Working for Wildlife

Scouts help monarchs, awards for conservation heroes, Tennessee affiliate and more

  • Mark Wexler
  • Conservation
  • Jun 01, 2018


Scouts enlist to help monarchs

Leaders from the National Capital Area Council (NCAC) of the Boy Scouts of America, the National Wildlife Federation and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service joined nearly 500 scouts in February at the U.S. National Arboretum (above) in Washington, D.C., to kick off a program called Milkweed for Monarchs. The event highlighted the important role scouts can play in providing habitat for the at-risk insects by cultivating native milkweed, the only plant the species’ larvae can eat.

Butterfly & pots

NCAC Scout Executive Les Baron encouraged all 58,000 scouts in the D.C. area to plant milkweed, and NWF President and CEO Collin O’Mara urged scouts in other regions to participate as well, saying they could “light a monarch conservation fire that burns across the country.”

Youngsters at the event put pollinator plants in pots and took home milkweed seeds to grow. “I can’t think of a better symbol than the monarch to connect our youth to nature,” says Maryland attorney and active scout supporter Lowell Baier, a member of NWF’s President’s Leadership Council.


Johnny Morris with Ranger Rick


Worthy tribute

In March, NWF hosted “America’s Wild Outdoors,” an evening highlighting the Federation’s collaborative conservation work. The event also honored three national conservation leaders. Johnny Morris (with Ranger Rick)—founder of Bass Pro Shops and creator of the Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium—received the Jay N. “Ding” Darling Conservation Award for his work promoting outdoor recreation and advocating for funding to recover the full diversity of America’s wildlife. National Conservation Achievement Awards went to Delaware Senator Tom Carper, honored for his habitat and clean-water initiatives, and Maine Senator Susan Collins for her support of anti-pollution measures and getting kids outdoors.


Kathy Stephens of SCWF and Dave Chadwick


Celebrating some of our own conservation champions

At its annual meeting in June, NWF presented the following awards to affiliates and staff members who have made outstanding contributions to conservation:

Affiliate of the Year Award: For more than 70 years, the Tennessee Wildlife Federation has played a key role in developing the state’s habitat, youth and sporting programs (see below).

Conservation Leadership Award: A board member and former chair of the South Carolina Wildlife Federation, Kathy Stephens (above, at left) is a strong advocate of habitat-preservation and hunter-rights programs.

Charlie Shaw Conservation Partnership Award, NWF Affiliate: Since becoming executive director of the Montana Wildlife Federation, Dave Chadwick (above, at right) has helped make the organization one of the state’s most influential groups.

Charlie Shaw Conservation Partnership Award, NWF Staff: As NWF’s Manager of Southeast Forestry, Tiffany Woods forges important partnerships with landowners and NWF affiliates to protect and restore habitat for endangered species and other wildlife.

Affiliate Volunteer of the Year Award: An avid kayaker, Michelle Blair has devoted countless hours to organizing river races for the Mississippi Wildlife Federation to raise public awareness about regional water-quality issues.

Youth Achievement Award: Now the Watershed Education Coordinator for the Delaware Nature Society, Dakin Hewlett has guided regional residents toward specific actions that benefit local watersheds.


Bugling elk from Tennessee


Shaping sensible state policies to support sportsmen and youth

Founded in the 1940s by concerned sportsmen who pushed lawmakers to pass science-based fish and game management laws for the first time in state history, the Tennessee Wildlife Federation (TWF) has been one of the state’s most effective voices for smart conservation action. “TWF has been instrumental in shaping Tennessee’s policies relating to wildlife habitat, air and water pollution and endangered species protection,” says Nicole Wood, a member of NWF’s board of directors. A diverse mix of hunters, anglers, birders and other nature enthusiasts, the organization also has helped restore state populations of several species, including bald eagles and elk (above).

Growing fast under joint leadership by Chief Executive Officer Michael Butler and Chief Development Officer Kendall McCarter, TWF helps engage people in outdoor activities. Its Hunters for the Hungry program promotes sound deer management and provides meals for food banks, while its Youth Hunting and Fishing program gets kids outside, helping create the next generation of conservationists. Beyond getting people outdoors, says Butler, “these programs also offer unique opportunities for parents to bond with their children.”


Kids camping


Take the pledge to get outdoors this summer

Kicking off on June 23 and continuing all summer, NWF’s 14th annual Great American Campout™ provides a perfect opportunity for families and friends to spend time together outside connecting with nature. Whether you celebrate the occasion in a national monument, at a local park or in your own backyard, you’ll join others across the country who pledge to camp in support of wildlife and nature.

This year, NWF will donate 5,000 native trees to its Trees for Wildlife™ program if at least 300,000 people sign up online to camp any time this summer. The seedlings will be planted by youth groups that will maintain the trees to ensure valuable sources of food and shelter for wildlife for years to come. Go to to pledge and find participating events near you as well as spots where the Federation is hosting groups. The website also offers camping tips and suggestions for family activities, plus recipes to enhance your outdoor experience. The NWF event complements national Great Outdoors Month® in June, so head outside and happy camping!

More from National Wildlife magazine and the National Wildlife Federation:

Battle for Butterflies »
Educating Tomorrow's Naturalists »
NWF Guardians of Abundance »
From Field and Stream to Table »
Read Last Issue's Working for Wildlife »

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