CONSERVATION CURRENTS APRIL 2014
In This Issue
New Edition of Compleat Angler Looks at Conservation Past, Present, and Future
New Edition of Compleat Angler Looks at Conservation Past, Present, and Future
When the men who founded the Izaak Walton League met for the first time in 1922, they could have called their new organization almost anything. They were Midwestern sportsmen, journalists, salesmen, and even one preacher. For many of them, the lands and waters they loved were along the upper Mississippi River in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, and Iowa. Yet they did not choose a regional name or pick a name focused on a specific fish or water resource.
Instead, they named their organization for the author of The Compleat Angler – one of the most original and influential books about the environment. Walton and The Compleat Angler had profound meaning for League founders who loved to fish, who understood that clean water is essential to human health as well as healthy fish and wildlife, and who saw Walton as an inspirational voice for conservation and the art of angling.
For the League, Walton is so much more than an historical figure. As one reads The Compleat Angler, we learn about the man, his love for angling and the outdoors, his vision for conservation – and we see how his philosophy is embodied in our organization today. This new edition is a great opportunity to educate a new generation about Izaak Walton and how a healthy environment supports the incredible array of outdoor recreation we enjoy in America today.
The Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency released a long-awaited proposal March 25th to clarify which waters of the United States are covered by the Clean Water Act. The draft rule is a great step toward restoring protections for streams and wetlands that were eliminated by confusing Supreme Court rulings and agency rules over the last decade. Read more about the draft rule on the League Web site.
"Restoring these protections has been a League priority for more than a decade – and this is the most significant step toward that goal," said IWLA Executive Director Scott Kovarovics in a blog post on the League Web site. The next critical step is mobilizing sportsmen and outdoor enthusiasts to support the proposed rule. The League will have an action alert out to our members and supporters this month.
Farm Bill Webinar: April 3
What does the new Farm Bill mean for conservation? Join us for a webinar to explore Farm Bill "wins" and how we move from policy to effective implementation on the ground.
Staff from the Izaak Walton League and the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition will discuss how we can realize the benefits of programs that protect air, water, wetlands, wildlife habits, and healthy soils. The expanded Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) – which delivers conservation assistance to producers and landowners – will be emphasized, including a discussion of how the program is set up, its impact on organizations and their work, and the types of projects the program will support.
Ikes Gather in the "Golden State"
League members will gather in California this summer for our national convention. It's the best chance you'll have this year to expand your Ike network, share ideas about chapter programs that work, learn about national conservation issues, and attend workshops on new tools to help your chapter succeed in engaging members, the community, and policymakers. And where else can you drive to the beach, desert, and mountains within just a few hours?
Stay a few extra days in Anaheim to enjoy all the area has to offer. From amusement parks and a science center to beautiful beaches and coastal wetlands, there's plenty nearby to entertain Ikes of all ages.
Visit our Convention Web page for hotel information and more. Registration forms will be available soon!
Army Corps Short-Changes Science on Upper Mississippi
After years working to secure full funding for the Upper Mississippi River Restoration Program, the League succeeded last year: Congress appropriated more than $30 million for the program in the Fiscal Year 2014 budget. However, now that the funds are available, the Army Corps of Engineers is short-changing the long-term monitoring part of the program.
When the program was authorized in the 1986 Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), the Corps was directed to spend one-third of the funds appropriated by Congress to establish and maintain a long-term monitoring program on the Upper Mississippi and Illinois Rivers. The Corps has dutifully split their appropriation, giving one-third to the U.S. Geological Survey for the monitoring component as directed in the authorizing language every year – until now. For Fiscal Year 2014, the Corps announced that the monitoring component would receive only $5.2 million, which is $7.4 million short of the funding level recommended in WRDA.
The League is working with Congress to develop language for the Fiscal Year 2015 budget, which the House will be voting on soon, to ensure monitoring receives the funding it needs and the Corps does not short-change science and research in the future. Stay tuned for opportunities to voice your support and thank your member of Congress for his or her help.
Creek Freaks Training Available
Looking to start an outdoor education program? Need fresh ideas for your existing program? We've got the answer: Creek Freaks!
Creek Freaks is a water-based education program for 10- to 14-year-olds that incorporates indoor science experiments and outdoor stream monitoring. League staff can provide you with in-person training on stream ecology, conducting youth programs, and activities from the Creek Freaks curriculum.
We encourage after-school program leaders, summer camp staff, enthusiastic teachers, non-formal educators, and interested volunteers to learn more about this exciting opportunity! Contact Erin Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org or (301) 548-0150 x229.
National Awards Deadline: June 1
The League's national awards offer all League members the opportunity to recognize their peers for conservation work at the local, regional, state, and national levels. It is also an opportunity to share "what works" for local conservation and outdoor recreation projects. Nomination Deadline: June 1, 2014.
IWLA Sponsors National Hunting and Fishing Day
The League is proud to be a sponsor of National Hunting and Fishing Day again this year. This event – which provides opportunities for people to learn more about hunting, angling, and shooting sports – is ideally suited to League chapters across the country. This year's honorary national chairman is country music star Craig Morgan.
National Hunting and Fishing Day is Saturday, September 27th, but it's never too early to start planning! Visit the League Web site for event ideas and more.
IWLA Youth Program Survey
The League's strategic plan – adopted by delegates to the 2013 national convention – includes ambitious conservation and outdoor recreation goals for the next five years. Throughout the planning process, League members emphasized that connecting more young people with conservation and outdoor recreation is their top priority.
The national organization is committed to supporting members and chapters as we work together to achieve this goal – and all our goals. League staff are drafting a survey to be distributed to chapter leaders asking what types of training, support, and programs chapters would find most helpful for youth engagement. League staff will use this feedback to prioritize development and delivery of member resources in the future.
This online survey will be e-mailed to chapter officers in April, so please keep a lookout for it. Questions? E-mail Rebecca Wadler-Lase at email@example.com.
Recycling for Charity
Have an old cell phone, camera, laptop, iPod, or other gadget you're no longer using? You can keep these electronics out of a landfill and help the League in the process!
The Izaak Walton League of America is part of the Recycling for Charities program. For each wireless electronic item donated, Recycling for Charities will contribute a minimum of one dollar (more depending on the item) to the League.
The process is easy. Visit the Recycling for Charities Donation page and select "Izaak Walton League of America" in the charity drop-down box. Print out a shipping label and tax donation form, affix the label to a box, and mail in your donated electronics. Your product donation is tax deductible, so that can help offset your mailing costs.
Want to do more? Hold an electronics recycling drive at your chapter or a community gathering spot. Together, we can conserve the environment and further the important work of the Izaak Walton League.
Resource of the Month: Name Badges
Make a great first impression at your next community event, at division and national meetings, and with new members at your chapter. Order an Izaak Walton League name badge. These sturdy badges can be engraved with your name, title, and chapter or division name.
Download an order form (PDF) to order yours today. Get a bulk discount by placing one order for all your officers!
If you have any questions about this newsletter or other IWLA programs, please contact:
Founded in 1922, the Izaak Walton League of America protects America's outdoors through community-based conservation, education, and the promotion of outdoor recreation.
PHOTO CREDITS: Olivia Dorothy (1), Oxford University Press (1), U.S. Department of Agriculture/NRCS (1), IStock (1), Anaheim Orange County Visitors and Convention Bureau (1), Chris Young (1), Izaak Walton League of America (3), Rockville Chapter IWLA (1), Dwight Lydell Chapter IWLA (1), FreeDigitalPhotos/MR LIGHTMAN (1)