Accomplishments for Wildlife in 2013
Here are just a few of our favorite stories from 2013 that friends like you helped make possible! To hear more great stories about how people are helping wildlife and connecting kids to nature, subscribe to our e-newsletter or read our Wildlife Promise blog.
Wildlife and Habitat Protected!
Bad Bison Bills Defeated
NWF members, concerned sportsmen and other like-minded conservation groups across the country joined forces to defeat a barrage of anti-bison bills sponsored by Montana lawmakers. The bills would have blocked efforts to return wild bison to their native habitat. This victory accompanied continued progress in restoring the species, including the release of 34 bison on the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation.
Keeping Public Lands in Public Hands
NWF won the establishment of New Mexico’s spectacular Rio Grande del Norte as a national monument, permanently protecting more than 240,000 acres of public lands. This landscape is a haven for elk, bighorn sheep and pronghorn, plus part of a vital migration corridor for sandhill cranes and other birds. Protecting public lands from development, climate change and political assault is a priority project for NWF, because once these lands are damaged, they are never the same.
Wildlife Acres Secured for Bighorn Sheep
Thanks to successful NWF negotiations in the summer of 2013, we eliminated conflict between domestic and wild bighorn sheep by “retiring” domestic sheep grazing privileges on 12,000 acres of Montana’s Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest. This $50,000 investment will prevent domestic sheep from spreading fatal disease to two herds of bighorn. To date NWF members have helped eliminate wildlife conflicts on more than 680,000 acres of vital habitat through our Adopt a Wildlife Acre program.
Holding BP Accountable for Gulf Restoration
NWF and our supporters continued to be a lead voice for Gulf restoration, fighting to hold BP accountable for the damage done by the 2010 Gulf oil disaster. At the close of 2013, BP was still in court fighting just how much they will have to pay for the environmental damage they inflicted, and we were on the courthouse steps, reminding people what is at stake and amplifying the latest research of ongoing wildlife impacts.
Better Energy Options for Wildlife!
Defending Endangered Orcas in Puget Sound
Thousands spoke out this year against the development of coal ports in the Pacific Northwest that would ship coal overseas to China and spew toxic pollution into the waters that endangered orcas depend on. With your help, NWF prompted Washington State to mandate an environmental review of one of the proposed ports, which could ultimately put an end to the project! To date NWF has successfully blocked three of six coal terminals, and with your help, continues to fight the remaining three.
Giving Wildlife a Second Chance on the Roan Plateau
Federal officials will take another look at managing public lands on western Colorado’s Roan Plateau after a federal judge rejected their plan for drilling for oil and gas there. The decision stemmed from a lawsuit filed by NWF and other conservation groups in response to an initial drilling plan that failed to consider other, more wildlife-friendly approaches to drilling. The Roan harbors some of the nation’s largest mule deer and elk herds, as well as cutthroat trout and other fish.
Breaking Through on Climate Change
Answering the call of wildlife advocates and the hundreds of thousands of messages coordinated by NWF and our partners, the White House released a bold new plan to address climate change. The plan directs the Environmental Protection Agency to take actions that would require reducing carbon pollution from power plants. It comes not a minute too soon for polar bears, moose and other species at-risk from the effects of our changing climate.
People Conserving Energy and Connecting With Nature!
Empowering Students and Teachers to Green Their Schools
National Wildlife Federation's Eco-Schools USA program continued to reach more and more schools, helping educators integrate sustainable principles and environmental conservation throughout their buildings, grounds and curricula. In the New York City public school system alone, NWF recruited almost 140 schools in less than a year (up from eight schools at the start of the year).
College Students Compete to Save Energy
This past spring, nearly a quarter-million students at 100 colleges and universities competed in the Campus Conservation Nationals, a contest for reducing energy use that NWF’s Campus Ecology program helped host. Together, these students saved more than 1.5 million gallons of water and 1.7 million kilowatt-hours of energy, equivalent to cutting more than 2.6 million pounds of carbon dioxide and taking 151 U.S. homes off the grid for a year.
Thousands Educated About Bats Through NWF Webinars
Habitat loss, pesticides, pollution and disease are threatening bat populations, which is why NWF joined forces with Bat Conservation International this year to host a series of webinars to inspire adults and students to help conserve these flying mammals, including hands-on solutions like building a bat house. This was just one of many topics covered by NWF webinars in 2013, along with other educator resources and lesson plans.
People Connected to Wildlife
Saving wildlife starts with connecting people to wildlife—something we hold as a high priority at National Wildlife Federation. Every time we deliver National Wildlife, Ranger Rick or Ranger Rick Jr. magazines to your mailboxes; every time we share an amazing image on our Facebook page and read the comments it inspires; every time we certify a wildlife habitat and hear about the animals it attracts; all of these are victories to us.
Thank you for all you do to support wildlife!
The above accomplishments are a direct result of the actions and contributions of people like you. Please consider making a donation today to help continue the critical work needed to protect imperiled species, as well as to help NWF continue to connect people to the amazing world of wildlife!