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Saving the Sagebrush Sea: An Imperiled Western Legacy

Nearly 350 plant and animal species depend on sagebrush habitat for their survival.
 


 

NWF, affiliates to candidates: Tell us where you stand on public lands

Date: 
Fri, 06/17/2016

NWF President and CEO Collin O'Mara calls on candidates to stand up for public lands. Image: Judith Kohler

ESTES PARK Colo. -- At their annual meeting, the National Wildlife Federation and its 50 state and territorial affiliates are speaking out in unison on public lands: Keep them in public hands. Affiliates from across the country are stressing about the importance of national public lands -- national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, coastlines, monuments and the open range land that maintains wildlife migration corridors.

During a June 16 news conference, O'Mara said if candidates for public office "don’t stand with our public lands, we’re not going to support them. We encourage every hunter and angler out there and everyone else who loves the outdoors to do the same."

Read more of his comments.

 

NWF opposes bills targeting national forest lands

Date: 
Wed, 06/15/2016

Two House bills would transfer millions of acres of national forest lands to states. Image: Judith Kohler

By Judith Kohler

WASHINGTON – The National Wildlife Federation has joined other conservation and sportsmen’s organizations in opposing two bills that would remove millions of acres of national forest land from the public domain, endangering fish and wildlife populations, water quality and the public’s ability to hunt, fish and recreate on these lands as it has for generations.

Both HR3560 and HR2316 would remove the public out of ownership and management decisions on large tracts of national forests, which are important sources of clean water and fish and wildlife habitat, said Mike Leahy, the National Wildlife Federation’s senior manager of public lands and sportsmen’s policy.

“Sportsmen and women and outdoor enthusiasts of all backgrounds have helped defeat several land-grab attempts in statehouses across the county and we will fight any land-giveaway schemes by Congress,” Leahy said. 

 

Interior launches needed review of federal coal program

Date: 
Mon, 05/30/2016

The Black Thunder coal mine in Wyoming's Powder River Basin. Image: EcoFlight

CASPER, Wyo. -- The National Wildlife Federation and its state affiliates have joined other sportsmen's and conservation organizations in urging the Interior Department to modernize its federal coal program to ensure a fair return to U.S. taxpayers, require that mined land is reclaimed before more public land is leased, improve reclamation standards and provide funding to restore wildlife habitat.

The Bureau of Land Management is holding public meetings across the country as it launches a review of the federal coal program in what would be the first update of regulations in 30 years.

“As more coal companies declare bankruptcy and struggle to cover costs, American taxpayers face the risk of getting stuck with the bill to reclaim the growing backlog of disturbed land, much of it in the heart of important wildlife habitat. Now more than ever, it is time for coal leasing reform on our public lands: our fish and wildlife depend on it; our workers depend on it; and our way of life depends on it." ~ Brenda Lindlief Hall, NWF coal program coordinator.

 

NWF, affiliates: Attacks on sage-grouse conservation don't belong in defense bill

Date: 
Sun, 05/22/2016

Image: USFWS/Mountain-Prairie Region

In a repeat of last year, the U.S. House has passed the National Defense Authorization Act with unrelated environmental and wildlife provisions, including one that would block federal plans to conserve sage-grouse and its habitat -- the sagebrush steppe, which supports more than 350 species. The bill passed May 18 also contains language that would undermine the goal of keeping invasive species out the Great Lakes; block Endangered Species Act protections for the lesser prairie chicken; and transfer more half of the Desert National Wildlife Refuge in Nevada to the Air Force even though the military hasn't requested the transfer. 

“Weakening protections for our nation’s fish and wildlife in a piece of legislation intended to strengthen national defense is simply unacceptable,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. 

 

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