PARTNER EVENT: National Townhall on Creating Safe Spaces

PARTNER EVENT: National Wildlife Federation, in partnership with Outdoor Afro, Black AF in STEM, The Links, Inc., and Patagonia, will be hosting a National Townhall on Creating Safe Spaces to convene Black leaders to recap lessons learned and share best practices from our three-part roundtable series. We seek to build upon what’s happening now in an effort to identify programmatic and policy opportunities for people to work collaboratively to address the inhibitors Black people face in safely accessing and enjoying the outdoors.

The event, taking place on Tuesday, April 27, 6 pm – 8 pm EST, will be moderated by Mamie Parker and Mustafa Santiago Ali and it will feature:

  • Rue Mapp, Founder and CEO of Outdoor Afro
  • Chad Brown, Founder and President of Soul River, Inc. and Love is King
  • Michael Howard, Founder and CEO of Fuller Park Community Development
  • Beattra Wilson, Assistant Director for Cooperative Forestry at the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service
  • Christian Cooper, Freelance Writer and Editor
  • Dudley Edmondson, Owner of Complete Picture Media LLC and author of The Black and Brown Faces in America’s Wild Places

To register for the event, please click here.

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DC Legislative Update April 12-16, 2021

DC Legislative Update

April 12-16, 2021

Check here for the 2021 Senate Calendar
Check here for the 2021 House Calendar

Congressional Hearings

  • House Natural Resources Committee
    • Tuesday, April 13 at 1pm EST: Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the United States legislative hearing on the “Save Oak Flat Act”
    • Thursday, April 15 at 2pm EST: Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources hearing on “Building Back Better: Creating Jobs and Reducing Pollution by Plugging and Reclaiming Orphaned Wells”
  • Senate Appropriations Committee
    • Tuesday, April 13 at 2pm EST: Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies hearing “to examine the President’s proposed budget estimates for fiscal year 2022 for the National Science Foundation and securing US Competitiveness.”
    • Wednesday, April 14 at 2pm EST: Subcommittee on Homeland Security hearing on “The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s response to COVID-19 and other challenges”
  • Senate Homeland Security Committee
  • House Appropriations Committee
  • House Financial Services Committee
  • Senate Environment and Public Works Committee
    • Wednesday, April 14 at 10am EST: “Business meeting to consider S.914, to amend the Safe Drinking Water Act and the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to reauthorize programs under those Acts; to be immediately followed by a hearing to examine the long-term solvency of the Highway Trust Fund, focusing on lessons learned from the Surface Transportation System Funding Alternatives Program and other user-based revenue solutions, and how funding uncertainty affects the highway programs.”
  • Transportation and Infrastructure Committee
  • House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee
  • Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee
  • House Energy and Commerce Committee
    • Thursday, April 15 at 10:30am EST: Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change hearing on “The CLEAN Future Act and Environmental Justice: Protecting Frontline Communities.” Other pieces of legislation under consideration include H.R. 501, the “Climate Smart Ports Act,” and H.R. 862, the “Climate Action Planning for Ports Act of 2021.”

Congressional News

  •  On March 26, Congress passed a bipartisan, NWF supported resolution from Senators Portman & Hirono designating April as National Native Plants Patrick Fitzgerald, NWF’s Senior Director of Community Wildlife, provided a quote for the Senators’ press release, see here.
  • On April 1, Senators Coons, Heinrich, and Lujan introduced a bill to create a 21st-century Civilian Climate Corps that aims to employ millions of young Americans to restore and protect public lands and waters. See NWF’s press release here
  • On March 25, Senator Markey and Congresswoman Dingell introduced the Climate Change Education Act to expand NOAA’s climate change education The link to NWF’s press release is here.
  • On March 24 the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee voted unanimously to advance the Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act which seeks to expand nation-wide access to clean drinking water. See here for NWF’s press

Administrative News

  •  On March 31, the Biden administration released a jobs and infrastructure plan to “Create Jobs, Resilient Communities, [and a] ‘Visionary’ Civilian Climate ” See NWF’s press release here.
  • The Executive Branch has turned focus to offshore wind by committing to work with stakeholders and partners to protect wildlife and advance environmental justice on future projects. See here for NWF’s Twitter
  • Last week, the Administration released their fiscal year 2022 discretionary budget request with specific provisions to highlight the all-of-government approach to climate change and related See the White House’s notice here.
  • See here for President Biden’s comprehensive list of Executive orders to address COVID, the climate crisis, and environmental justice, among other

What’s happening this week?

  •  On Monday, April 12 at 4pm EST the National Wildlife Federation, Atlantic Council Global Energy Center, and Reimagine Appalachia are hosting a congressional briefing to discuss the role of climate infrastructure investments in Appalachia.
  • This and next week, NWF’s Public Lands team is hosting staff and affiliates in a virtual fly-in to discuss legislative and restoration and resilience priorities as part of upcoming legislation and larger infrastructure
  • NWF expects a Senate confirmation vote on Brenda Mallory to lead the White House Council on Environmental Quality early this Mallory’s confirmation was advanced on March 24 following an 11-9 vote from the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
  • Congress is turning attention to address surface and natural infrastructure priorities, appropriations, and reconciliation. NWF will continue working with Members and conducting virtual meetings, emphasizing organizational recommendations from our newest Restoration and Resilience report – located here and in our press release here,

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DC Legislative Update March 15-19, 2021

Congressional News

  • Last week, the Senate held multiple, bipartisan votes to confirm Biden administration cabinet nominees, including:
    • The Senate voted 66-34 to confirm Marcia Fudge as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
    • The Senate voted 70-30 to confirm Merrick Garland for attorney
    • The Senate voted 66-34 to confirm Michel Regan as Administer of the EPA.
    • Last week the Senate passed a cloture vote of 54-42 to advance Deb Haaland’s nomination for Secretary of the Interior. We expect a final vote on her confirmation Monday, March 15.
  • The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted 20-0 to advance the nomination of David Turk to be Deputy Secretary of
  • The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and Senate Budget Committee both voted 7-6 and 14-8, respectively, to advance Shalanda Young’s nomination to be Deputy Director of the
  • The House, on a vote of 225-206 passed the “Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) ”
  • Last week, Representative Cartwright introduced the bipartisan RECLAIM Act to help recover abandoned coal mine sites for community redevelopment, wildlife habitat, and outdoor recreation opportunities. See NWF’s press release here. The House Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on this topic this
  • Last week, Senators Rosen and Grassley filed bipartisan legislation, the “Fair Returns for Public Lands Act,” to update the oil and gas leasing system to ensure companies pay fair market price. See NWF’s press release here. Relatedly, Tracy Stone-Manning testified before the House Natural Resources Committee on Tuesday at a hearing on several energy development modernization bills. You can view that hearing here.
  • Last week, Senators Whitehouse, Booker, and Schatz introduced the “Methane Emissions Reduction Act of 2021” NWF’s Shannon Heyck-Williams, director of climate and energy policy, was highlighted on the press release here, stating “Methane is one of the most potent drivers of the climate crisis, and Senator Whitehouse’s bill will help reduce oil and gas methane emissions through rigorous tracking, public disclosure, and pollution

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.”

Administrative News

 See here for President Biden’s comprehensive list of Executive orders to address COVID, the climate crisis, and environmental justice, among other topics.

  • The administration heeded the widespread request, highlighted in NWF’s affiliate letter, and scrapped the legal opinion that would have limited the Migratory Bird Treaty Act’s protections. The Interior Department is expected to issue a new proposal to revoke the rule that was based on that
  • Last week, BOEM issued a final environmental review of the Vineyard Wind project, see NWF’s release here.

What’s happening this week?

  •  Last week, the House approved, and President Biden signed into law, the final $1.9 trillion relief package titled the “American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.” The Act, among a host of other positive provisions, will invest in preventing future wildlife-disease See here for NWF’s most recent press release.
  • This week, NWF is hosting partners and affiliates in a virtual fly-in focused on NWF’s agriculture priorities, including the upcoming Farm Bill and conserving We anticipate meetings with a large number of staff and Members of Congress!
  • Now that Congress has passed the COVID reconciliation package, we anticipate Hill discussion and committee work on surface and natural infrastructure priorities. To that end, the House Energy and Commerce Committee Democrats released legislation last week titled the “Leading Infrastructure For Tomorrow’s America Act” (LIFT America Act) calling for investments in the nation’s electric grid, drinking water infrastructure and energy efficiency as part of a larger, $312 billion NWF will continue conducting virtual meetings, emphasizing organizational recommendations from our newest Restoration and Resilience report – located here and in NWF press release here.
  • The House will take up bills to honor Women’s History Month, including H.R. 1620, the” Violence Against Women ” The House will consider H.J.Res. 17 to remove the deadline for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment as well as consider two bills to address immigration reform: H.R. 6, the “American Dream and Promise Act,” and H.R. 1603, the “Farm Workforce Modernization Act.”

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Illinois signs agreement to advance Brandon Road project to stop Asian carp

Michigan providing $8 million toward project to build gauntlet of technologies blocking Asian carp from the Great Lakes

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (Jan. 7, 2021) — In a press conference today, the State of Illinois and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced they have signed a preconstruction engineering and design agreement for the Brandon Road Lock and Dam project that will help block invasive Asian carp from advancing from the Illinois and Des Plaines Rivers through the Chicago Area Waterway System and into Lake Michigan. The project was approved by Congress in the recently passed Water Resources Development Act. The State of Michigan has agreed to provide $8 million of the approximately $10 million non-federal cost share of this phase of the project.

Marc SmithGreat Lakes Regional Policy Director for the National Wildlife Federation, issued this statement in response:

“If Asian carp invade the Great Lakes, they would have a devastating impact on our fisheries, tourism and outdoor recreation economies, and way of life across the region. We thank Gov. Pritzker for completing this critical agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers so that work can move forward on the Brandon Road plan to stop Asian carp from invading the Great Lakes. We also thank the State of Michigan for honoring its commitment to provide $8 million toward the preconstruction engineering and design phase of the project, which will build a gauntlet of technologies to keep invasive Asian carp from advancing from the Mississippi River watershed into Lake Michigan. Combined with Congressional approval of the project included in the recently-passed Water Resources Development Act, this agreement shows how the protection of our Great Lakes water, jobs, and way of life is a uniting force across state and party boundaries. Asian carp are truly a national problem requiring this national solution.”

Learn more about the effort to stop Asian carp at www.greatlakesconservation.com or by watching the National Wildlife Federation film, “Against the Current.”

Photo attached: Silver carp
Photo credit: National Wildlife Federation

Visit the National Wildlife Federation Media Center at NWF.org/News.
Contact: Drew YoungeDyke, National Wildlife Federation, youngedyke@nwf.org, 734-887-7119

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The National Wildlife Federation is America’s largest conservation organization uniting all Americans to ensure wildlife thrive in a rapidly-changing world. Follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

New Film Explores National Scope of Asian Carp Threat

National Wildlife Federation’s “Against the Current” shows the threat of Asian carp to the Great Lakes and their current impacts in Southern and Midwestern waters.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (Oct. 15, 2020) – A new film released today explores the national scope of the problems caused by invasive Asian carp. The film focuses on the impact Asian carp have on the values and economies they threaten in the Great Lakes and the impacts they’re currently having in Southern and Midwestern waters.  Furthermore, it highlights what’s needed to stop them. Against the Current, released by the National Wildlife Federation Great Lakes Regional Center, features diverse viewpoints representing scientific, tribal, business, tourism, fishing, outdoor recreation, and conservation communities from northern Michigan to Tennessee.

“We deliberately explored the often underpublicized – but extremely important – values at risk from invasive Asian carp across a wide swath of the country.” said Drew YoungeDyke, director of conservation partnerships for the National Wildlife Federation Great Lakes Regional Center and executive producer of the film. “We often hear of potential impacts to the Great Lakes sport fishery but we also wanted to show the threat to connected inland waters, tribal fisheries, and the outdoor recreation and tourism economies. We hear frustration that nothing is being done about Asian carp, so we wanted to show some of the projects already completed, as well as the things that still need to be done to stop Asian carp. We wanted to show the impact they’re already having in places that we don’t often hear about like inland rivers in Indiana, and in ways we don’t often hear about like property values and even duck hunting in Tennessee. The film shows that Asian carp aren’t just a Great Lakes fishing issue, they’re a national issue affecting our waters, our economies, and our way of life.”

The film features the perspectives of Doug Craven of the Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians, Ali Shakoor of Wayne State University, Ella Skrocki of Sleeping Beer Surf and Kayak, Chad Munger of Mammoth Distilling, Tom Werkman of Werkman Outfitters, Emily Wood of the Indiana Wildlife Federation, Dave Hosler of Pile Cast Fly Fishing, Don Cranfill of Driftwood Outdoors, Robert Hirschfeld of Prairie Rivers Network, Bill Cooksey of Vanishing Paradise, Mike Butler of the Tennessee Wildlife Federation, and Marc Smith of the National Wildlife Federation, and is narrated by YoungeDyke.

It was filmed, produced, and edited by Jordan Brown of Michigan Out-of-Doors TV and supported by a grant from the Great Lakes Fishery Trust and donations from Rep Your Water and Favorite Fishing Rods. Shorter versions of it recently premiered on Detroit Public TV’s Great Lakes Now program and on Michigan Out-of-Doors TV.

Against the Current can be viewed on YouTubeVimeo, and on the National Wildlife Federation Great Lakes Regional Center’s Facebook page.

Visit www.greatlakesconservation.com for more information about invasive Asian carp.

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Contact: Drew YoungeDyke, National Wildlife Federation, youngedyked@nwf.org, 734-887-7119
Photo: Silver Carp (still frame from the film Against the Current). Credit: National Wildlife Federation

Silver Carp Closeup.jpg

The National Wildlife Federation is America’s largest conservation organization uniting all Americans to ensure wildlife thrive in a rapidly-changing world. Follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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National Wildlife Federation shares free online content for wildlife education at home.

We believe that connecting children with the wonders of wildlife — online and safely in-person — can help youth thrive during these unprecedented times.

So in addition to providing free access to our educational materials, we are also encouraging the safe and responsible enjoyment of the great outdoors by practicing six-feet of physical distancing (especially in parking lots and trailheads), regular hand-washing, and avoidance of common outdoor surfaces.

Here are a few resources to help inspire young people with the wonders of wildlife and nature:

Even though we’re all working remotely, we’re also continuing to advocate for wildlife with the help of millions of members all across the country. We’re working in Congress to ensure that the various recovery packages, especially infrastructure investments, help restore our natural resources, reduce pollution, and improve community resilience. We’re also working with members to pass the Great American Outdoors Act and the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act. We’re also pushing back on the Administration’s efforts to reduce protections under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, limit the role of sound science in decision-making, and other imprudent activities — at a time when federal agencies should be focused on responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Providing online educational materials and advocating remotely are just two small ways that the COVID-19 pandemic is reshaping the way the National Wildlife Federation conducts its work. We are taking our responsibilities to the public and our staff incredibly seriously even as we work to unite all Americans to ensure wildlife thrive in our rapidly changing world. We have closed all of our national and regional offices during the COVID-19 outbreak and asked all staff to telecommute until at least May 4. We have also suspended all in-person meetings and attendance at meetings convened by other organizations.

Here are the other formal steps the National Wildlife Federation is taking:

  • All domestic and international business travel has been suspended
  • All March and April 2020 meetings have been postponed or canceled
  • Meetings in May and June are being assessed for postponement or cancellation
  • The organization is helping members and activists advocate virtually
  • National Wildlife Magazine, Ranger Rick, and the National Wildlife Federation’s other magazines will continue to publish on a regular calendar.

The threats posed by COVID-19 are unlike anything we’ve seen or experienced in our lifetimes. That’s why the National Wildlife Federation has taken extraordinary steps to not only protect our employees, but also to help connect families with the resources that will help inspire children to love the wonders of wildlife during this difficult time.

We’re all in this together and we’ll be with you every step of the way.

Collin O’Mara
President & Chief Executive Officer
The National Wildlife Federation
703-438-6046 / Collin@NWF.org
www.nwf.orgUniting all Americans to ensure wildlife thrive in a rapidly changing world

Administration Continues Attacks on Clean Water Act With New Rule

“Since the Administration refuses to protect our waters, we have no choice but to ask the courts to require the EPA to follow the law.”

Contact: Lacey McCormick, National Wildlife Federation, McCormick@NWF.org, 512-610-7765

WASHINGTON (January 23, 2020) – The EPA is set to release a final rule reducing the scope of waters protected from pollution, destruction, and degradation by the Clean Water Act. This rule would leave streams – and even some rivers – federally unprotected that have been covered since the law was first passed in 1972. It would also remove protections for approximately half of the nation’s wetlands.

“At a time when communities across the country are desperately trying to clean up polluted waters and one-third of wildlife species are at a heightened risk of extinction, this misguided rule places our drinking water, our wildlife and our nation’s way of life further at risk,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation.

“Since the Administration refuses to protect our waters, we have no choice but to ask the courts to require the EPA to follow the law. We simply cannot afford to lose protections for half of our remaining wetlands, nor can we take any unnecessary chances with our drinking water.”

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The National Wildlife Federation is America’s largest conservation organization uniting all Americans to ensure wildlife thrive in a rapidly-changing world. Follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

National Wildlife Federation Honors Indianapolis, Indiana as one of America’s Top 10 Cities for Wildlife

Reston, VA (March 12, 2019) – The National Wildlife Federation is honoring the nation’s most wildlife-friendly cities as part of its 81st annual National Wildlife Week and Indianapolis, IN earned the number four spot on the list.

Wildlife in urban and suburban areas face tremendous stress as we chop down trees, plant yards, drain wetlands, install storm water systems, erect buildings and pave roads. Wildlife need our help to survive. In our “Top 10 Cities for Wildlife,” we recognize cities that are not only taking direct action to help wildlife, but their residents are also creating wildlife habitat in their backyards, balconies, at schools and throughout their communities.

The National Wildlife Federation’s Urban Wildlife Program ranked America’s 100 largest cities based on several important criteria for wildlife, including the amount of parkland within the city, participation in urban wildlife programs and citizen action measured by citizen participation in the National Wildlife Federation’s Certified Wildlife Habitat™ program. Certified Wildlife Habitats are properties that provide all the necessary elements for wildlife to survive – food, water, cover and places for wildlife to raise their young, while integrating sustainable gardening practices.

“The City of Indianapolis is proud to work with numerous community partners on making our city a vibrant community both for residents and wildlife,” explained Mayor Joe Hogsett, City of Indianapolis. “Our work with the Indiana Wildlife Federation has strengthened Thrive Indianapolis, our major sustainability and resilience planning initiative, by helping to identify the best practices for developing a wildlife-friendly, world-class city.”

The city of Indianapolis has moved up from the number eight spot in 2015 to number four this year due in large part to their number of Certified Wildlife Habitats. Indianapolis currently has 1,101 Certified Wildlife Habitats, including 71 Schoolyard Habitats. The city is a signatory of the Mayors’ Monarch Pledge having committed to 10 actions to the date to protect monarch butterflies. The city’s Comprehensive Master Plan has the goal of expanding parkland through the city and creating trails for the community and healthy habitats for urban wildlife.

“We are so excited to have earned a spot on this list,” explained Emily Wood, Executive Director, Indiana Wildlife Federation. “IWF has found in Indy an impressive number of partners that were seeking paths towards a sustainable community. We are building a stronger city by connecting people to our resources for creating urban habitat, supporting pollinators, reducing invasive species, and restoring locations that provide access to nature.”

Learn more about the National Wildlife Federation’s Garden for Wildlife and Certified Wildlife Habitat programs at NWF.org/Garden, about the Community Wildlife Habitat program at NWF.org/Community, about the Mayors’ Monarch Pledge at NWF.org/MayorsMonarchPledge, and the Schoolyard Habitat program at NWF.org/Schoolyard and visit our Media Center at NWF.org/News.

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The National Wildlife Federation is America’s largest conservation organization, uniting all Americans to ensure wildlife thrive in a rapidly changing world. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Take Action to Stop Asian Carp

To sign your conservation club onto this regional letter, please send an email to National Wildlife Federation’s Marc Smith before Feb 25, 2019. msmith@nwf.org, Marc Smith, Director of Conservation Partnerships, National Wildlife Federation, 734-887-7116

SIGN UP FOR IWF’s ASIAN CARP EMAIL UPDATES HERE

(UPDATE 1/4/19) Please be informed that the Army Corps of Engineers has extended the comment deadline for Brandon Road by 60 days to Feb. 25, 2019. Due to the government shutdown, this extension is not yet reflected on the federal register, but is expected to be announced soon.


***Begin Letter***

December XX, 2018

Andrew Leichty PMP
Project Manager
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District
ATTN: GLMRIS-Brandon Road EIS
Clock Tower Building
P.O. Box 2004
Rock Island, IL 61204-2004

Dear Andrew,

Please accept these comments submitted on behalf of the undersigned organizations as well as our hundreds of thousands of hunters, anglers, and outdoor recreation enthusiast members across the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins and nationwide, regarding the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (Corps) Final GLMRIS Brandon Road Report and EIS (GLMRIS BR Report).

The undersigned organizations appreciate the opportunity to comment. While we support the GLMRIS BR Report, we have some additional comments, which are highlighted below.

Threat

The Great Lakes are a phenomenal natural resource, a network of five inland seas that span 94,000-square miles of surface area, contain 20 percent of all surface freshwater on the planet and comprise the world’s largest freshwater ecosystem. The five lakes — Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie and Ontario —provide drinking water for 35 million people.  In addition, the Great Lakes support a $7 billion fishery; a $16 billion tourism industry; waterfowl production areas that support a hunting economy of $2.6 billion/year; and hunting, fishing, and wildlife observation that generates approximately $18 billion/year.  Combined, these represent a massive outdoor economy that is an integral part of North America’s cultural and outdoor heritage.

Today, we are dealing with the worst crisis to face the Great Lakes since the colonization of the lakes by zebra and quagga mussels: the potential invasion of Asian carp.  Once the invasive carp invade the lakes, there is no turning back; the damage will be done.  Indeed, the urgent need for action is only amplified by the live capture of a silver carp in June 2017 just 9 miles from Lake Michigan on the Lake-side of the electrical deterrents.  Just months earlier, a U.S. Geological Service report estimated that Asian carp would have ample food to survive the near-shore areas of the Great Lakes and their connected river mouth and embayment’s.  Thus, risking the connecting inland streams, rivers and lakes.  We have no choice; we have to take action now to stop the Great Lakes’ invasion by Asian carp.  And we have to take action quickly, while there is still time to save the lakes, and the fish and wildlife that call them home.

Support of the GLMRIS BR Report

Our organizations are supportive of the GLMRIS BR Report, as this plan is the best near-term option for getting additional defenses in place to prevent Asian carp from establishing a population in Lake Michigan and our Great Lakes. This plan includes a gantlet of technologies (acoustic fish deterrent, engineered channel, electric barrier, and a flushing lock) to prevent Asian carp from moving past the lock, while maintaining navigation for shipping.  In addition, we are supportive of removing the water jet measure and replacing it with an air bubble curtain.

Cost Increase

The estimated cost of the project has increased from approximately $275 million to $777.8 million.  This increase is included for the expedited implementation strategy.  We do understand that a large portion of this increase ($317 million and approximately 66%) is estimated as contingency costs.  Given this, the actual cost of this project could be closer to $460 million.  While this is a significant increase in cost, this pales in comparison to the economic risk if Asian carp invade the Great Lakes. Moreover, and as we indicated in the above section, the socio-economic impact of an Asian carp invasion is worth this increased investment.

Implementation Strategies

Given the extreme urgency and the continued threat that Asian carp pose to the Great Lakes, we encourage the Corps to proceed with the expedited strategy to implement this project.

ANS Research and Technology Development

We are glad to see the plan utilize the approach channel and lock as an opportunity to evaluate and optimize ANS controls and maximize the efficiency of the applied technologies.  In addition, we are encouraged that the engineered channel provides a platform for future control technologies.

As such, we request that the Corps continue to support and utilize the most updated research on technology control options to deter and reduce the risk of invasive species transferring between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins.  Given the urgency and high risk of Asian carp and other ANS getting into Lake Michigan, research and development on non-structural and structural control technologies must continue.  Additional federal investments moving forward will help inform the Corps as it progresses with the current GLMRIS BR Report and in identifying a two-way solution either at Brandon Road Lock and Dam or at other locations throughout the CAWS.

Non-structural actions must continue

We continue to applaud the current actions from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Geological Service, and other state and federal agencies in utilizing and deploying aggressive harvest activities along the Des Plaines River and other areas in the CAWS in order to ‘fish down’ the population of Asian carp below the Brandon Road Lock and Dam. We are encouraged to see in this plan that non-structural actions will continue under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  This continued action will help reduce the leading edge populations of Asian carp adjacent to the Brandon Road Lock and Dam.

Conclusion

In conclusion, our organizations thank the Corps for the opportunity to submit comments.  Preventing Asian carp and other invasive species from transferring between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River is an urgent matter that demands immediate action.  We thank the Corps for its efforts in studying ways to address this critical situation.  We encourage you to consider our comments and move as fast and efficiently as possible to finalize this plan and submit to Congress on schedule.  We need stronger controls in place now in order to prevent Asian carp and other invasive species from continuing to swim closer to – and eventually into – the Great Lakes.  Without firm and swift action to stop the further movement of Asian carp and other invasive species, the future of hunting, fishing and our outdoor heritage in the Great Lakes and Mississippi River region is at risk.

Sincerely,

American Sportfishing Association

Anglers of the Au Sable

Antigo Chapter Trout Unlimited (WI)

Austin Chapter 10 of the Izaak Walton League of America
Backcountry Hunters and Anglers

Bass Anglers Sportsman Society (B.A.S.S.)

The Bass Federation of Michigan

Bush Lake Chapter Izaak Walton League of America
Cass County Chapter of the Minnesota Izaak Walton League of America
Columbiana County Federation of Conservation Clubs (OH)

Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation

Conservation Federation of Missouri
Ducks Unlimited

Dwight Lydell Chapter of the Izaak Walton League of America

Fly Fishers International

Fishing League Worldwide

Great Lakes Council of Fly Fishers International

Hoosier Coho Club

Illinois Council of Trout Unlimited

Illinois Division of the Izaak Walton League of America

Indiana Division of the Izaak Walton League of America

Indiana Sportsmen Roundtable

Indiana Wildlife Federation
Iowa Wildlife Federation
Izaak Walton League of America
Lake Erie Charter Boat Association

Marine Retailers of the Americas

Michigan B.A.S.S. Nation

Michigan Chapter, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers
Michigan Steelhead and Salmon Fishermen’s Association
Michigan Trout Unlimited
Michigan United Conservation Clubs

Minnesota B.A.S.S. Nation

Minnesota Chapter, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers
Minnesota Conservation Federation
Minnesota Division Izaak Walton League of America
Minnesota Trout Unlimited
Montmorency County Conservation Club (MI)

National Marine Manufactures Association

National Professional Anglers Association

National Wildlife Federation

New Alsace Conservation Club (Indiana)

New York B.A.S.S. Nation

New York Trout Unlimited

Northwest Indiana Steelheaders

Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association

Ohio B.A.S.S. Nation

Ohio Chapter, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers

Ohio Conservation Federation
Ohio Council of Trout Unlimited

Ontario B.A.S.S. Nation

Owatana Chapter of Izaak Walton League of American (MN)

Pennsylvania B.A.S.S. Nation

Pennsylvania Council of Trout Unlimited
Silvertip Productions (Ohio)
Trout Unlimited
United Northern Sportsmen (Minnesota)

W.J. McCabe (Duluth) Chapter of the Izaak Walton League of America

Wabasha Chapter, MN Division, Izaak Walton League of America
Wild Rivers Chapter, Trout Unlimited (WI)

Wisconsin B.A.S.S. Nation

Wisconsin Chapter, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers

Wisconsin Division of the Izaak Walton League of America

Wisconsin Federation of Great Lakes Sport Fishing Clubs

Wisconsin Trout Unlimited
Wisconsin Wildlife Federation

Statement: National Wildlife Federation Supports Updated Plan to Stop Asian Carp

(November 21, 2018 – Ann Arbor, MI) — Yesterday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released its final draft plan to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes. The draft chief’s report of the Brandon Road Lock and Dam includes both structural and nonstructural measures including an engineered lock fitted with an electric barrier, a bubble barrier, an acoustic barrier, and a flushing lock to stop aquatic invasive species like Asian carp, while maintaining navigation for shipping. The Brandon Road Lock and Dam is located just south of Chicago and is a critical chokepoint to help stop Asian carp from continuing to swim closer to Lake Michigan.  The estimated cost of the project is $777.8 million, up from an earlier estimate of $275 million. A previous draft of the plan included water jets in place of the bubble barrier.

A summary of the final plan is available here: https://www.mvr.usace.army.mil/Missions/Environmental-Protection-and-Restoration/GLMRIS-BrandonRoad/.

Federal Register notice:

https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2018/11/26/2018-25647/notice-of-availability-of-the-great-lakes-and-mississippi-river-interbasin-study-brandon-road

Asian carp include species of bighead, silver, black, and grass carp. After escaping from southern United States aquaculture facilities, they have spread rapidly and have reduced native fish populations in waters connected to the Mississippi River watershed, which connects to the Great Lakes watershed through the Chicago Area Waterway System. Asian carp pose a significant threat to our economy, outdoor heritage, and way of life.  In addition, the invasive species is a clear and present danger to the Great Lakes sport-fishery, which is estimated to generate at least $7 billion each year in economic activity.

Marc Smith, director of conservation partnerships for the National Wildlife Federation Great Lakes Regional Center, issued the following statement in response to the release of the updated plan:

“Across the country, Asian carp are undermining our nation’s fisheries and threaten the Great Lakes $7 billion annual sport-fishery. The Army Corps of Engineers plan to rebuild the Brandon Road Lock and Dam south of Chicago is our opportunity to put stronger measures in place to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes. The plan includes a gauntlet of technologies to prevent Asian carp from moving past the lock, while maintaining navigation for shipping. The investment in this project pales in comparison to the economic risk if Asian carp invade the Great Lakes. We intend to review the updates to the plan in detail and offer official public comment later, but at first glance this looks like the plan we need to protect our waters, our fisheries, our sport-fishing economy and our way of life.”

Contact: Drew YoungeDyke, National Wildlife Federation, Senior Communications Coordinator, youngedyked@nwf.org, 734-887-7119

Photo Credit: Emily Wood

National Wildlife Federation Urges Lawmakers to Fund Collaborative Conservation to Address America’s Wildlife Crisis

‘The greatest barrier to wildlife conservation in our nation is the chronic underinvestment in proactive, on-the-ground collaborative conservation’

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 17, 2018) —The National Wildlife Federation urged lawmakers to take a comprehensive approach to addressing America’s wildlife crisis as the U.S. Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee hosts a hearing on the Endangered Species Act. Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, urged lawmakers to expand their conversation to include proactive investments in wildlife conservation through the bipartisan Recovering America’s Wildlife Act.

“America’s wildlife are in crisis — with more than one-third of all species at-risk or vulnerable to potential extinction in the decades ahead. We cannot regulate or deregulate our way out of this monumental problem,” O’Mara said. “The greatest barrier to wildlife conservation in our nation is the chronic underinvestment in proactive, on-the-ground collaborative conservation efforts for species of greatest conservation need, before these species require emergency room measures under the Endangered Species Act. We thank Senator Barrasso for seeking broad input on the best way to recover wildlife species and we urge the Committee to prioritize reaching bipartisan agreement on providing significant dedicated funding for collaborative wildlife conservation, through the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act or a similar piece of legislation.

“Congress has shown — through the recent Farm Bill and the wildlife fix we championed — that it can pass significant conservation legislation. We encourage the Committee to seize the opportunity for landmark progress addressing America’s wildlife crisis.”

The National Wildlife Federation is working at the forefront of U.S. wildlife policy, and prioritizing efforts to restore wildlife populations across the United States. The Federation worked with U.S. Representatives Jeff Fortenberry, R-Neb., and Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., to introduce the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act in the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this session of Congress.

National Wildlife Federation: Pruitt Resignation Offers Opportunity for Reset at EPA

WASHINGTON (July 5, 2018) – The National Wildlife Federation welcomed the news today that Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt prudently chose to step down from his position and allow the White House and U.S. Senate to find new leadership for this critical agency.

“Scott Pruitt made the right decision today,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “The Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency has a sacred responsibility to protect the health of all Americans. Fulfilling this solemn duty demands leadership that upholds our nation’s bedrock environmental laws, makes decisions based upon sound science, and respects the Agency’s 14,000 hardworking public servants. We look forward to working collaboratively with Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler to address the challenges facing our communities’ public health, natural resources, and wildlife.”

The National Wildlife Federation called on Pruitt to resign in April — only the third time in the organization’s 82-year history it had called on a Cabinet-level official to step down.

Visit the National Wildlife Federation Media Center at NWF.org/News.

Archive 2011 IWF Names New Executive Director

Feb 1, 2011 Zionsville, Ind. – Barbara Simpson has been named the new Executive Director of the Indiana Wildlife Federation, a statewide nonprofit organization and grassroots affiliate of the National Wildlife Federation.

She takes charge of the 72 year old conservation organization committed to conserving Indiana’s natural resources and creating a healthy and sustainable environment.
Simpson brings extensive experience to IWF. A co-founder of Casting for Recovery Indiana, Simpson has provided weekend retreats combining counseling, education, medical information, and fly-fishing for breast cancer survivors.

She also serves on IUPUI’s Center for Environmental Science’s advisory board as well as the board of directors for Friends of Goose Pond, which supports the Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area by coordinating research and educational programs.

“Barb has a strong conservation ethic, demonstrated by her involvement in Goose Pond and the close network she has within the fly-fishing community of Indiana,” said Glenn Lange, IWF Board member.

Professionally, Simpson took on a variety of positions for Eli Lilly and Company, most recently the director of human resources.

“Her blend of high level business experience, scientific background, and nonprofit management experience made Barb an incredibly skilled and seasoned candidate to lead IWF,” said Lange.

Simpson takes over for John Goss, who was recently appointed to coordinate the regional effort to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes.