In This Issue
League Hosts Farm Bill Public Forums
League Hosts Farm Bill Public Forums
The League is sponsoring a series of collaborative outreach events – bringing League members and staff together with colleagues from agriculture and conservation groups – to discuss the needs and opportunities for the next Farm Bill. Farm policies should support agricultural practices that are good for farmers, good for the environment, and good for America. Conservation Compliance – a system of baseline conservation requirements for recipients of U.S. Department of Agriculture benefits – is a critical factor in achieving these goals. With cuts to conservation funding threatening proven voluntary stewardship programs, the cost-saving aspect of Conservation Compliance is critical.
Learn how the Farm Bill impacts our food, soil, air, water, and budgets, and how you can shape sustainable food and farm priorities.
An RSVP is required to attend each of these events. Please visit our Web site for more information.
America's National Wildlife Refuges are the only network of national public lands dedicated to conserving fish and wildlife and their habitat. Refuges also offer incredible opportunities to hunt, fish, watch wildlife, or simply take a walk in the woods. However, the system stands at a crossroads as new challenges – including climate change, invasive species, and the growing disconnect between our children and the natural world – demand new approaches to conserving and managing habitat and engaging the American people.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently launched an effort to develop a new vision to guide refuge management for the next decade and beyond, and the agency encourages citizens to share their views about the future of the refuge system. More information about the draft vision is available on the Conserving the Future Web site set up for this vision process. Watch for action alerts from the League this month with sample comments about the draft vision.
Each year at our national convention, League members consider and vote on resolutions that become part of our conservation policies. These policies guide the League's conservation and advocacy work at the local, state, and national levels.
The deadline for submitting resolutions for consideration at the 2011 national convention is 5 pm Eastern Time on Wednesday, June 29. Check out the Resolutions Process page on the League's Web site for useful information about structuring resolutions and where proposed resolutions can be sent.
While Congress continues to wrangle over a budget for the current year, it is also preparing to craft a budget for 2012. Decisions made in the months ahead will directly affect agricultural conservation; management of fish, wildlife, and public lands; and environmental protection.
The League is weighing in with policymakers in Congress to support essential conservation investments and oppose policy provisions that have nothing to do with dollars and cents but limit the ability of federal agencies to do their jobs. Visit the League's Web site to read our testimony to Congress on federal funding priorities.
Last week, President Obama announced a "Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future" that outlines the administration's national energy policy. Key points include efforts to
You can read an overview of the Blueprint online and download the full PDF.
The League is actively working to promote secure energy resources that don't compromise our natural resources, advance programs and rate designs that encourage and reward energy conservation, and develop renewable sources of energy that satisfy our daily needs. Read more on the League's Energy Program Web page.
Numerous new mining operations have been proposed in northeastern Minnesota that could seriously degrade water quality in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) and Lake Superior. These operations would involve mining for metals in sulfide-bearing ore bodies – a process new to Minnesota, but elsewhere in the country, this type of mining has resulted in disastrous toxic pollution and runoff that can continue for centuries after the mines close.
Although serious questions remain about damage to water quality, stream health, and habitat from this form of mining, the Minnesota legislature has passed bills that would weaken environmental protections to ensure that such new mines are opened quickly. League members and staff have analyzed the environmental impact of the proposed mines and continue to raise concerns over potential environmental damage. For the latest on this issue, read the League's "Listen to citizens worried about sulfide mining" commentary that appeared in last week's St. Paul Pioneer Press.
The Izaak Walton League offers two $2,500 scholarships for qualified college juniors or seniors studying conservation or an environment-related major. The deadline for applications has been extended until May 1, 2011, so your child still has time to apply!
Specific requirements are available on the League Web site. For more information about the application criteria and process, contact Earl Hower, IWLA Director of Chapter Relations, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (800) IKE-LINE x216.
These scholarships are made possible in part through the generous support of the Izaak Walton League of America Endowment.
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