2022 Indiana Wildlife Conference

Dr. Mamie Parker sits at a large table with a nameplate. She is seated in an executive chair in front of a screen that says Dept of Game & Inland FisheriesKeynote Speaker: Dr. Mamie Parker

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. She currently serves on numerous non-profit boards including the National Wildlife Federation.

 


OTHER PRESENTATIONS INCLUDE:Ohio DNR (retired) botanist Jim McCormick

Jim McCormac (right) 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 has authored or  coauthored six books, including Birds of Ohio, and Wild Ohio: The Best of Our Natural Heritage.

UPDATES FROM THE INDIANA DNR

  • Amanda Wuestefeld, IN Dept of Natural Resources Division of Fish & Wildlife (DFW) Director
  • Brad Westrich, DFW Nongame Biologist | Black Bears in Indiana

CONFERENCE ALSO FEATURES:
Live Bird Demo from Eagle Creek Ornithology Center
Catered Lunch at the Garrison

Learn more and register here.

Indiana Wetland Advocacy, Preservation, and Restoration

This year, the Indiana General Assembly passed SEA 389, which significantly reduced protection for Indiana’s remaining wetlands.  It was a blow to all who understand the vital importance of wetlands to water resources and to wildlife, but it was not an endpoint.  There is much we can still do ensure the continuation of Indiana’s wetlands.  The Hoosier Environmental Council and Indiana Wildlife Federation are hosting a webinar to review steps we can all take. 

Please join us for ‘Indiana Wetland Advocacy, Preservation, and Restoration’ Wednesday, October 20, at 4:00 PM Eastern/3:00 PM Central.  Register at:   tinyurl.com/3pzvc379

 

D.C. Legislative Update: Sept 20-24, 2021

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

Upcoming Congressional Hearings 

  • House Foreign Affairs Committee
  • Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee
    • Tuesday, September 21 at 10am EST: “Full Committee Hearing to Consider Pending Nominations” including Laura Daniel-Davis to be an Assistant Secretary of the Interior (Land and Minerals Management), Camille C. Touton to be Commissioner of Reclamation, and Sara Bronin to be Chairman of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation
  • Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee
    • Tuesday, September 21 at 3pm EST: Subcommittee on Tourism, Trade, and Export Promotion hearing on “Legislative Solutions to Revive Travel and Tourism and Create Jobs.”
  • Senate Environment and Public Works Committee
    • Wednesday, September 22 at 9:30am EST: “Business meeting to consider several of President Biden’s nominees, legislation to rename federal buildings, and several General Services Administration resolutions. Immediately following, the committee will hold a hearing on the importance of promoting a circular economy.”
  • Senate Finance Committee
    • Wednesday, September 22 at 10am EST: “Hearing to Consider the Nominations of Christi A. Grimm, of Colorado, to be Inspector General, Department of Health and Human Services and Neil Harvey MacBride, of Virginia, to be General Counsel for the Department of the Treasury”
  • Senate Judiciary Committee
  • House energy and Commerce Committee
  • House Agriculture Committee
  • House Science, Space, and Technology Committee
    • Thursday, September 23 at 10am EST: Subcommittee on Environment hearing on “Advancing Earth System Science and Stewardship at ” This hearing will feature witness testimony from the Honorable Richard W. Spinrad, Ph.D., Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, and Administrator, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
  • Senate Homeland Security Committee

Congressional News  

  • Last week, components of the Build Back Better Act (budget reconciliation) bill passed out of the Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce Committees. See here for NWF’s press release on passage through Ways and Means outlining support of the committee’s work to strengthen clean energy and technology. Additionally, see here for NWF’s tweet in support of the Energy and Commerce Committee’s work on the Build Back Better Act to advance climate action.
  • NWF sent this letter to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee in support of Laura Daniel Davis’ nomination to be Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Lands and Minerals Management. Davis, NWF’s former s Chief of Policy and Advocacy, brings the leadership, skills, and experience needed for the role, and NWF supports her swift confirmation.

Administrative News  

  • Last week, NWF sent out a statement urging Congress to pursue needed and overdue reforms to the National Flood Insurance See here for NWF’s press release.
  • See here for White House resources, including a comprehensive list of Executive orders to address COVID, the climate crisis, and environmental justice, among other topics.

What’s Happening This Week  

  • Both chambers are in session this week. The House is expected to focused on a C.R. for FY2022 – to keep the government funded past the September 30 deadline and into, likely, December, 2021 – as well as the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
  • The Senate is expected to work on judicial nominations this In addition, we are expecting this week a cloture and full Senate vote on the nomination of Tracy Stone-Manning for Director of the Bureau of Land Management.
  • As Congress continues to work to advance budget reconciliation, infrastructure, and appropriations, please feel free to share NWF’s 117th Congress National Policy Agenda.

National Wildlife Federation Logo

Brown County State Park, July 14, 2021. Photo by Abbie Gressley, IWF 2021 Summer Intern

Who needs the Indiana Wildlife Federation?

YOU do—that’s who!

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.

Emily Wood and Aaron Stump pose after a long, wet day planting trees  and native woodland perennials at Oliver’s Woods Nature Preserve. Indianapolis, June 2, 2021. Photo by Abbie Gressley, IWF Summer Intern

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!

Mapping Climate & Environmental Justice: Lessons Learned from Local & Regional Tools

PARTNER EVENT: National Wildlife Federation – Federal policymakers are giving increasing focus to environmental justice mapping tools, recognizing their potential in furthering environmental and climate justice. These tools can reveal what kinds of communities are (and aren’t) at risk from environmental hazards, and the compounded pollution and climate burdens some communities face. These tools can also help policymakers understand where environmental justice communities are located, and where climate impacts are being felt first and worst—information that should help inform the ambitious climate priorities of the Biden-Harris administration.

This webinar will highlight lessons learned from existing local and regional mapping tools and efforts to inform these current national discussions.

Parks Maintenance, LWCF, and Recovering America’s Wildlife Act

Contact: Naomi Edelson | 202-797-6889 | edelsonn@nwf.org

Dedicated Wildlife Funding Must be Included

  • America’s wildlife is in crisis — with more than one-third of all species imperiled. This monumental problem demands an equally big solution.
  • The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act is a fiscally responsible, national strategy to hasten the recovery of more than 12,000 potentially at-risk species through the United States.
  • The bill would invest $1.3 billion of existing funding — collected from energy and mineral fees on federal lands and waters — into state-based solutions by supporting the State Wildlife Action Plans mandated by Congress.

 

Recovering Wildlife, Parks Maintenance, and LWCF:

  • All of the parks maintenance bills and one of the LWCF bills call for dedicated funding.
  • Three pillars of conservation funding are needed- 1 for wildlife, 1 for parks, 1 for LWCF
  • Dedicated Wildlife funding has broad bipartisan support with more than 70 cosponsors in the House
  • Dedicated Wildlife funding has widespread support of more than 1000 diverse businesses and groups
  • Saying we can only address the national parks backlog or conserve wildlife is a false choice. We can do both and should refuse to play these connected priorities off each other.
  • After all, one of the main reasons people visit our national parks and other public lands is to see wildlife.

Current Parks Maintenance Legislation

After years of congressional underfunding, the National Parks Service is facing a backlog of more than $11 billion in deferred maintenance repairs. National Park facilities are reaching the end of their lifecycles, and the NPS is struggling to maintain the parks system’s enormous infrastructure, all at a time our parks are experiencing record visitation. Congress is now seeking more funding to address the backlog.

 

Senate:

  •  2509– National Parks Restoration Act, Sponsor: Sen Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
    • Establishes a dedicated park maintenance fund. Funding is provided through 50% of all unallocated money received from onshore and offshore energy development or renewable energy development. LWCF, Reclamation, and other programs funded through energy development will be funded first. This bill prohibits land acquisition.
    • 8 Cosponsors: Sen. Capito (R-WV), Sen. Daines (R-MT), Sen. Gardner (R-CO), Sen. Tillis (R-NC), Sen. Blunt (R-MO), Sen. Heinrich (D-NM), Sen. Manchin (D-WV), Sen. King (I-ME) Full list of cosponsors linked here

 

  • 3172– Restore Our Parks Act, Sponsor: Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH)  (Hearing on July 11th at 3pm- Senate ENR Nat’l Parks Subcommittee)
    • Establishes a dedicated park maintenance fund that provides 50% of the unallocated money of the money from onshore and offshore energy development or renewable energy development up to $1.3 billion per year over five years for a potential total of $6.5 billion. 65% of the funds are to be spent on non-transportation projects and 35% on transportation projects.
    • 3 Cosponsors: Sen. Warner (D-VA), Sen. Alexander (R-TN), Sen. King (I-ME)

Full list of cosponsors linked here

 

  • 751– National Park Service Legacy Act of 2017, Sponsor: Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA)
    • Establishes a dedicated park maintenance fund that slowly escalates over 30 years to provide a total of $11.6 billion in funding. 20% of the funds will be allocated to roads and transportation. 80% of the funds will be spent on non-transportation projects. Funding will come from unallocated money from onshore and offshore energy development and renewable energy development. This bill prohibits land acquisition and this funding is not allowed to replace existing discretionary funding.
    • 21 Cosponsors: 21 (16 D’s, 4 R’s, 1 I)

Full list of cosponsors linked here

 

House:

  • 5210– National Park Restoration Act, Sponsor: Mike Simpson (R-ID)
    • Companion bill to S. 2509
    • 11 Cosponsors: Rep. Schrader (D-OR), Rep. Hanabusa (D-HI), Rep. Garamendi (D-CA), Rep. Hurd (R-TX), Rep. Bishop (R-UT), Rep. Torres (D-CA), Rep. LaMalfa (R-CA), Rep. Cramer (R-ND), Rep. Ross (R-FL), Rep. Cook (R-CA), Rep. Walorski (R-IN)

Full list of cosponsors linked here

 

  • 2584– National Park Restoration Act, Sponsor: Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX)
    • Companion bill to S. 751
    • 80 Cosponsors (40 D’s and 39 R’s)

Full list of cosponsors linked here

 

Current LWCF Legislation

Issue Overview:

The Land and Water Conservation uses revenue from offshore oil and gas drilling to support the conservation of national parks, areas around rivers and lakes, national forests, national forests, and national wildlife refuges. There is a substantial backlog of federal conservation needs are currently estimated at more than $30 billion.

 

Senate:

  • 896– A bill to permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund, Sponsor: Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC)
    • Permanently reauthorizes the Land Water and Conservation Fund, and directs a portion of LWCF funding (1.5% or $10 million annually) to opening up additional access to public lands for hunting, fishing, and other recreation
    • 12 Cosponsors: Sen. Bennet (D-CO), Sen. Collins (R-ME), Sen. Gardner (R-CO), Sen. Daines (R-MT), Sen. Shaheen (D-NH), Sen. Heinrich (D-NM), Sen. Graham (R-SC), Sen. King (I-ME), Sen. Donnelly (D-IN), Sen. Isakson (R-GA), Sen. Ernst (R-IA), Sen. Capito (R-WV)

Full list of cosponsors linked here

 

  • 569– Land and Water Conservation Authorization and Funding Act, Sponsor: Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) with Sen. Burr as cosponsor
    • This bill permanently reauthorizes LWCF and provides for full, dedicated and permanent funding.
    • 43 Cosponsors: (38 D’s, 3 R’s, 2 I’s)

Full list of cosponsors linked here

 

House:

  • 502– To permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund, Sponsor: Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ)
    • Companion bill to S. 896
    • 229 Cosponsors: (193 D’s and 36 R’s)

Full list of cosponsors linked here

Wild About Water

For most people in the U.S., water is something we have traditionally taken for granted.  Unless you live somewhere very rural, chances are you expect water to come out of the tap when you turn it on. The average American uses between 80 and 100 gallons of water per day, and that amount only includes personal consumption rather than the indirect consumption from farming, ranching, industrial, and energy uses. (1) 

Just like us, wildlife and plants depend on water, and its availability and quality can mean the difference between life and death. Water is a resource that we share with native wildlife, not to mention domestic animals and livestock. Our water usage impacts them and vice versa. As Water Quality Month, August is a great time to reflect on the role water plays in our lives and the lives of our wildlife neighbors.

Here are just a few of the ways water helps us and/or native wildlife:

  • Breathing. It may seem counterintuitive for us, as humans, but certain animals like fish and amphibians actually use water to breathe. Fish, for instance, exchange dissolved oxygen and carbon dioxide to and from water via their gills. Amphibians do the same thing in their larval stage, and even as adults, they “breathe” through their thin skin.
  • Drinking. Although it varies based on activity level, climate, health, and other factors, the average adult should drink between 2-3 litres (9-13 cups) of fluid daily. (2) There is too much variation between individual animals to estimate average fluid intake for each species but just imagine the type of range you might see between a thirsty adult mouse and a thirsty adult moose!
  • Eating. Not everyone likes seafood or aquatic plants for dinner, but plenty of animals find those items delicious.  In fact, in some cases, food that grows in the water is their only form of nutrition!
  • Bathing/swimming. We bathe and swim to cool off, clean ourselves, and because it’s fun (well, at least the swimming part). Other animals use water for the same reasons which is why it’s so important to provide water sources in your backyard habitat.

VIDEO: Earlier this year, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources shared a video of a bear bathing in one of the agency’s installed water guzzlers back in 2011. Cool bear, happy bear.

  • Raising young. Many animals, including fish, amphibians, crustaceans, mollusks, and others, spawn (release eggs and sperm) directly into water. For some species, the water’s current is necessary to make sure the eggs get fertilized.

1. http://water.usgs.gov/edu/qa-home-percapita.html

2. http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/water/art-20044256