President's View: “Inaction is the ally of extinction”

Historic strides towards stronger environmental protections

  • Collin O’Mara President & CEO of the National Wildlife Federation
  • Conservation
  • Feb 04, 2022

At the White House in October with Tribal and other leaders (including NWF’s Collin O’Mara, second from left), President Biden restores the boundaries of the Bears Ears National Monument.

LAST OCTOBER, I HAD THE HONOR of joining Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and other Tribal and conservation leaders at a White House ceremony where President Biden signed an executive order restoring protections for Bears Ears National Monument, a vital habitat for scores of key western species and sacred land for several Tribal nations. The National Wildlife Federation stood in solidarity with our exceptional partner, the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition, to save this critical landscape—and your support was essential to our success.

Likewise, your Federation worked tirelessly to help shape the administration’s Build Back Better Act and the recently enacted bipartisan infrastructure bill. These landmark packages will inject hundreds of billions of dollars of much-needed investment in our nation’s infrastructure, people and natural resources, creating clean energy jobs and addressing ongoing environmental injustices.

In addition to these successes, the Federation is working with affiliates, partners and other stakeholders to help advance the America the Beautiful initiative, an ambitious effort to conserve or restore at least 30 percent of U.S. lands and waters by 2030. This is a once in a generation opportunity to restore habitat and reconnect ecosystems, sequester carbon and build resilience so that wildlife, habitats and people can withstand the impacts of climate change.

And now, in this promising new year, we’re on the cusp of seeing Congress pass the historic Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, which will provide states, territories and Tribes with the necessary funding to save species of greatest conservation need—keeping them from slipping toward extinction. This is the most important wildlife legislation since the Endangered Species Act passed in 1973, and its strong bipartisan support signals how Congress recognizes this unparalleled opportunity to ensure that future generations can enjoy the full diversity of wildlife.

On December 8th, I had the honor of testifying before the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works to make the case that the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act is the last, best opportunity to save North American species. I truly believe that inaction is the ally of extinction, so it’s time to act. All of us at the Federation are incredibly grateful for all that you do to support our efforts to save wildlife—and in doing so, save ourselves. Thank you for helping us build a better and more equitable future together.

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Follow Collin O’Mara on Twitter @Collin_OMara. To share your thoughts and opinions, email him at

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