Being successful in saving wildlife requires sweeping numbers to unite toward a shared vision. The National Wildlife Federation was built on the principle that joint effort and solid cooperation are critical to conservation. Today we’re continuing this great American ideal: bringing together people in their appreciation for nature to support conservation. Our success depends on people from all regions and backgrounds—cities, suburbs, and rural areas, young and old—who are empowered and committed to a better future for wildlife.
Our founding meeting in 1936 drew some 2,000 Americans with a common interest in conserving wildlife. Farmers, hunters, anglers, gardeners, and other outdoor enthusiasts came together to fight for policies that would protect wildlife for future generations. We continue to recognize that we're best when we're working together as a united front. That's why we're activating an army of 11 million Americans. Every person in the United States can play a role, whether in their neighborhood, school, workplace, or beyond.
The National Wildlife Federation is growing our “big tent” of individuals and institutions taking action in support of our work for wildlife. This includes continued work with people across the political spectrum, states, cities, counties, towns, and media partners, as well as a huge collaborative cohort of agencies and organizations that have the ability to directly improve conditions for fish and wildlife.
Working in close partnership with our state and territorial affiliates, we will engage many more by 2021. This includes broader-based national conservation and environmental organizations, federal and state agencies, nature centers, museums and zoos, schools, garden clubs, civic groups, and more.
The National Wildlife Federation's Great American Campout connects people with the great outdoors by promoting a great American tradition: outdoor camping. In 2017 more than 200,000 Americans pledged to participate. Through this program, and through partnerships like Hispanics Enjoying Camping, Hunting, and the Outdoors (HECHO), we’re introducing and reconnecting people to our rich outdoor heritage and better acquainting participants with wildlife. The National Wildlife Federation is deepening its partnerships with traditional supporters—such as hunters and anglers, gardeners, and tribes—and developing increased partnerships with diverse groups from across the country. One way in which the National Wildlife Federation is boldly leading this effort is our Women in Conservation Leadership Summit. Open to women in the conservation field, the summit arms women with tools to be more dynamic voices in their field.
The National Wildlife Federation is also leading a ground-breaking effort to elevate female hunters and anglers. Artemis, the Federation’s newly formed group for sportswomen, unites female recreationists to engage in every aspect of sporting conservation.
The National Wildlife Federation unites all Americans in our shared interests for wildlife conservation. We are on the ground across the country working with communities that span geographical, ethnic, and social ties to learn about grassroots issues and take collective action.
Many of the nation's greatest environmental challenges and opportunities are found in our urban centers. The Midwest Urban Initiative, based out of the National Wildlife Federation’s Great Lakes Regional Center, helps urban communities strengthen their capacity to address environmental concerns. Our work includes on-the-ground advocacy for policy action that benefits urban communities, like clean water access in Flint, Michigan.
We’re also reaching communities with our grassroots programs. Across the country we empower community leaders to take action for wildlife through the National Wildlife Federation’s Community Wildlife Habitats™ program. This community-based program provides leaders with the framework they need to restore wildlife habitats in their area and educate and engage members of their community.
Research shows that an affection for nature and conservation-mindedness emerge from nature and outdoor experiences that are ongoing in a child’s life. The National Wildlife Federation instills a love of nature and wildlife in American children through nature experiences and provides them with the nature-based knowledge and skills they will need to succeed as global citizens and future stewards or our planet.
For more than 50 years, our beloved Ranger Rick has served as a friendly mascot for the National Wildlife Federation, engaging children of all ages with our love for wildlife. Ranger Rick builds connections with kids through our award-winning children's publications, as well as books, products, classroom curriculum, and activities for every level of childhood development.
The National Wildlife Federation’s education programs also provide resources for all ages to learn more about nature and wildlife. From kindergarten to college, our programs provide innovative ways to connect with conservation and create a lasting base of environmental literacy. We also advocate for education policies that connect kids and nature and encourage the implementation of environment concepts in public school policy.
We're helping with work on energy and sustainability, green job development, air and water quality, and environmental justice issues.
Women in Conservation
Our Women in Conservation Leadership Summit seeks to foster, empower, and develop women leaders within the conservation community.
Kids and Families
We create ways for kids and families to experience nature and become empowered environmental stewards.
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More than one-third of U.S. fish and wildlife species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. We're on the ground in seven regions across the country, collaborating with 52 state and territory affiliates to reverse the crisis and ensure wildlife thrive.