CONSERVATION CURRENTS FEBRUARY 2014

Conservation Currents
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In This Issue


Comments Due February 15 for Important Environmental Review of Corps' Mississippi River Work

Chevron in riverIn 2011, the St. Louis District of the Army Corps of Engineers was found to be in violation of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) – the federal law that requires agencies to disclose the potential impacts of their activities on natural resources and allows the public to comment on those activities – because it had not updated the environmental reviews of navigation projects since 1976.

The projects of concern to the League are so-called "river training structures" that change river flow and dynamics to facilitate navigation. Over the past four decades, the Corps has built at least 380 new river training structures in the Middle Mississippi. That's at least two structures every mile! However, independent research shows that these structures have increased flood levels by up to 15 feet in some locations. And there is almost no independent evidence supporting Corps claims that these structures are cost-effective and environmentally friendly.

Please tell the Corps today to stop constructing these dubious structures and start protecting wildlife and river communities.

Comments are due by February 15.

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Conservation Priorities Advanced in New Farm Bill

FarmThe long road to a new Farm Bill took a positive turn last week when President Obama signed it into law. The 2014 Farm Bill contained many victories for the conservation community. The League's top priorities – re-establishing the linkage between conservation compliance and crop insurance premium subsidies and protecting native prairie – were included in the final legislation.

While the 2014 Farm Bill provided victories that will benefit our soil, water, and other natural resources, we need to remain vigilant. The new conservation compliance provisions will require the development of new regulations and guidelines for program implementation and administration at USDA. Opponents will attempt to weaken our initiatives at each stage of the process and we will need to stay engaged to ensure that the victories obtained in the 2014 Farm Bill are not diminished.

For more information on these issues, visit the League Web site.

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IWLA National Convention: July 15-18 in Anaheim, CA

Palm trees in AnaheimDon't miss the Ike event of the year! Share "what works" with chapters from across the country, hear about current conservation issues, and have a little fun! E-mail Cathy Berger (cberger@iwla.org) to request a convention registration packet when they are available.

You can even make this a vacation for the whole family. The hotel is only five miles from Disneyland! Other entertainment for kids and adults nearby includes:

  • Knott's Berry Farm: With dozens of rides, shows, and attractions in five themed areas, fun is always in season at Knott's Berry Farm. Splash down the Timber Mountain Log Ride, and stroll through the Park's Old West Ghost Town or hang with the Peanuts gang in Camp Snoopy, the land of high sierra fun!
  • Flight Deck Air Combat Center: Pilot a fighter jet, engage in air-to-air combat, and perform incredible aerial maneuvers – all from the safety of an authentic military flight simulator. Reservations required. Must be 11 or older.
  • Yorba Regional Park: 175 acres of family fun along the Santa Ana River, including model boat sailing, fishing (kids under 16 don't need a license), paddle boats, bike rentals, and more.

For convention schedule highlights and hotel information, visit our 2014 National Convention Web page.

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Register Today for our "Youth in the Outdoors" Webinar Series

Kid in treeJoin League staff for a FREE series of trainings on running a successful youth program. These webinars will help you develop a program that provides youth with positive, enjoyable, and educational nature experiences using a variety of games and activities. All you need for these webinars is a computer and a phone. You can sign up for one seminar at a time, but we encourage you to sign up for all three because they are designed as a continuing series.

Conservation's Future: Why We Must Re-Connect Children to Nature
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
7:00-8:00 p.m. Eastern Time

Engaging Youth in the Outdoors
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
7:00-8:00 p.m. Eastern Time

Youth Programs That Work
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
7:00-8:00 p.m. Eastern Time

After registering online, you will receive a confirmation e-mail with the specifics for joining the webinar. Questions? E-mail Rebecca Wadler at rwadler@iwla.org.

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Seeking Nominees for Chapter Volunteer Award

Who is the dedicated Ike among your chapter members – the one who signs up first for work crews, serves on committees, and makes the organization run more smoothly? Who is the key volunteer for your chapter's conservation projects and outdoor activities? Give your chapter's outstanding volunteer a hearty "thank you" by nominating her or him for the League's Judge John W. Tobin Chapter Volunteer Appreciation Award.

Volunteers are the heart of the Izaak Walton League. Recognize the outstanding volunteers in your chapter. It's quick and easy. The deadline for Tobin Award submissions is March 15, 2014.

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Support the League: Shop Online

You can support the Izaak Walton League just by doing your everyday shopping at the www.iGive.com online shopping village. The amount contributed varies among participating companies but is clearly indicated on the iGive.com Web site. iGive.com stores include the brand-name products you already use from leading online retailers.

Make it a habit to visit iGive.com any time you're ready for a little online shopping. It's a great way to do something good without doing anything extra.


Resource of the Month: Chapter Promotional Posters

Chapter Promotional PostersAdvertise your chapter's next event using one of a series of full-color promotional posters designed to help chapters promote their activities. The mixed set includes five themes and taglines and comes with an instructional CD-ROM.

Visit the Chapter Promotional Posters Web page for more information and an order form.


Contact Information

If you have any questions about this newsletter or other IWLA programs, please contact:

Dawn Merritt
Communications Director
707 Conservation Lane
Gaithersburg, MD 20878
(301) 548-0150 ext. 220
dmerritt@iwla.org


Founded in 1922, the Izaak Walton League of America protects America's outdoors through community-based conservation, education, and the promotion of outdoor recreation.

Mission Statement: To conserve, restore, and promote the sustainable use and enjoyment of our natural resources, including soil, air, woods, waters, and wildlife.

Read previous issues of Conservation Currents.


PHOTO CREDITS: Photodisc (1), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (1), IStock (1), Anaheim Orange County Visitor and Convention Bureau (1), Izaak Walton League of America (1)

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