Defending Democracy for Wildlife and Our Communities

NWF Launches New Civic Engagement Website Highlighting the Connection Between Conservation and Democracy

“We the People”—just three words, yet they carry an undeniable strength and intention. This powerful phrase and the directives that followed in the United States Constitution have inspired and guided Americans for generations, fostering a unique spirit of self determination free from oppressive rulers. 

At the heart of our American democracy is a desire for individuals to influence their governance and determine who speaks for them on a variety of issues. However, history and recent events have shown that there are always those who wish to suppress the voices of average citizens or exclude certain groups of individuals from having a seat at the proverbial table. Today, we find ourselves at another critical juncture in American history where our democratic values and processes are under threat—endangering our ability to protect wildlife and communities.

Conservationists, environmentalists and all citizens need to stand together to defend our right to speak up on issues that matter to us. Our voices matter. 

A bald eagle (white head with black feathers on its body) flies over water.
Alaskan bald eagle. Credit: Lori Rothstein

American Conservation Requires a Healthy Democracy

Modern conservation in the United States is deeply intertwined with democracy and civic participation. The National Wildlife Federation, founded in the 1930s, emerged as a unifying force for people from all walks of life, advocating for the protection of wildlife and wild places. 

Reflect on the awe you feel when witnessing an eagle soar majestically overhead or the deep sense of tranquility that envelops you in a forest of ancient trees. These profound experiences, central to our connection with nature, are incredibly precious, yet they are increasingly under threat. Wildlife need our voices now more than ever, whether it’s by calling or emailing decision-makers, commenting on agency rules, raising your voice at rallies or, of course, voting.

In recent years, new threats to our democratic institutions have rolled back decades of progress toward a more representative democracy, posing significant risks to our government’s very foundation. Limiting voting access, spreading misinformation, and silencing the right to peacefully protest, are just a few of the insidious attacks that could undermine our ability to protect wildlife and our communities.

Uniting for a Sustainable Future: Take Action to Protect Democracy and Wildlife

To ensure the continued success of conservation and environmental policies, we must intensify our efforts to protect democracy and guarantee everyone the opportunity to participate.

In response, the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) is excited to announce the launch of our new Civic Engagement and Democracy website. This platform is a testament to our long history of promoting civic participation and serves as an online hub to showcase this critical work. 

The website offers valuable resources on voting and taking action with NWF to increase access to the ballot. It provides tools to understand how to contact your representatives, how to effectively communicate your concerns, and how to organize your community around issues that matter to you. This is not just about saving wildlife; it’s about ensuring that every voice is heard, and every individual has the power to effect change. 

We invite you to join us in safeguarding democracy and defending our right to advocate for wildlife, wild places, and our communities. Our children and grandchildren deserve to marvel at the same natural wonders we have, with clean rivers and abundant forests as the norm, not the exception. This future is within our reach, but it requires all of us to take action.

If “We the People” are to endure, then we must all participate in civic life and protect our right to speak up for wildlife and our environment and have our voices heard. Your voice matters. Your vote matters. Together, we can make a difference.

Learn more and take action at