Weekly News Roundup: Migratory Birds at Risk and more

Canadian tar sand developments are impacting North American migratory birds, according to a report released Wednesday by National Wildlife Federation and our state affiliates. As the report details, these harmful mining and drilling practices are taking place in the heart of habitat for hundreds of species, turning bird breeding ground into a wasteland. To protect wildlife, we need to take a step forward with clean, wildlife-friendly energy, and reject pipeline projects like Keystone XL!

common loon, tar sands, alberta
A common loon in breeding plumage, photo by Gary Lackie.
In lighter news, did you know this Sunday marks Nature Photography Day? For those of you who love the beauty of the outdoors and wildlife, step outside on this lovely Sunday and celebrate Nature Photography Day! After you’ve taken some great nature pictures, submit them to this year’s National Wildlife Photo Contest for your chance to win!

Don’t forget this month marks the Great American Backyard Campout! If you haven’t already taken the pledge, there’s still time to join campers across the nation on June 28!


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

Report: Interior Must Address Bird Deaths Caused by Canada’s Tar Sands

Matthew PaulsonJune 11 – Destructive mining and drilling practices in the heart of Canada’s forest bird nurseries have already killed thousands of birds and are putting millions more at risk, including the critically endangered whooping crane, America’s tallest bird. That’s according to an issue brief released today by the National Wildlife Federation and state affiliates Prairie Rivers Network (Illinois), Natural Resources Council of Maine, New Hampshire Audubon and Vermont Natural Resources Council.

Flint Hill Elementary School Awarded Eco-Schools USA Green Flag for Exceptional ‘Green’ Achievement

Kids playing on jungle gymJune 12 – Flint Hill Elementary School was recognized with the Green Flag by National Wildlife Federation’s Eco-Schools USA program for conserving natural resources and integrating environmental education into the curriculum. Flint Hill Elementary is the 27th school in the country, to achieve “Green Flag” status.

“We at National Wildlife Federation and Eco-Schools USA are proud of the example set by Flint Hill Elementary for Fairfax County, Virginia, other schools, and the country at large,” said Laura Hickey, senior director of Eco-Schools USA. “This award demonstrates not only a commitment to sustainability and environmental literacy for students and faculty, but an appreciation that the best, most effective education transcends the classroom and offers a hands-on approach to learning.”

Ranger Rick and Ranger Rick Jr. Magazines Awarded Prestigious Accolades at the Association of Education Publishers’ Revere Awards

RangerRick_UboolyJune 10 – The Association of Education Publishers (AEP) awarded National Wildlife Federation’s Ranger Rick and Ranger Rick Jr. publications with several awards at the annual Revere Awards on June 4, 2014 in Washington, D.C.

Since 1895, the Association of Education Publishers has encouraged and advocated for professional, quality content for teaching and learning.  Each year, they scour the nation for the most outstanding educational publications, websites, and materials (paper, online, and curricula) of the year.

NWF welcomes governors’ support of efforts to conserve sage-grouse

Male sage grouseJune 12 – During its annual meeting Wednesday, the Western Governors’ Association passed a resolution supporting “all reasonable management efforts” to conserve greater sage-grouse, which the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has said is in danger of going extinct. The agency will decide by 2015 whether to add the bird to the Endangered Species List.


NWF in the News:

New York Times: Report Finds Higher Risks if Oil Line Is Not Built

“But Jim Murphy, senior counsel at the National Wildlife Federation, linked the findings to the wider issue of whether the oil sands should be developed at all.”

The Advocate: The Wild Side: RESTORE work enters next phase

NWF release told the world, “As the Council moves from planning to implementation, it should work with Louisiana to achieve the vision set forth in its Coastal Master Plan. A vibrant Gulf of Mexico starts with a strong Mississippi River Delta.”

News & Observer: Another benefit of new EPA rules: the NC wildlife they’ll save

The N.C. Wildlife Federation and National Wildlife Federation recently hosted a “Wildlife Habitat and Networking Roundtable” in Huntersville. The speakers pointed out that North Carolina wildlife, from freshwater fish like trout to migratory birds to coastal animals like sea turtles, are all under threat from climate change.

Ecowatch: New Report Analyzes Tar Sands Threat to America’s Migratory Birds

“Unchecked tar sands development is turning a vast, irreplaceable breeding ground into a toxic wasteland,” said National Wildlife Federation Senior Counsel Jim Murphy. “Many of the birds Americans watch, enjoy and hunt fly to and rely on this area.  The Canadian Government has vowed to protect these birds, but it is turning a blind eye.”

The Advocate: Climate change a threat to New Orleans region, officials warn

“We all know things we can personally do. But the biggest change will come from policy changes,” said David Muth, with the National Wildlife Federation’s Mississippi River Delta Restoration Program.