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Affiliate of the Week: Wyoming Wildlife Federation
In honor of our 80th Anniversary celebration throughout 2016, the National Wildlife Federation is recognizing each of our Affiliate Partners in a special “Affiliate of the Week” blog series that showcases the dedicated conservation efforts taking place across the country each day. This week we celebrate our affiliate, the Wyoming Wildlife Federation, and their commitment to wildlife.
Who We Are
The Wyoming Wildlife Federation (WWF), founded in 1937, is the oldest and largest sportsmen advocacy and conservation organization in the state. Our mission is simple: to protect and enhance habitat, perpetuate quality hunting and fishing opportunities, and conserve and promote America’s public lands and recreational opportunities in Wyoming.
What We Do
WWF champions species conservation and brings communities together through a number of different outreach methods and channels, including:
- Collaborations and government relations, such as the efforts for the greater sage-grouse, which saw an important victory in 2015 with the decision not to list the iconic bird on the Endangered Species List.
- Community leadership and organizing efforts, which bring people together to provide constructive comments on resource management plans that impact wildlife. A particular focus for efforts like these in the public lands arena include securing county resolutions to stop large-scale public land transfers in Wyoming.
- Drafting policy recommendations with expertise and WWF member engagement for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, which manages Wyoming’s wildlife resources. Just recently, WWF was a leader in crafting definitions for big game migration habitats in Wyoming. Migration routes put deer and elk at the right place for forage at the right time of year, and these prime habitats are vital to healthy wildlife populations. Wintering grounds, calving areas, and other defining characteristics of migration habitats will now be universal for land use management decisions and when it comes such as impacts as oil and gas development and other activities.
- Serving as the voice for sportsmen and women, primarily by providing testimony to the Wyoming legislature. More than 75 years since the organization’s founding, the primary focus of WWF remains: to conserve wildlife, habitat and outdoor opportunities.
Making a National Impact
Wyoming is highly valued for its plentiful wildlife resources and wide open spaces. WWF is a leader in wildlife conservation and rallying sportsmen and women for the cause. Local decisions with wildlife in mind, coupled with on-the-ground conservation efforts, pay dividends to those who live in the state as well as to those who visit.
This week, WWF launched a major public lands campaign, “Wildlife Lands, Public Lands,” and its first assignment for 2016: the Wyoming Public Lands Initiative with initial grant funding from the National Wildlife Federation.
This statewide initiative looks to introduce a comprehensive legislative package for a bill to be introduced in Congress in 2018, and will commence this spring with Wilderness Study Areas, which will become the launching pad for public lands and land use recommendations in Wyoming counties with Wilderness Study Areas. WWF, along with its sportsmen and conservation partners, will be at the table advocating for wildlife and our outdoor heritage, and keeping our public lands in public hands.
What can WWF members do? Please write your local officials and attend these public meetings. WWF will provide meeting times/locations and the data they are gathering to support this collaborative process. Check the WWF website for more information and sign up for email notices by becoming a WWF member.
Wyoming is the poster child when it comes to the nation’s wildlife and wild places, and that’s why WWF encourages all wildlife enthusiasts — from Wyoming and across the nation – to sign up and become a member of WWF. This organization is dedicated to working on behalf of Wyoming’s wildlife and the hunters, anglers and wildlife enthusiasts who value our natural and outdoor heritage.
Connect with WWF
Let us know your thoughts and take this poll about keeping public lands in public hands: