National Wildlife Federation Renews Commitment to Conservation Values at 79th Annual Meeting
"Our nation’s wildlife, fish, healthy waters, clean air, and public lands are a birthright of all Americans."
At its 79th Annual Meeting, affiliates of the National Wildlife Federation, one of America’s oldest and largest wildlife conservation and education organizations, have ratified a series of resolutions, including a “We Believe” statement renewing NWF’s pledge to protect bedrock conservation values.
“The National Wildlife Federation was founded in 1936 by local conservation groups from across the nation under the premise that all who love wildlife from hunters, anglers, and hikers to gardeners, birders, and farmers must band together to defend and enhance our natural resources and our outdoor heritage. Our ‘We Believe’ statement defines a 21st century vision of what unites us as wildlife conservationists from every walk of life and every corner of the nation: ‘Our nation’s wildlife, fish, healthy waters, clean air, and public lands are a birthright of all Americans,’” said Collin O’Mara, president and chief executive officer of the National Wildlife Federation. “As we work to rebuild America’s Conservation Field Army and begin our 80th anniversary, the entire National Wildlife Federation, including our 49 state and territorial affiliates and our nearly 6 million supporters, stand unified in steadfast support of these truly American values.”
The 12-point statement passed unanimously by the National Wildlife Federation’s state and territorial affiliates reinvigorates the organization’s commitment to bedrock conservation values. It reads:
America’s experience with cherished landscapes and wildlife has helped define and shape our national character and identity for generations. Protecting these natural resources is a cause that has long united Americans from all walks of life and political stripes. To hunters, anglers, hikers, birders, wildlife watchers, boaters, climbers, campers, cyclists, gardeners, farmers, forest stewards and other outdoor enthusiasts, this conservation ethic has evolved and is now integral to our heritage and fundamental to the very pursuit of happiness enshrined at the founding of this great country. It is this heritage that we will defend and pass on to our children. And for all Americans, whether they venture into nature or not, whether they live in the middle of our most densely populated cities or in small towns or rural communities or somewhere in between, we all depend on clean air, clean water, and a healthy environment. Our ties to the land provide spiritual sustenance and a path to virtue; they suggest a perfection in nature that exceeds anything humans can create. As Americans we share a sacred duty and obligation to protect and build upon our conservation heritage for the sake of native wildlife, ourselves, our neighbors, and most of all for future generations.
To this end, we believe…
Affiliate Resolutions Adopted
The Federation is unique among conservation groups with a highly diverse federation of affiliates – ranging from ardent hunters and anglers to more progressive environmental groups – which come together at our annual meeting to debate resolutions proposed by the affiliates on pressing wildlife issues. The Federation uses resolutions to pursue common conservation goals. Conservation policy resolutions adopted at the Annual Meeting inform other institutions, the press, and the public of the Federation’s position on various issues.
Adopted resolutions included:
- Recommending wild bighorn sheep be kept separate from domestic livestock to minimize the spread of disease
- Supporting the efforts of state, federal and private entities to conserve both sage-grouse and sagebrush habitats
- Urging President Obama and/or Vice President Biden to attend the 2016 World Conservation Congress for the purpose of demonstrating U.S. leadership in the international conservation arena
- Supporting implementation of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies’ North American Conservation Education Strategy by public and private schools, conservation interests, and informal education institutions at all levels to encourage outdoor skill development in young people across America.
- Increasing and, in the long term, sustaining populations of pollinators such as bees as well as butterflies and other species
- Registering the Federation’s formal opposition to sulfide mining within the watershed of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Minnesota
- Calling for establishment of biodiversity, natural resource and habitat protections, carbon reductions for forest bioenergy used for electricity and heat generation; and a moratorium on the use of high-risk invasive species for bioenergy
- Reaffirming support for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service efforts to declare Western Great Lakes gray wolves as recovered and ready to be delisted from the Endangered Species Act
- Calling for improvements to the way in which species that have recovered according to sound scientific wildlife management are de-listed under the Endangered Species Act