoever. We are trying to keep the public safe,” said Melissa Samet, senior water resources counsel for the National Wildlife Federation, a plaintiff along with the Prairie Rivers Network, Missouri Coalition for the Environment, River Alliance of Wisconsin, Great Rivers Habitat Alliance and the Minnesota Conservation Federation.”

Bloomberg BNA: House Votes to Approve Compromise Advancing Water Infrastructure Legislation

Adam Kolton, with the National Wildlife Federation, said the bill didn’t do enough to “sort out the beneficial projects from the boondoggles.” He said it also “hurts taxpayers again by increasing subsidies for the already heavily-subsidized navigation industry.”