New Report Examines Habitat Loss Impacts on Wildlife, Hunting, Fishing

 ‘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

The logo of the National Wildlife Federation is circular and features a raccoon wearing a ranger hat.

DC Legislative Update: Feb 28–Mar 4, 2022 

Check here for the 2022 Senate Calendar
Check
here for the 2022 House Calendar

Upcoming Congressional Hearings

  • Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee
  • Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, & Forestry Committee
    • Wednesday, March 2 at 10am EST: Hearing to consider the nominations of Christy Goldsmith Romero to be a commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Kristin Johnson to be a commissioner of the CFTC, Summer Mersinger to be commissioner of the CFTC, and Caroline Pham to be a commissioner of the CFTC.
  • Senate Environment and Public Works Committee
    • Wednesday, March 2 at 10am EST: Hearing on implementation of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Pete Buttigieg, Secretary of Transportation, will testify.
  • House Agriculture Committee
  • House Homeland Security Committee
  • House Judiciary Committee
    • Tuesday, March 1 at 10am EST: Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties Subcommittee hearing on discrimination against Muslim, Arab, and South Asian American communities.
  • House Natural Resources Committee
  • House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology

Congressional News

  • With just under two weeks before government funding runs out on March 11th, details on an appropriations deal for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2022 remain scarce. Last week, President Biden requested an additional $6.4 billion to support Ukraine against the invasion by Russia. Congress could add this funding to a larger appropriations package, or we could see piecemeal funding bills passed up until the 11th. Given the amount of work on the appropriations committees’ plates, there could also be a very short funding extension to keep the government open beyond March 11th. Senator Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico remains absent from the Senate as he recovers from a stroke. His absence impacts Democrats’ ability to command a majority in the chamber. He is expected to recover and return to the Senate within a few weeks.

Administrative News

  • President Biden will provide his State of the Union address to Congress at 9pm EST on Tuesday, March 1. Even with the Russian invasion of Ukraine taking center stage, the President is expected to devote part of his speech to the need for climate action. The speech follows just a day after the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its latest installment of the sixth climate assessment, focused on how changes will affect humans and natural ecosystems. You can view NWF’s press release on the report here.
  • On Friday, President Biden announced his selection of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as his nominee to succeed Justice Stephen Breyer on the Supreme Court. Judge Jackson will begin meeting with Senators this week as the chamber prepares for her confirmation proceedings. A confirmation hearing with the Judiciary Committee is expected to come quickly, although the exact timeline has not been announced.
  • See here for additional 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 of Congress are in session this week.
  • The House will begin by considering 8 bills under suspension, and will likely move later in the week to consider legislation related to toxic exposures for military servicemembers under a rule. Action on a Fiscal Year 2022 funding bill or emergency supplemental funding to provide aid to Ukraine is possible.
  • The Senate is in session and will open the week by moving to consider a House-passed bill that protects the right of Americans to receive an abortion. A vote on the motion to consider is expected to fail, after which the chamber will take up the Postal Service reform that has been before Congress for a few weeks.
  • NWF continues to work to advance our priorities on Capitol Hill, so please feel free to share NWF’s 117th Congress National Policy Agenda.
    The logo  of the National Wildlife Federation is circular and features a raccoon wearing a ranger hat.
    www.nwf.org

2022 Indiana Wildlife Virtual 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.

More info, or register here: https://indianawildlife.org/conference/


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.

Learn more and register here.

 

(Due to rising COVID-19 numbers we are no longer hosting the in-person portion of this event. In order to maintain a reasonable length for a virtual meeting, the conference will be reduced in duration to 9:30am-12pm)

D.C. Legislative Update: November 15-19, 2021

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

Upcoming Congressional Hearings 

  • Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee
    • Tuesday, November 16 at 10am EST: Business meeting to consider pending nominations, including Laura Daniel-Davis to be an Assistant Secretary of the Interior (Land and Minerals Management) and Sara Bronin to be Chairman of the Advisory Council on Historic
    • Tuesday, November 16 at 10am EST: “Hearing On Domestic And International Energy Price ”
    • Thursday, November 18 at 10am EST: “Business Meeting To Consider Pending Legislation,” including a number of public lands and forestry bills. See here for the full list.
  • House Foreign Affair Committee
    • Tuesday, November 16 at 10am EST: Subcommittee: Europe, Energy, the Environment and Cyber hearing on “National Security Implications of Climate Change in the Arctic.”
  • House Natural Resources Committee
    • Tuesday, November 16 at 10am EST: Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources hearing on “Oversight: Plugging in Public Lands: Transmission Infrastructure for Renewable Energy.”
  • House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee
  • House Agriculture Committee
  • Senate Finance Committee
    • Tuesday, November 16 at 10:15am EST: ”Hearing to Consider the Nominations of The Honorable Maria Louise Lago, of New York, to be Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade and Lisa Wang, of the District of Columbia, to be an Assistant Secretary of Commerce.”
  • House Energy and Commerce Committee
    • Tuesday, November 16 at 10:30am EST: Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change and the Subcommittee on Energy hearing on “Securing America’s Future: Supply Chain Solutions for a Clean Energy “
  • Senate Environment and Public Works Committee
  • Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee
  • House Science, Space, and Technology Committee
  • Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee
    • Wednesday, November 17 at 10:30am EST: “To consider the following nominations: Chavonda J. Jacobs-Young to be Under Secretary of Agriculture for Research, Education, and Economics, USDA and Margo Schlanger to be an Assistant Secretary of Agriculture, ”
  • House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis
  • Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee
    • Thursday, November 18 at 10:15am EST: “Nominations of Erik Hooks to be Deputy Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Department of Homeland Security; the Honorable Michael Kubayanda to be a Commissioner, Postal Regulatory Commission; Laurel A. Blatchford to be Controller, Office of Federal Financial Management, Office of Management and Budget; and Ebony M. Scott and Donald W. Tunnage to be Associate Judges, Superior Court of the District of Columbia.”

Congressional News 

  • 2372, the Recovering Americas Wildlife Act, now has 33 Senate cosponsors. NWF will continue pushing for more cosponsors and advocating for this critical wildlife conservation bill.
  • In recent weeks, the Senate Appropriations Committee released the remainder of its appropriations bills for the fiscal year See the Committee’s website here for the full text of each bill.

Administrative News  

  • In previous weeks, the EPA issued its proposed rule strengthening, and expanding, methane limits on new oil and gas sector See here for NWF’s press release in support.
  • 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 

  • The House and Senate are both in session this week.
  • The House is expected to consider, and vote on, the Build Back Better Act this week.
  • The Senate is expected to take up the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022 this
  • NWF continues to work to advance our priorities on Capitol Hill, so please feel free to share NWF’s 117th Congress National Policy Agenda.

National Wildlife Federation Logo

Photo Credit: Emily Wood

CWD Bill Could Provide the Funding and Research Needed to Fight Deer Disease

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.

National Wildlife Federation Logo
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. 

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