Have you ever wondered how you can help wildlife through the long cold winter? Check out the Indy Star’s latest Scrub Hub to see an interview with our Executive Director Dan Boritt.
Read the November 2022 edition of the IWF Hoosier Conservation Newsletter.
Read the August 2022 edition of the IWF Hoosier Conservation Newsletter.
Read the May 2022 edition of the IWF Hoosier Conservation Newsletter.
The National Wildlife Federation is hosting a special (and exciting) event with National Audubon Society to mobilize birders to support this legislation: the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act Birders’ Rally! This event will be hosted by Corina Newsome and Tykee James, and we will be joined by special guests including Kenn Kaufman, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, American Bird Conservancy, and more. Take a look at the information below, register, and share widely with your networks!
JOIN US for the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act Birders’ Rally (virtual)!
Tuesday, May 24, 2022
12 – 1 PM ET
Calling all bird lovers! We need everyone who cares about birds to rally together for the passage of the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (S.2372/HR2773) With historic levels of funding and support from both sides of the aisle, this once-in-a-generation legislation is a rare bird. Join us as we flock together in support of this critical bill, which will help protect birds long into the future and make the enjoyment of birds more accessible for all! Hosted by Tykee James and Corina Newsome, this rally will feature leaders in avian conservation and give you an opportunity to take action to encourage your Members of Congress to vote YES on this bill. Bring your passion and excitement, because we need YOU to push Recovering America’s Wildlife Act over the finish line!
Safeguarding Treatment for the Restoration of Ecosystems from Abandoned Mines (STREAM) Act
Lead Safe Housing for Kids Act
‘America the Beautiful’ Initiative Recognizes Role of Sporting Community in Restoring Wildlife Habitat
DENVER (March 28, 2022) — Habitat loss is threatening the wildlife, lands, and waters that hunters and anglers rely upon — and sportswomen and sportsmen have a crucial role to play in seeking common-sense solutions, according to a new report from the National Wildlife Federation Outdoors.
The United States is losing nature at an unprecedented rate. According to this report, species lost, on average, 6.5 million acres of vital habitat over the last two decades. This loss varies by species with some iconic species, such as mule deer, well exceeding the average.
The report examines effective solutions, including the America the Beautiful initiative and the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, that will conserve, restore, and reconnect our natural systems and reclaim degraded lands in order to recover wildlife and protect sporting traditions. As the report notes: “By conserving, connecting, and restoring 30% of our lands and water by 2030, we can slow the loss of habitat, provide important game and fish species with the room to stabilize and recover, and meet the needs of the sporting community today and in the future.”
As leaders in Congress consider historic investments in natural infrastructure and wildlife habitat, which includes restoration and resilience projects, the report urges hunters and anglers to take the lead and use their extensive knowledge from the field to speak out for wildlife decline and habitat loss.
“Hunters and anglers are firsthand witnesses to nearly everything that happens in the fields, forests, and on the water,” said Aaron Kindle director of sporting advocacy for the National Wildlife Federation. “We have seen how habitat loss is a very real threat to our sporting future, and that we need to utilize all tools in the toolbox to incentivize the conservation of native landscapes and the restoration of degraded areas. We hope this report shines light on these issues and spurs investment as soon as possible.”
Visit the National Wildlife Federation Media Center at NWF.org/News
Read the February 2022 edition of the IWF Hoosier Conservation Newsletter.
Public hearing on proposed wildlife rule changes set for Jan. 20
The Natural Resources Commission’s Division of Hearings has scheduled a virtual public hearing to accept public comments on proposed rule changes governing fishing tournament licenses/permits, trapping wild animals, and registering to be an organ donor through the DNR’s license system. More information about the proposed changes is at wildlife.IN.gov/rule-regulation-changes/
The virtual public hearing will be held at 7 p.m. ET on Jan. 20, 2022, using WebEx.
Individuals may join the public hearing in two ways:
Those who have never used WebEx should begin the process at least 10 minutes early because they will be prompted to download WebEx before joining the meeting. For technical assistance, contact Scott Allen at 317-232-4699 or sallen@nrc.IN.gov.
Public comments must be submitted to the NRC no later than Jan. 21, 2022, via www.IN.gov/nrc/rules/rulemaking-docket. Click on “Comment on this Rule” next to the “Fish & Wildlife and Law Enforcement Miscellaneous Rule Amendments.”
Comments can also be mailed to:
Natural Resources Commission
Indiana Government Center North
100 North Senate Ave., Room N103
Indianapolis, IN 46204
The NRC will review the public comments before voting on final adoption of the changes in March. Rule changes that are given final adoption by the NRC must still be approved by the Attorney General’s office and Governor’s office and filed with the Indiana Register before taking effect.
To view more DNR news releases, please see dnr.IN.gov.
Media contact: Linnea Petercheff, Licensing and Permits Supervisor, DNR Fish & Wildlife, 317-233-6527, LPetercheff@dnr.IN.gov
For the health and safety of our attendees, staff, and conference presenters, the Indiana Wildlife Federation board has decided to host a fully virtual conference due to the rise in Indiana coronavirus cases. As you may recall, the event was originally scheduled to be a hybrid in-person/virtual event at the Garrison located at Fort Harrison State Park.
We have already seen a greater number of registrations for virtual attendance so we felt it best for our friends and partners to attend safely from home (sweatpants encouraged). While we will be sad to miss another year to gather together and enjoy time with other wildlife experts and enthusiasts, we are still very excited to host two incredible keynote speakers and one heck of a silent auction.
In an effort to respect everyone’s Zoom-attention span, we have reduced our full day agenda down to a hot 2.5 hours without losing any punch. We hope you will join us Saturday, January 29th from 9:30am-noon to hear from Dr. Mamie Parker and Jim McCormac.
Dr. Mamie Parker is a professional fish and wildlife biologist and made history serving as the first African American U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) Regional Director of the 13 northeastern states after working in the Great Lakes and Big Rivers regions. She has received numerous conservation awards and is widely known for her tireless work on wildlife conservation and invasive species. Dr. Parker is a transformational speaker with incredible conservation experience ready to share a message on Our Pivotal Stretch to Make the Best Better.
Be sure to read the fantastic National Wildlife Federation blog post: Dr. Mamie Parker Leads the Way for Women in Conservation.
Jim McCormac who served at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for 31 years as a botanist, and later specializing in wildlife diversity projects, especially involving birds. He shares his experience in nature through stunning photography and interpretive storytelling that captivates and inspires. Jim has authored or coauthored six books, including Birds of Ohio, and Wild Ohio: The Best of Our Natural Heritage. We are so pleased to host Jim speaking on Flora, Moths, and Birds: A Tangled Ecological Web.
There are at least 2,600 species of moths and approximately 150 butterfly species in Indiana. The conspicuous and often showy winged adults are but the short-lived finale of a four stage life cycle: egg, pupa, caterpillar, and adult. It’s caterpillars that make much of the natural world go around, and countless billions become food for other organisms, birds included. Without vegetation-eating caterpillars and the native plants that they require, most songbirds would vanish, insect diversity would plummet, and our forests would fall silent. This richly illustrated talk delves into the seemingly magical synergy between flora and caterpillars, and its ecosystem ramifications, especially for birds.
We hope to virtually see you there!
Registration is $25 for members/$35 non-members.
(Psst…High school and college students can apply to attend at no cost through our scholar registration fund supported by IWF board members Rick Cockrum, Tina Mahern, and John Goss).
Upcoming Congressional Hearings
What’s Happening This Week
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 3, 2021
Governor Whitmer leads Bipartisan Coalition of Great Lakes Governors to Protect America’s Wildlife
LANSING, Mich. — Governor Gretchen Whitmer led a bipartisan group of governors, including governors DeWine (R-OH), Evers (D-WI), Wolf (D-PA), Holcomb (R-IN), Walz (D-MN), and Pritzker (D-IL), in sending a letter to leaders of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources voicing their support for the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act.
“Our fish and wildlife and their natural habitats are one of our greatest assets, and any threats to them impact not only our environment but also our economy,” said Governor Whitmer. “The future of Michigan’s economy rests on our ability to come together and protect our wildlife and natural resources. That’s why I am proud to come together with a bipartisan coalition of governors to support the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act. I want to thank Congresswoman Dingell for her leadership on this issue and I look forward to working with anyone to put Michiganders first and working hard to protect our natural resources and environment for future generations.”
“The passage of RAWA would mark a big step forward for states like Michigan that continually struggle to secure long term support for species without dedicated sources of funding, including those that are threatened or endangered,” said Michigan Department of Natural Resources Director Dan Eichinger. “RAWA will allow Michigan to annually invest as much as $30 million more in managing and protecting species that are important to our ecosystems and Michiganders. The result will be even more conservation success stories for our state and the nation.”
Passage of the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act will help promote and enhance our nation’s conservation efforts and ensure the long-term health of fish and wildlife throughout the country.
The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, sponsored by Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-MI-12), would:
To view the full letter, click the link below:
View original blog at: https://www.nwf.org/Outdoors/Blog/11-03-2021-Chronic-Wasting-Disease
Nov 03, 2021
It seems to never fail in recent years that as Halloween approaches, someone writes about “zombie deer” in regards to Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), which affects cervids like deer, elk, and moose. As a deer hunter who cares deeply about the conservation of the species I hunt, I cringe every time I read this, as deer do not turn into zombies and trivializing the disease does little to stop it. The new bipartisan CWD Management and Research Act, though, could help with what is really needed to combat CWD: research and funding.
Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a serious issue affecting wildlife and it has no easy solutions. CWD is a prion disease, related to “mad cow disease,” that leaves cervids like deer, elk, and moose emaciated, wasting away. It is always deadly, either directly or through the effects of its symptoms, though wildlife can be infected and spread the disease long before they show symptoms.
While it has not jumped the species barrier to humans yet, people are advised not to eat the meat of a deer or elk infected by CWD. Hunters in areas positive for CWD should test their game before cooking it. As the disease spreads, these concerns could also depress the hunting participation that pays for the bulk of wildlife conservation efforts. It will take scientific research into how its spread and funding for strapped state wildlife agencies trying to manage it. And that’s exactly what the recently-introduced bipartisan CWD Research and Management Act would provide.
CWD Research and Management Act
The Chronic Wasting Disease Research and Management Act (HR 5608) authorizes $70 million annually in CWD funding, split evenly between management funding to be granted out to state wildlife and agriculture agencies and tribal nations, and funding for CWD applied research grants administered by the USDA. It was introduced by Reps. Ron Kind (D-Wis.) and Glenn Thompson (R-Pa.) and has already passed the House Agriculture Committee.
“Southwest Wisconsin has been ground zero for CWD in whitetail deer country for 20 years,” said Doug Duren, a southwest Wisconsin farmer and deer hunter who organized a carcass disposal program to reduce the spread of CWD. “For a variety of reasons, the disease continues to spread and grow in prevalence. In parts of the area prevalence has grown to 50% or more in bucks. Several counties are seeing 20-25% positive rates in all deer tested. Deer numbers are still high in many areas, but as disease prevalence grows, the deer herd is and will trend younger. We need to work on Healthy Deer Management and ensure this resource for the future.”
The management section of the act will prioritize funding where incidence of CWD is the highest, where jurisdictions have the highest financial commitment to managing, monitoring, surveying, and researching CWD, for efforts to develop comprehensive CWD management plans, to areas showing the greatest risk for initial occurrences of CWD, and to areas responding to new outbreaks of CWD.
“Although many hunters and concerned citizens have worked creatively and cooperatively with Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to fight the disease by providing carcass disposal dumpsters, convenient testing drop-off kiosks and education on CWD, efforts have been limited by funding,” said Duren. “To fight CWD we need to ‘Buy time and Pay for science’ and the new funding included in the CWD Research and Management Act will help scientists, game managers, hunters and the public do just that.”
The research section will be administered by the USDA through cooperative agreements and prioritize methods to test CWD in live deer and the environment, testing methods on non-live cervids, genetic resistance to CWD, sustainable cervid harvest management practices to reduce CWD occurrence, and factors contributing to local occurrence of CWD.
The National Wildlife Federation adopted a resolution in 2017 calling for the creation of a federal Fish and Wildlife Disease Trust Fund to respond to wildlife diseases like CWD to provide rapid response funding to states for fish and wildlife disease outbreaks..
“Chronic wasting disease is one of the greatest threats facing deer, elk, and moose populations across the country, jeopardizing hunting opportunities, ecosystems, and our nation’s outdoor economy,” said Mike Leahy, director for wildlife, hunting, and fishing policy for the National Wildlife Federation. “We are grateful for Representatives Kind and Thompson’s steadfast leadership on this critical issue. The bipartisan Chronic Wasting Disease Research and Management Act will help ensure state and Tribal agencies on the front lines of controlling this disease have the resources they need to better understand and stop its spread.”
The legislation is supported by the National Wildlife Federation, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, the National Deer Association, the Mule Deer Foundation, the Boone & Crockett Club, and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.
As a Michigan deer hunter living in a state with CWD, I’m encouraged that real solutions and funding are advancing. I’m looking forward to deer camp in November, hopefully harvesting some venison, and having the deer tested for CWD to ensure that it’s safe to eat. Research and management funding is what our deer and elk need, not sensational headlines about “zombie deer.” The real effects of CWD are scary enough.
Drew YoungeDyke is the Director of Conservation Partnerships for the National Wildlife Federation Great Lakes Regional Center, strengthening the federation’s partnerships with independent affiliate conservation organizations in Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, as well as managing media outreach and communications for the region.
To maintain clear transparency of our organization, the IWF annually hosts a meeting with members to share updates, track progress on goals, and to make any amendments to our bylaws. Members are invited to attend this virtual meeting to be hosted on:
>> Click to Review Proposed IWF Bylaws Changes<<
Proposed changes to bylaws were approved by the board on 10-27-21 and are shown in red. These bylaws changes in general are related to our board processes shifting largely to virtual communications during COVID 19. The redlined portions reflect in certain and limited cases, usually regarding legislation, the board may need an expedited vote via electronic means.
To register and receive your meeting link, please send an RSVP email to: email@example.com
In a press release yesterday, Governor Holcomb announced the appointments to the Indiana Wetlands Task Force:
Indiana Wetlands Task Force
The governor made thirteen appointments to the new task force, who will serve until December 31, 2022:
Every day over a million used ink cartridges are thrown away. Use this easy way to recycle your used printer cartridges and it will help us generate much-needed funds while doing our part to preserve the planet.
Click here to retrieve your FREE USPS shipping label to recycle your inks.
Be sure to type in Indiana Wildlife Federation code: 31793 when completing the shipping form.
The more people who recycle their used ink cartridges with our Program ID Code: 31793 the more money we raise to protect wildlife and habitats across the state!
For generations, Indiana has provided a diverse landscape for all who love to be outdoors. Whether its hiking, biking, boating, fishing, hunting, camping, photography or wildlife watching—Hoosiers love to be outside. As the population in Indiana grows, so does the pressure on our natural resources to support these cherished activities.
The mission of the Indiana Wildlife Federation (IWF) is to promote the conservation, sound management and sustainable-use of Indiana’s wildlife and wildlife habitat. For over 82 years, IWF has been the statewide voice; loud, clear and strong speaking out for the interests of Indiana conservationists and for the preservation of our outdoor heritage so it may be enjoyed by generations to come.
How do we do it? Through our 3 pillars of focus: Education, Advocacy and Action. We work across Indiana delivering free environmental education programs that provide clear calls-to-action that encourage everyone to be better stewards of our natural resources and habitats. IWF is also an agency watchdog in which our board and staff are frequently called upon to give views on bills pending before the legislature, on the actions of resource management leaders and on activities bearing upon our lands, forests, waterways or environment. We also work to add habitat and expand access through on-the-ground volunteer projects that engage and activate a conservation network across the state.
If you are among those of us that love being outside, then you know it is more than just fresh air and sunshine. It’s about clean water, healthy ecosystems, abundant habitat and a deep respect for the natural world. If that sounds right to you—then join us and add your support to the growing number of Hoosiers that value Indiana wildlife.
We invite you to join as a member or explore our website to find out more about upcoming events, campaigns, workshops, lecture series or projects that you can get involved with. Like us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to stay connected!
Right now, one-third of all wildlife species in the United States are at increased risk of extinction. In Indiana alone, more than 150 fish and wildlife species are in urgent need of proactive, on-the-ground conservation efforts before they pass the point of no return.
Congress just took the first step toward making those efforts a reality with the introduction of the bipartisan Recovering America’s Wildlife Act. This bill will fund proactive efforts led by state fish and wildlife agencies and tribes to address the nation’s looming wildlife crisis to prevent species from becoming endangered and will be the most significant investment in wildlife conservation in a generation. (Senate Version) (House Version)
At home here in Indiana, this could add over $14 million dollars to the DNR’s budget to restore native landscapes, protect and restore wetlands, and activate numerous species recovery projects that are outlined in our State Wildlife Action Plan that are in need of funding.
During August and September, congress is at home so this is a perfect time to reach out. Please join our efforts in asking your member of Congress to support the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act to address severe wildlife conservation challenges such as habitat loss, competition from invasive species, disease, climate impacts, and other threats.
Due to committee assignments, US Senator Mike Braun’s support on this bill would be especially influential. We need your help in reaching him first. You can learn more with this IN factsheet, and funding Q & A factsheet; or simply say: “Senator, please join your colleagues Senators Martin Heinrich and Roy Blunt in cosponsoring the transformative, common-sense bipartisan Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (S. 2372) today.”
Send a thank you email to U.S. House Representative Andre Carson, Indiana’s only #recoverwildlife congressional cosponsor.
Subject Line: Please Co-Sponsor the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, S. 2372
America’s wildlife are essential for our national heritage and our $887 billion dollar outdoor economy. But thanks to challenges like habitat loss, invasive species, emerging diseases, and climate change we’re losing ground and species — and fast.
Right now, more than one-third of our fish and wildlife species are at-risk of becoming extinct. We have already lost more than 150 species that are presumed extinct and another 500 species are missing in action. State fish and wildlife agencies have identified more than 12,000 species of greatest conservation need.
The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act will accelerate the recovery of these species, including the more than 150 U.S. species listed on Indiana’s State Wildlife Action Plan.
The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act is built upon the premise that the best way to save America’s wildlife is through collaborative, proactive, voluntary work before species need more expensive “emergency room procedures” through the Endangered Species Act. I urge you to create a bright future for America’s wildlife and natural heritage by supporting and co-sponsoring S. 2372.
Subject line: Thank you for supporting the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act
Dear Representative Carson,
I am writing to thank you for co-sponsoring H.R. 2773, the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, and asking you to do all you can to ensure it passes and is signed into law.
The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act invests in proactive, on-the-ground, collaborative conservation efforts that match the magnitude of America’s wildlife crisis. Healthy wildlife populations are a vital component of our national heritage and our $887 billion dollar outdoor economy. But our diverse array of fish and wildlife is in crisis with more than one-third of all species at risk of becoming endangered. Challenges facing our fish and wildlife in the 21st century include habitat loss, climate change, invasive species, and emerging diseases.
Thank you for standing up for wildlife through your support of this bipartisan legislation. I urge you to continue advocating for passage of the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act in the 117th Congress.
INDIANAPOLIS, IN (August 23, 2021) – A new 4 min short video released this week explores how fly fishing on the White River in central Indiana has been impacted by climate-driven severe weather over the years. The film focuses on the ways that seasonal flooding and temperature increases are changing White River habitats and other Indiana river systems. Fishing the White River, was released by the Indiana Wildlife Federation (IWF), and features local fly fishing guide Jason DeArman of Two Forks Guide Service.
In addition to the video IWF has added online resources at www.indianawildlife.org/climate outlining how equitable policies and programs can create jobs, tackle climate change, and harness the power of nature to enhance long-term health for people and wildlife alike. “Hunters and anglers are often times the first to notice changes in the environment because of their intimate knowledge of a natural place,” says Emily Wood, executive director of the Indiana Wildlife Federation. “As heavy rain events, hotter summers, and milder winters, become more frequent throughout the Midwest, the IWF hopes to galvanize these outdoor users to take action for climate before these places are gone.”
This video was filmed, produced, and edited by Leslie Lorance of Indianapolis and supported by a grant from the National Wildlife Federation.
Story and photos by Abbie Gressley, Indiana Wildlife Federation 2021 Summer Habitat Intern
When Amanda Goble first started raising monarch butterflies three years ago, she only knew there weren’t many in her area. Little did she know the process she loves so much would soon be making a larger impact on the monarch population.
“I realize it is a small part to help, but any small thing could make a big impact eventually,” says the 46-year-old from Marion, Indiana.
The eastern migratory population of monarch butterflies decreased by 84% between the winters of 1996–1997 and 2014–2015, and the much smaller western monarch population has declined 74% since the late 1990s, according to the Indiana Monarch Conservation Plan (IMCP).
The IMCP was influenced by those interested in monarch butterfly conservation and habitat restoration in an attempt to reverse the population decline of North American monarchs.
Goble says they had almost lost monarchs in the area due to chemical spraying for bugs on crops and people using them at their own homes without the pollinators. So, she planted milkweed seeds for the monarchs to lay eggs on and had her husband build screened in cages to protect the caterpillars and cocoons from other bugs.
“I have an abundance of praying mantis in my yard, and they will eat them, so this gives them a safe place to stay in hopes that they will make it to butterflies,” she says.
Goble starts her process in the spring to make sure the milkweed is growing and plant more if needed. In July, the monarchs start showing up for nectar and begin laying eggs on the plants. She then watches for caterpillars and takes them to the cages to finish growing. It takes about fourteen to twenty days for them to eat before creating a J with their bodies and forming a cocoon. The cocoon will hatch within seven to nine days.
“Finding the caterpillars and letting the butterflies go is about all the hands-on work you need to do, the rest they do on their own,” Goble says. “I try not to interfere with their process too much.”
Goble says she loves the whole process and only wishes to help them grow to adulthood.
“I think it’s fascinating how an egg the size of a pinhead can grow to a caterpillar then change into a butterfly out of a small cocoon,” she says. “Watching them fly away is my favorite part; I say goodbye to each one and wish them well on their journey.”
According to the IMCP, Indiana, along with other Midwestern states, comprises a particularly important portion of the range of the eastern population of monarch butterflies, supplying much of the breeding and migrating habitat that produces the migratory generation of the eastern monarch population.
Goble is one of many in Indiana playing a small role for a much bigger cause for these butterflies.
“I just let the butterflies fly away in hopes that they will live to make new caterpillars and butterflies,” she says. “I hope to continue to give the butterflies a chance to survive and keep coming back to our area.”
The bipartisan infrastructure bill, called the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, is being debated and voted on in the Senate. While the bill touches on many urgent infrastructure needs, it does not directly address climate change at nearly the scale needed. That is why Congress must also pass a larger package that tackles climate change head on.
However, while measures like EV infrastructure, grid upgrades, and CCUS investments help enable future climate gains, there is a lot more needed from Congress to address climate now. On August 9, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is expected to come out with another update on our warming planet, and will sound the alarm that climate impacts are already widespread and severe in the U.S. Emissions must come down swiftly for the globe to have a chance at keeping within a 1.5-degree warming limit – the point after which impacts become disastrous.
The science is clear: We need to act now if we are going to prevent a climate disaster. This moment is the time to go big and act decisively. Congress must pass the bipartisan bill that sets the stage, then move on to the main event.
Tell Hoosier senators to act on climate now by supporting the inclusion of these items!
THE SHORT VERSION
A senate version of the historic Recovering America’s Wildlife Act was just introduced in the U.S. Senate and Indiana Senator Todd Young plays an important role in advancing the legislation. We need your help reaching him with this specific message:
“Senator Young, please join your colleagues Senators Martin Heinrich and Roy Blunt in cosponsoring the transformative, common-sense bipartisan Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (S. 2372) and supporting its inclusion in the bipartisan infrastructure package currently being negotiated.”
THE LONG VERSION
The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, just introduced in the U.S. Senate (S. 2372), will catalyze collaborative, on-the-ground habitat restoration projects, help with species reintroductions, tackle disease, and boost other much needed conservation efforts to match the magnitude of the wildlife crisis.
The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act will help conserve our nation’s fish and wildlife by dedicating $1.3 billion for state-level conservation and $97.5 million to Tribal Nations to recover and sustain healthy fish and wildlife populations. The funding will be used to implement on-the-ground conservation efforts such as conserving and restoring habitats, fighting invasive species, reintroducing native species and tackling emerging diseases for more than 12,000 species. These state-identified Species of Greatest Conservation Need are outlined in the congressionally mandated State Wildlife Action Plans to inform their conservation actions in each state. The additional funding to Tribal Nations will allow for the expansion of conservation efforts on their lands, which provide vital habitat for hundreds of fish and wildlife species, including more than 500 species listed as threatened or endangered. Dedicated and robust funding is essential to recovering species already listed as threatened or endangered and to preventing additional species from needing “emergency room” measures through the Endangered Species Act.
Indiana Senator Todd Young plays an important committee role and we need your help in reaching him with the following message:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Indianapolis, IN (July 21, 2021) — New bipartisan legislation in the House and Senate will fund locally-led efforts to help prevent extinctions and help wildlife thrive nationwide. The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act will send approximately $14.5 million to Indiana each year, which the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IN-DNR) will use to help the over 150 species of concern in Indiana, such as the Whooping Crane, Lake Sturgeon, and our own Indiana Bat.
“We are facing a looming wildlife crisis. This commonsense, bipartisan bill will allow us to get ahead of the problem by stepping in to help at-risk wildlife early with collaborative, voluntary measures,” said Indiana Wildlife Federation executive director, Emily Wood. “This will also create jobs restoring our constantly threatened wetlands, prairies, and forests.”
The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act was just introduced in the Senate by Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.). Representatives Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) and Congressman Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.) introduced a similar version of the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act in the House in April.
“The historic, bipartisan Recovering America’s Wildlife Act is by far the most important piece of wildlife legislation in the past half century,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “At a time when more than one-third of wildlife species are at heightened risk of extinction, this critical legislation will help recover thousands of at-risk species through proactive, collaborative efforts in every state, territory, and Tribal nation, creating jobs while preventing extinctions. We applaud the incredible bipartisan leadership of Senator Heinrich and Senator Blunt, and their House partners Rep. Dingell and Rep. Fortenberry, who are all demonstrating once again that wildlife conservation can unite all Americans.”
Nationwide, the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act dedicates $1.4 billion annually to locally-led wildlife restoration efforts, with most of the money going to wildlife agencies like IN-DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife who will use the money to implement existing plans for at-risk wildlife. At least 15 percent of the funds will be used to help species that are already considered endangered or threatened. Additionally, Tribal Nations would share $97.5 million annually to fund wildlife conservation efforts on the tens of millions of acres under Tribal management nationwide.
More than 1,500 businesses and organizations have signed on in support of the legislation, including Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, Bass Pro Shops, Ducks Unlimited, Indiana Conservation Alliance, Indiana Wildlife Federation, Izaak Walton League, National Audubon Society, National Wildlife Federation, National Wild Turkey Federation and Wild Birds Unlimited.
The Indiana Wildlife Federation has played a part in conserving Indiana’s natural resources since 1938. As the nonprofit, grass-roots affiliate of the National Wildlife Federation; IWF mission is to promote the conservation, sound management and sustainable use of Indiana’s wildlife and wildlife habitat through education, advocacy and action.
The National Wildlife Federation is America’s largest conservation organization uniting all Americans to ensure wildlife thrive in a rapidly-changing world.
Government hearing on the “Office of Management and Budget FY22 Budget Requests.”
Senator Heinrich has been circulating a letter calling for investments in natural infrastructure, resilience, and habitat conservation in any upcoming infrastructure package. NWF strongly supports the letter, and urges Senators to sign-on, as the recommendations align with our Restoration and Resilience report – located here and in our press release here.
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May 17-21, 2021
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Last week, Susie Lee [D-NV] introduced the “End Speculative Oil and Gas Leasing Act of 2021” with the purpose of preventing leasing on public lands that have little to no energy development potential. See NWF’s press release here.
On May 4, Rep. Williams [D-GA] introduced the Water Infrastructure Sustainability and Efficiency (WISE) Act to make permanent a requirement that states direct at least 20% of their Clean Water SRF for projects that incorporate the use of green See NWF’s tweet in support here.
On April 30, Rep. Blumenauer’s [D-OR] office announced their support of Rep. Simpson’s new framework on Northwest infrastructure with a focus on investment planning for salmon recovery, jobs, and clean See NWF’s press release here.
Last week, Biden released the administration’s “Conserving and Restoring America the Beautiful” 2021 plan – here – laying out a comprehensive ten year plan to restore 30% of national lands and See NWF’s press releases for more:
Biden’s Conserving and Restoring America the Beautiful Plan Will Restore Wildlife Habitat, Enhance Sporting Opportunities Historic Conserving and Restoring America the Beautiful Plan Prioritizes Collaboration, Restoration, and Job Creation
On Thursday, the Interior Department released a proposal to review the previous administration’s rollbacks, and to restore protections for bird populations, under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
The Administration released initial information about the President’s fiscal year 2022 discretionary budget request with specific provisions to highlight the all-of-government approach to climate change and related issues. The full budget request is expected later this month.
See here for President Biden’s comprehensive list of Executive orders to address COVID, the climate crisis, and environmental justice, among other
NWF expects continued work around appropriations and budget requests as Congress aims to conclude committee hearings in the coming weeks.
The White House is expected to meet this week, and in the coming weeks, with bipartisan, bicameral Members of Congress to discuss deals around key infrastructure priorities.
Senator Heinrich has been circulating a letter calling for investments in natural infrastructure, resilience, and habitat conservation in any upcoming infrastructure package. NWF strongly supports the letter as the recommendations align with our Restoration and Resilience report – located here and in our press release here.
Mike Saccone, National Wildlife Federation, Apr 28, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A broad coalition of 133 conservation, farmer and rancher, sportsmen, and wildlife groups urged the leadership of the U.S. House and U.S. Senate agriculture committees in a letter to ensure the forthcoming infrastructure package includes robust funding for Farm Bill conservation programs and farmer assistance. They specifically urged Congress to double the investment in Farm Bill conservation programs and to ramp up conservation technical assistance funding.
“Increasing baseline funding for the Farm Bill conservation programs and ramping up conservation technical assistance on the ground will enable landowners to mitigate the impacts of drought and flood, improve habitat, improve soil health and long-term food security, create new job opportunities for rural economies, and galvanize the agriculture sector to lead the charge in our fight against climate change,” the organizations wrote in the letter.” We believe farmers, ranchers, and foresters are ready to move agriculture toward net zero emissions if they are provided the tools and resources to make that goal a reality. Action this year on the climate and infrastructure bill represents the best opportunity in decades to meet farmer demand for conservation programs.”
The letter’s signatories are the National Wildlife Federation, Alliance for the Great Lakes, American Farmland Trust, American Fisheries Society, American Grassfed Association, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Arkansas Wildlife Federation, Association of State Floodplain Managers, Bird Conservancy of the Rockies, Blue Ridge Land Conservancy, California Climate and Agriculture Network, California Farmers Union, Capital Region Land Conservancy, Carbon180, Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, Center for Rural Affairs, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Chesapeake Conservancy, Clean Fairfax, Climate Land Leaders, Coastal Enterprises, LLC, Colorado Wildlife Federation, Conservation Coalition of Oklahoma, Defenders of Wildlife, Delaware Nature Society, Delaware Valley Ornithological Club, Delta Waterfowl, E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs), Earthjustice, Environmental Defense Fund, Environmental Law & Policy Center, Environmental Working Group, Florida Wildlife Federation, Inc., Food and Agriculture Committee, Sierra Club, Atlantic Chapter, Food Animal Concerns Trust, Foodshed Capital, Friends of the Mississippi River, Gallatin Valley Land Trust, Georgia Wildlife Federation, Goose Creek Association, Harpeth Conservancy, Hawaii Farmers Union United, Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Association, Healthy Gulf, Heart of the Rockies Initiative, Idaho Wildlife Federation, Illinois Council of Trout Unlimited, Indiana Wildlife Federation, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, Iowa Environmental Council, Iowa Wildlife Federation, Izaak Walton League of America, Kalmiopsis Audubon Society, Kansas Wildlife Federation, Land For Good, Land Trust Alliance, League of Conservation Voters, Louisiana Wildlife Federation, Maine Farmland Trust, Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, Maryland Bird Conservation Partnership, Maryland Ornithological Society, Mass Audubon, Michael Fields Agricultural Institute, Michigan Farmers Union, Minnesota Conservation Federation, Minnesota Farmers Union, Mississippi River Trust, Mississippi Wildlife Federation, Missouri Farmers Union, Montana Organic Association, Montana Wildlife Federation, National Association of Conservation Districts, National Audubon Society, National Center for Appropriate Technology, National Deer Association, National Farmers Union, National Organic Coalition, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, National Young Farmers Coalition, Natural Resources Defense Council, NatureServe, Nebraska Farmers Union, Nebraska Wildlife Federation, Neighboring Food Co-op Association, Nevada Wildlife Federation, New England Farmers Union, North American Grouse Partnership, North Dakota Farmers Union, North Dakota Wildlife Federation, Northeast Organic Farming Association-Interstate Council, Northern Virginia Conservation Trust, Northwest Farmers Union, Ohio Conservation Federation, Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association, Oregon Climate and Agriculture Network, Organic Farmers Association, Organic Farming Research Foundation, Pasa Sustainable Agriculture, PennFuture, Pesticide Action Network, Pollinator Partnership, Prairie Rivers Network, Quivira Coalition, Rockbridge Area Conservation Council, Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, Rural Coalition, Salem Audubon Society, Savanna Institute, Saving Birds Thru Habitat, Sierra Club, Slow Food USA, Sociedad Ornitologica Puertorriquena, Soil and Water Conservation Society, South Carolina Wildlife Federation, South Dakota Wildlife Federation, Texas Conservation Alliance, The Conservation Fund, The Nature Conservancy, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, Trout Unlimited, Union of Concerned Scientists, Unitarian Universalist Church of Roanoke, Utah Wildlife Federation, Virginia Association for Biological Farming, Virginia Conservation Network, Waterkeepers Chesapeake, Western Landowners Alliance, Wild Farm Alliance, Wildlife Mississippi, Wisconsin Farmers Union, Wyoming Wildlife Federation, and Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.
Photo: Indiana Wildlife Federation executive director Emily Wood stands to the right of the letter held by Dr. Indra Frank of the Hoosier Environmental Council.
April 12-16, 2021
The Quick Version: “Pass it clean in the second reading”
Contact your IN House Rep before Monday, April 12, 2021 with the message:
“Pass SB389 House Committee version clean (with no new amendments) in the April 12 House Environmental Affairs Committee second reading.”
The Full Explainer:
There is both good news and bad news on the wetlands bill, SB 389. The good news is that on April 7 the House Environmental Affairs Committee significantly amended the Senate version of SB 389 to protect most wetlands by adopting Amendment 24. The bad news is that some wetlands will lose protection.
In further good news, Representative Errington will be offering an amendment on the House floor to replace what’s currently in SB 389 with language creating a Wetland Task Force to examine state wetland policy. Sadly, we do not anticipate there will be enough support for this good amendment to pass.
A number of Indiana’s strongest conservation organizations have carefully assessed all of the remaining options to try to improve the bill and also carefully gauged the strength of the wetland de-regulation faction of lawmakers at the Statehouse and concluded that, if the Errington Wetlands Task Force amendment fails, the House committee version is the best wetlands language we will be able to get in the 2021 legislative session.
Why would we support a bill that is still bad for wetlands?
Well we don’t, but if the House Environmental Affairs Committee version does not pass, we will likely get something much, much worse. Many legislators (in both the House and Senate) are in favor of seriously weakening state protections of wetlands. At the next step in the process (second reading), either the Senate passed version of SB 389 bill, which repeals the wetlands law, or an amendment like #19, which is very close to a repeal, will become the final bill. Please see the table below for a detailed comparison of the Senate version, Amendment 19, and the House committee version.
Therefore, the Indiana Wildlife Federation takes the following positions and urges our supporters to contact their state representatives with the following four requests:
1.) Support Representative Errington’s amendment to replace SB 389 with a Wetland Task Force.
2.) If the Wetland Task Force amendment fails, support the House Environmental Committee version of SB 389. The committee version, but no further! Pass it clean, with no amendments in the second reading.
3.) Oppose Amendment 19 to SB 389 or any other anti-wetlands floor amendments. Pass it clean, with no amendments in second reading.
4.) Oppose the Senate version of SB 389 (full repeal).
Reaching your lawmakers about the above four calls-to-action is crucial to making sure that the House Environmental Committee’s version of SB 389 survives a House floor vote — and the far more damaging version, Amendment 19 (or its equivalent) — does not replace it. You can reach your lawmakers by going to bitly.com/INLegis.
Nearshore and shallow bays are at most risk
by Drew YoungeDyke, National Wildlife Federation
A recent study published by the American Fisheries Society models the impacts that invasive carp would have on the food webs of the Great Lakes, predicting significant impacts on Lake Erie, Saginaw Bay, and other bays, river mouths, and nearshore areas. This study comes at a time when movement has occurred on the plans to keep invasive carp out of the Great Lakes, yet much remains to be done.
The Great Lakes Conservation Coalition is an informal affiliation of conservation groups, including the Indiana Wildlife Federation, working in the Great Lakes region and collectively representing millions of hunters and anglers. Working together, we help advance solutions to the conservation challenges threatening our fish, wildlife, and outdoor heritage.
The saga of the anti-wetlands bill, SB 389 continues. It looks like all of the messages to House leadership have had an effect. Many thanks to the more than 70 organizations that have joined the sign-on letter!
We learned Thursday that the House Environmental Affairs Committee will not be meeting Monday, April 5th, as originally planned. Instead, the House Republican caucus will be debating SB 389 internally before deciding next steps to take, if any. We understand that the House Democratic caucus is opposed to SB 389, but hearing from their constituents who support their position will help.
Please, do all you can to get messages to your state representative before Monday asking them to vote against SB 389 or any amendment to SB 389 that reduces wetland protection. It would be helpful if you know of any local flooding, water quality, groundwater recharge, or lake sediment problems and can mention how those expensive problems will increase if wetlands are lost. Examples from within their districts really help sway legislators.
Anyone who needs to can find their state representative and contact information at
Report compiled by National Wildlife Federation.
[Updated Mon. Mar 22, 2021] – Over the weekend, the House Environmental Affairs committee decided against hearing Amendment 11 due to pushback (keep calling/emailing/tagging!) and that they would be working on Amendment 12. It was posted late on Sunday with less than 12 hours to review before the hearing. Here is Amendment 12.
While there has not been adequate time to review the impacts of the amendment, it is still clearly going to cause major losses to Indiana wetlands. We recommend the same action of reaching out to your state legislators to “Oppose SB389 as a dangerous bill for water quality, wildlife, habitats, and flooding. [End update]
Although Indiana legislators promised to allow a full week for organizations like IWF the time to understand and react to a proposed amendment to SB389 (a full repeal of protections for all state regulated wetlands in Indiana), we now only have the weekend. Despite weeks of negotiation by IDEM and numerous legislators that promised there would be a reasonable compromise; the House Environmental Affairs Committee is going to take up an amendment to the bill that will gut Indiana’s wetlands law. They will meet Monday, March 22, at 10:30 AM.
Amendment 11 will lead to loss of much of Indiana’s remaining wetlands. It allows destruction of:
• all Class I wetlands
• up to one acre of Class II or Class III if they are within the borders of a municipality.
• up to 1/2 acre of Class II and 1/4 acre of Class III outside municipalities
• wetlands that are on cropland sold for development
• ephemeral streams
It also greatly reduces the wetland mitigation ratios and it increases the amount of wetland that can be destroyed when there are several wetlands involved in the same development project. Here is a table to illustrate how Amendment 11 weakens existing wetlands protections:
|Amendment 11||Existing law|
|Exempts all Class I wetlands||Exempts ½ acre|
|Exempts ½ acre of Class II||Exempts ¼ acre|
|Exempts ¼ acre of Class III||No exemption|
|Exempts 1 acre of Class II or III within a municipality||No exemption|
|Enlarges cumulative exemption when there is >1 wetland on a property|
|Exempts dredge and fill activities in ephemeral streams|
|Allows wetland destruction for development on cropland that was farmed any time in the last 5 years|
|Reduces mitigation ratios|
|IDEM’s time to issue wetland permit 90 days||120 days|
If SB 389 passes in its current form or with Amendment 11, Indiana will pay a high price in increased flooding, lost groundwater recharge, lost water purification, and loss of endangered and threatened species. Please do all you can before Monday to tell your legislators, especially members on the House Environmental Affairs Committee to save Indiana’s remaining wetlands by opposing SB 389 and opposing Amendment 11.
You can contact your legislator by finding them here.
You can also send a pre-drafted email to your legislator by using this form graciously created for us by the National Wildlife Federation Water Action Team.
Beautify your backyard habitats and landscapes with mulch and support the Indiana Wildlife Federation throughout the ENTIRE year!
When you purchase any landscape products from Musselman Landscape Solutions throughout the year, mention IWF in any way, and we will receive 10% of your sale! See if there is a Musselman near you: you can shop online at MusselmanLandscape.com using our code at checkout. CODE: IWF
These common-sense reforms will buy us some time to reduce all greenhouse gas emissions throughout the economy. This proposal deserves close consideration in Congress.”
See here for President Biden’s comprehensive list of Executive orders to address COVID, the climate crisis, and environmental justice, among other topics.