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Affiliate of the Week: PennFuture
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, Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future, and their commitment to wildlife.
Who We Are
Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future, known as PennFuture, was created in 1998 as a statewide environmental advocacy organization. PennFuture works to protect public health, restore and protect natural resources, and move Pennsylvania toward a clean energy future.
What We Do
The PennFuture team litigates cases before regulatory bodies and in local, state, and federal courts; advances legislative action on a state and federal level; provides public education; and assists citizens in public advocacy. They work to conserve Pennsylvania’s rich wildlife heritage from wild trout, to a diversity of bat species and iconic species such as white tailed deer and elk.
PennFuture’s staff works on a range of issues. One such issue is their effort to clean up the Susquehanna River and restore its famous bass fishery. Bass populations have been decimated by chemical, sediment and nutrient pollution, so PennFuture is working with anglers to convince regulatory agencies to require pollution reductions from sewage plants, factories and farms. Water quality improvements to local streams in the Susquehanna River accrue tremendous benefits to the health of the Chesapeake Bay, helping the wildlife and communities that live throughout the region.
PennFuture’s effective legal team has provided more than $2 million in legal services to families and communities around the state, including those in Pennsylvania’s gas patch. Successes in this arena have allowed PennFuture to make sure local governments have the power to regulate siting of gas wells to protect schools and homes, require drillers to meet the strictest air quality standards, and ensure that gas drillers follow the laws and regulations to the letter. They have won cases that will stop raw sewage from polluting a trout stream, ensure coal companies restore mining-ravaged land, force developers to control polluted runoff, and more.
PennFuture’s outreach team works in communities around the state to help members and supporters become effective advocates for their local environment and for the larger effort to keep the air and water clean and safe and fight climate change. PennFuture outreach staff help community members testify before regulatory bodies, hold educational events, and connect with their local elected officials.
Making a National Impact
Pennsylvania is the third largest emitter of carbon pollution in the nation. To combat this, PennFuture’s Energy Center provides expert analysis and advocates for policies that advance wind and solar energy and robust energy efficiency programs. PennFuture’s work at the state level to substantially reduce the use of coal for electricity generation, limit the construction of new gas-fired power plants, and promote the quick transition to clean energy is vital to the national effort to limit the warming of our climate.
Pennsylvania is truly the “Keystone State.” The fight for a safe climate must be won to maintain viable habitat for species such as scarlet tanager that utilize the state’s vast swaths of forest, and the full array of other migratory songbirds and raptors that utilize its portion of the Atlantic Flyway. PennFuture is at the forefront of that fight.
Join the ACE Program to become a citizen advocate. PennFuture’s “Advocates for Conservation and the Environment” (ACE) program organizes teams of volunteers to educate their state and federal legislators about conservation and environmental issues. ACE volunteers provide policy makers with an opportunity to learn from concerned citizens who live in their respective districts about environmental and public health issues.