With Wildlife Populations in Decline, NWF Launches a New Strategic Plan to Address the Crisis

NWF and its affiliate partners convened and committed to a new strategic plan aimed at restoring and protecting American wildlife populations

06-12-2017 // Lacey McCormick
STEVENSON, WASHINGTON – The National Wildlife Federation and its 51 state and territorial affiliate partners convened at their 81st annual meeting and committed to a new strategic plan aimed at restoring and protecting American wildlife populations. More than one-third of the country’s fish and wildlife species are considered to be at risk of extinction in the coming decades. The federated organizations also passed a series of resolutions on conservation policy and presented six Conservation Achievement Awards.

A New Strategic Plan
“Our nation’s history shows that when we bring together diverse forces and act boldly, we accomplish great things for wildlife. Right now, many species of wildlife urgently need decisive action. Populations of pollinators, amphibians, and songbirds are plummeting. Aquatic species from fish to freshwater mussels are in staggering decline and certain mammals are facing disaster. We can and must turn this around—but it will require efforts at a scale that match the magnitude of the crisis. Our new plan aims to do just that,” said Collin O’Mara, president and chief executive officer of the National Wildlife Federation.

The organization’s new four-year strategic plan outlines a Common Agenda for Wildlife built on sound science, clear priorities, and scalable solutions. The plan states that over the next four years the National Wildlife Federation will take action to:

1. Ensure a majority of Americans and policymakers are aware of our nation’s wildlife crisis by activating 11 million people and joining forces with 2,500 partner organizations as part of America’s ‘conservation army’;
2. Put a quarter of America’s at-risk wildlife species on a path to recovery and take additional measurable steps to restore and protect wildlife populations and their habitats;
3. Rebuild America’s conservation ethic by engaging 25 million young people across 20,000 schools in environmental education and recurring outdoor experiences;
4. Increase the relevance of wildlife conservation nationwide by partnering on local water, wildlife habitat, and environmental justice projects in 1,000 diverse urban and rural communities; and
5. Defend America’s democratic public trust resources—public lands, waterways, and wildlife—from threats of divestiture, reduced access, or privatization.

Conservation Achievement Awards
The National Wildlife Federation recognized six notable individuals for their outstanding contributions to wildlife conservation with Conservation Achievement Awards.

Environmental League of Massachusetts — Affiliate of the Year
Lil Pipping — Affiliate Volunteer of the Year
David Calandro — Youth Achievement
Richard Mode — Conservation Leadership
Angie Rosser — Charlie Shaw Conservation Partnership – Affiliate
Jim Lyon — Charlie Shaw Conservation Partnership – NWF Staff
"These incredible individuals have all made remarkable efforts towards our shared goal of protecting America’s natural heritage,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “We are proud to have so many dedicated conservation leaders across the National Wildlife Federation family making a difference for wildlife.’”

Conservation Policy Resolutions Approved

The National Wildlife Federation state and territorial affiliates also approved conservation policy resolutions calling for:

Reform of the Renewable Fuel Standard to minimize negative impacts on wildlife habitat, reduce the ethanol mandate, and promote truly sustainable biofuels;
Federal actions to reestablish a viable population of grizzly bears in the North Cascades;
Opposition to the construction of a continuous wall along the U.S.-Mexico border for its significant impacts on wildlife;
Suspension of the use of neonicotinoid insecticides by the EPA until further research shows no unacceptable harm to pollinator species;
Promotion of agency policies that encourage farmers and landowners to adopt practices that benefit soil health;
Expanded efforts to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion within the conservation movement;
Bold government actions to protect and restore the Ohio River;
Urgent additional research by agencies on the impacts of warfarin-based toxicant as a means of controlling feral hog populations;
Stepped up government and corporate actions to reduce nutrient pollution in the Mississippi River basin;
Support for federal and state wildlife agency authority to manage fish and wildlife populations and their habitats in Wilderness Areas;
Standing with communities from the negative impacts of fossil fuel expansion;
The establishment of a federal fish and wildlife disease trust fund; and
Robust federal funding to the environment, energy and natural resource stewardship agencies.
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