TWS Sign-On Supporting Funding for the State and Tribal Wildlife Grants Program
On September 3, TWS along with many outdoor-enthusiast organizations signed a letter to be delivered to Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) expressing their support for sufficient funding for the State and Tribal Wildlife Grants Program. The letter was signed by 600 organizations nationwide, including 43 TWS Sections and Chapters, and urged the House to drop their proposed 50 percent funding cut to the program for FY13.
The State and Tribal Wildlife Grants Program is a successful non-regulatory, incentive-based federal program that aims to prevent endangered species listings by proactively conserving at-risk fish and wildlife. The program provides funding to improve management on public and private lands, support research, protect native habitats, and facilitate partnerships between local, state, federal, tribal, and non-governmental organizations.
Congress and USDA Urged to Allocate Appropriate Fire-suppression Budgets
TWS and partners sent letters to Secretary of Agriculture Vilsack and House lawmakers urging them to properly fund both the USFS fire-suppression budget and the FLAME fund established by the 2009 FLAME Act. The act was designed to fully fund fire-suppression efforts without the need for transferring additional funds from other USFS and DOI programs. USFS recently notified Congress of a plan to transfer 400 million dollars from other program areas, indicating that the FLAME Act is not being funded as intended. Transfers are short-term measures that have long-term costs by defunding other USFS programs, including hazardous-fuels reduction.
Congress Asked to Pass Full Farm Bill with Conservation Funding
On September 11, TWS along with several other organizations delivered a letter to Congress urging them not to bring a disaster relief package to the floor as a stand-alone bill or included in a Farm Bill extension measure. They insisted that the best drought and disaster assistance bill would be a new farm bill, and urged Congress to finalize a five-year farm bill this year.
New Technical Review: Oil & Gas
TWS is pleased to announce the release of its latest Technical Review, “Impacts of Crude Oil and Natural Gas Developments on Wildlife and Wildlife Habitat in the Rocky Mountain Region.” The Technical Review examines the extent of oil and gas developments and processes, and provides recommendations to wildlife professionals grappling with the impacts of these industries.
The authors found that a multitude of wildlife species avoid oil and gas developments, and that such behavioral changes affect energy expenditure in ungulates, impact greater sage-grouse populations, and affect reproduction in waterfowl. Recommendations include landscape-level planning for sage-grouse habitat, minimizing disturbance footprints by limiting human presence on production fields, providing migration corridors for ungulates, minimizing noise pollution, and eliminating the storage of contaminated water. The Technical Review is available for download or purchase.
Conservation Affairs and Subunit Leadership Workshop at 2012 Annual Meeting
The Government Affairs Department and the Certification and Subunits Program have designed an in-depth, hands-on training that provides tools for wildlife professionals to use while serving in their current and future capacity within The Wildlife Society. This workshop will enhance awareness of conservation affairs, competency in communication, and skills pertaining to leadership and strategic planning.
Participants will discuss TWS’s historic role in policy, advocacy training, communication skills, fiduciary responsibility among wildlife agencies, federal laws pertaining to wildlife conservation, characteristics of leaders, strategic planning, goal setting, delegating responsibilities, subunit officer benefits, and how to use social media. The workshop will be hosted on Saturday, October 13th from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, at a cost of $20 to cover lunch. For more information please contact Terra Rentz or Shannon Pederson.
Take Action: Urge the House to Pass the Farm Bill
The 2012 Farm Bill was recently passed in the Senate but the House has yet to bring its version of the bill to the full floor for debate. Passing the 2012 Farm Bill with a nationwide Sodsaver provision before the current bill expires on September 30 is crucial to ensuring that key conservation programs receive adequate funding over the next several years and that vital grassland habitat is preserved, as detailed in the July, Part 2 issue of Wildlife Policy News. Visit the TWS Action Center and select “2012 Farm Bill” to tell your Representative to pass the 2012 Farm Bill and restore the nationwide Sodsaver provision.