Our Work for Wildlife Depends on a Healthy Democracy

As stated in our mission “to unite all Americans to ensure wildlife thrive in a rapidly changing world,” the National Wildlife Federation understands that our ability to bring people together to advocate for wildlife depends on a healthy and functioning representative democracy.

Our members write letters, make calls, visit with congressional staff, and even tweet at their members of Congress in order to communicate policy priorities from climate change and safe drinking water to wildlife crossings and environmental justice data tools. These types of access and outreach are pivotal to achieving our mission and stem from our very founding as a voice for wildlife in the halls of Congress.

Those halls were violently attacked, and we cannot remain silent.

That’s why we urged Congress to hold accountable the former president and all those who abetted the violent and seditious attempted to disenfranchise millions of Americans through a violent insurrection and months-long campaign fueled by lies, racism, white supremacy, and anti-Semitism.

Unfortunately, 43 Senators voted to acquit the former President following a compelling and condemning trial. To these members, especially those like Sen. Josh Hawley (MO) and Sen. Ted Cruz (TX) who perpetuated dangerous lies in an attempt to call our free and fair elections into question, and the many more Members who lent legitimacy to these false claims by objecting to the election results: put simply, these actions were a dereliction of duty.

Although this was a deeply disappointing outcome, the majority of the Senate voted to hold the former President accountable in a historic bipartisan vote, including several courageous members who put aside party politics to stand up for the foundations of our democratic principles and work to safeguard our nation with their vote for conviction. We are grateful to those Senators and applaud their integrity.

The work to secure our democracy for all Americans today and for future generations did not end with the close of the impeachment trial. Following the attack on the Capitol, we have seen Congressional votes against certification of the election results, the acquittal of former President Trump, continued attacks on our right to vote and the counting of votes, and efforts to disenfranchise millions of voters—especially Black, Latinx, Asian, and Indigenous voters. It is clear that we need to do more to protect our democratic institutions.

As Congress considers additional recourse, including investigations regarding allegations that Members of Congress aided and abetted the insurrectionists, the National Wildlife Federation will continue defending our democracy and advocating for greater social and racial justice. We will work to make sure every American has the right to vote, and have that vote counted.

We join our colleagues in the conservation and environmental justice community in urging all members to vote for H.R. 1, to protect voter rights, overhaul the role of money in politics, and strengthen our democracy so that we can make climate progress, protect wildlife and advance justice for all.

We must have functioning and secure democratic institutions and work harder to address social and racial injustices in order to advance our mission for people and wildlife.