Action Report: October/November 2008
How National Wildlife Federation is making a difference
A Victory for Conservation
Court ruling protects wildlife habitat from widespread haying and grazing
A federal judge sent a clear message to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in July: It must follow the law in reviewing potentially harmful impacts to wildlife and habitat before it makes sweeping land-use decisions.
Siding with NWF and its affiliates in Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Dakota and Washington, Judge John C. Coughenour found that the USDA violated the National Environmental Policy Act when it failed to study the environmental consequences of opening 24 million acres of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) lands to expanded haying and grazing. The judge issued a permanent injunction against the feed-use program, limiting the number of acres available to less than 2 million.
"The ruling guarantees that conservation remains the top priority and purpose of the CRP, while taking into account the financial needs of those already invested in opening their lands," says Julie Sibbing, NWF's senior program manager for agriculture policy. CRP is the nation's largest taxpayer-supported private lands conservation program, covering nearly 35 million acres. Farmers enrolled in the program help provide habitat for wildlife, protect wetlands and keep more than 450 million tons of topsoil, pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers out of rivers each year.
Making Tracks for Family Fun
As part of its efforts to connect people with nature, NWF is hosting its first-ever Make Tracks!™ Family Trail Weekend (October 11–13). Participants are invited to hike, bike or stroll on a nearby trail to experience the great outdoors.
"A" for Eco Efforts
Wonder what universities and colleges are doing to help make their campuses greener? NWF surveyed more than 1,000 school administrators for Campus Environment 2008: A National Report Card on Sustainability in Higher Education. See Campus Report Card.
Action Plan for Florida
NWF and fellow members of the Florida Ocean and Coastal Coalition have issued a global warming survival guide for the Sunshine State's coastal and marine systems. Titled Preparing for a Sea Change in Florida, the blueprint outlines a series of steps state and federal leaders can take now to combat the effects--both present and looming--of rising sea levels, extreme weather and declining reef health. "We need more than just planning," says Patty Glick, NWF senior global warming specialist and lead author of the report. "We need action today." Visit www.flcoastalandocean.org.
Teens Tackle Warming
To bring the issue of global warming from the big screen to the classroom, NWF partnered with the makers of An Inconvenient Truth to develop a curriculum for high school educators. "The teaching materials focus on climate change and what teens can do about it," says Jan Nelsen, NWF project manager. "Taking action is the most effective way for students to apply knowledge learned." The partners awarded grants for teen-led projects promoting local solutions to the climate crisis. See www.climateclassroom.org.