Weekly News Roundup: It Is Wilderness Week and More!

This week marks Wilderness Week! Scheduled shortly after the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act, the week encourages nature lovers to head outdoors and enjoy America’s wilderness! With over 750 designated wilderness areas, we are excited to continue the fight for 750 more!

Edna Lake in Sawtooth Wilderness, Idaho
Edna Lake in Sawtooth Wilderness, Idaho. Photo by National Wildlife Photo Contest entrant Mark Hayward.
In other news, are you heading to New York this weekend? The People’s Climate March, an event aimed to bring awareness and action to combat climate change, will be taking place on Sunday, September 21. Join the National Wildlife Federation and climate activists across the country as we march for wildlife!

Help us as we continue to protect iconic landscapes for wildlife! Send a message urging your members of Congress to provide permanent protection to Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.


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

Wildlife Advocates Rally for “Cougar Crossing”National Park Service

September 19 – Today, National Wildlife Federation President and CEO Collin O’Mara joined a large number of elected officials, conservationists, scientists, and students to demonstrate the widespread public support for the construction of a wildlife passage over the 101 Freeway near the Liberty Canyon area. While cougars, also called mountain lions, are secretive and rarely seen by the public, at least two have been killed recently by vehicles while trying to cross Los Angeles freeways.

“Mountain lions living in the Santa Monicas need our help,” O’Mara said. “Together, we can reconnect the critical habitat of these majestic, elusive cats, which has been fragmented by freeways and urban development. The broad support at today’s event demonstrates that there is the public will to transform the vision of a wildlife crossing over the 101 into a reality.”

Sportsmen: House should reject bad energy bills

ElkSeptember 18 – A national sportsmen’s coalition expressed frustration Thursday that the U.S. House is recycling harmful legislation that would gut oil and gas leasing reforms on public lands and constrain public input into managing valuable fish and wildlife habitat.

Sportsmen for Responsible Energy Development sent a letter to House members urging them to reject H.R. 2, a rehash of bad bills that would undermine measures aimed at balancing energy development and conservation of public lands.

Proposed Revisions to LCRA Water Management Plan

Lower Colorado River AuthoritySeptember 17 – On Wednesday, the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) is expected to vote on proposed amendments to the Water Management Plan (WMP) that will govern how water in Lakes Travis and Buchanan is managed. Among other things, the WMP determines, in large part, how much water will flow in the lower Colorado River and into Matagorda Bay during dry periods. The following is a joint statement on the proposed plan by Myron Hess, Water Programs Manager/Counsel for National Wildlife Federation’s South Central Regional Center, and Jennifer Walker, Water Resources Coordinator for the Sierra Club Lone Star Chapter.

National Wildlife Federation Invites College Students to Compete to Reduce

Germanna CC buildingSeptember 17 – National Wildlife Federation (NWF) in partnership with the Center for Green Schools at the US Green Building Council, Lucid, and the Alliance to Save Energy are pleased to announce this year’s fifth annual Campus Conservation Nationals (CCN) competition opening now through November 7, 2014.

By inspiring thousands of students across the U.S. to take action to reduce energy and water use on campus, Campus Conservation Nationals, supports the National Wildlife Federation’s mission to foster the next generation of student leaders for wildlife and the environment,” said Kristy Jones, senior manager of the Campus Ecology Program at National Wildlife Federation.

National Wildlife Federation Releases New Guidelines to Bring Nature Play to Every Community

Kids playing on jungle gymSeptember 17 – National Wildlife Federation is pleased to announce the release of Nature Play & Learning Places: Creating and Managing Places Where Children Engage with Nature. The guidelines, funded by the U.S. Forest Service and in partnership with the Natural Learning Initiative, are for those who create, manage or promote, the development of nature in everyday environments of children, youth and families, especially in urban and suburban communities.


NWF in the News:

The New York Times: For Trees Under Threat, Flight May Be Best Response

“What we were doing wasn’t going to protect them in the long term,” said Bruce Stein, director of the National Wildlife Federation’s climate adaptation program.

Michigan NPR: Enbridge plans to bring more tar sands oil into Great Lakes region

“Basically, they’re doing a little end run around the border to try to get past a permitting limit,” says Jim Murphy, senior counsel for the National Wildlife Federation.

Oregon Outdoors: Benton earns habitat distinction

“Through the efforts of many individuals and local organizations, the county has become the first National Wildlife Federation-certified Community Wildlife Habitat in Oregon.”

Los Angeles Times: Groups call for wildlife crossing

“We’re trying to inspire people to fund conservation projects,” said Collin O’Mara, the National Wildlife Federation’s president and chief executive. Federal funding will probably be needed to build the crossing, he said, “and we want to show there’s strong public and political support.”

InsideClimate News: State Dep’t Draws Fire for Allowing Tar Sands Pipeline Detour

From Enbridge’s perspective, “the challenge is not an engineering challenge, it’s a permit challenge”—one that it has decided to solve through “legal gymnastics,” said Jim Murphy, senior counsel for the National Wildlife Federation.

The Hutto News: Wildlife event coming to Hutto

“The National Wildlife Federation has a Certified Wildlife Habitat program. The Habitat: Hutto event is a first step to interest families and businesses in Hutto to participate in this habitat program. If enough Hutto entities participate, Hutto could become the third community in Texas to achieve this recognition.”