PEORIA, Ill. July 20, 2022 ---- Marking 100 years of conservation leadership, the Izaak Walton League of America today launched its vision for a second century of conservation of the nation’s woods, waters and wildlife.
During its annual convention in East Peoria, Ill., the League announced an ambitious plan to leverage its strengths that have been hallmarks of the organization since its founding in 1922: community-based conservation, volunteer science and advocacy.
Vicki Arnold, national president of the League, commented:
“In 1922, the nation faced dire threats to our great outdoors. Today, those threats are less obvious but are no less dangerous. Today, the League reaffirms and renews our commitment to defending outdoor America, to leave healthy soil, air, woods, waters and wildlife to future generations.”
The League envisions a future where:
- Every community enjoys clean air, water and other healthy natural resources.
- We are winning the fight against climate change with clean energy, healthy soil, protected landscapes and abundant wetlands, forests and grasslands.
- Americans rediscover their love for nature beginning in their local communities.
- The conservation movement reflects the diversity of America—where conservation becomes part of everyday life for everyone.
- Traditions of hunting, fishing and target shooting endure through growing participation by people of all backgrounds.
To achieve those outcomes, the League committed to implement a Second Century Action Plan, summarized below.
Advancing Community-based Conservation and Volunteer Science
In its second century, the Izaak Walton League will continue to draw on the power of people united by purpose. Whether in volunteer science, policy advocacy or engaging people in outdoor recreation, individuals make all the difference.
Leveraging Volunteer Science: Using technology and a crowd-sourced model, the League will mobilize more people to test for pollution in local waters. One example: the League’s goal is to expand its Salt Watch program to include at least 5,500 volunteers in 300 communities submitting 35,000 chloride test results annually to monitor salt pollution in the nation’s waterways.
Turning Data into Action: Testing for water pollution is a means to an end. League volunteers increasingly turn the data they collect into action and advocacy to improve water quality in their communities.
Advocating for Common-Sense Conservation
Leveraging the progress over the past 100 years, the League will continue its tradition of pushing for common-sense policy for conservation, including:
- Safeguarding drinking water supplies and wildlife habitat by pressing Congress to amend the Clean Water Act to reaffirm it protects all natural streams and wetlands in the United States.
- Expanding conservation and restoration in priority regions, including the Mississippi, Ohio and Missouri River basins, modeled after successful efforts in the Great Lakes and Chesapeake Bay.
- Transforming agriculture by doubling conservation funding to $10 billion annually in the 2023 Farm Bill and scaling-up proven, measurable conservation practices across tens of millions of acres.
- Defending a century of progress protecting our environment. The progress over the past 100 years is not guaranteed to last in perpetuity. The League will defend bedrock principles to manage natural resources based on best available science, ensure robust public participation in decision-making and reduce pollution at the source.
Connecting People to the Outdoors
The League is uniquely positioned to reconnect Americans to the natural world and foster the next generation of conservationists, hunters and anglers. Through community outreach, public events like fishing derbies and local conservation projects, more than 200 League chapters will connect people to nature and grow participation in outdoor recreation.
Building on a 100-Year Legacy
Over its 100-year history, the Izaak Walton League and its chapters have played a leading role in securing dozens of the nation’s bedrock conservation laws and policies. A few examples include:
- Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge, 1924
- “Duck Stamp” that funds sanctuaries for waterfowl, 1932
- Pittman-Robertson Act, which has delivered $2 billion to state wildlife agencies, 1937
- the fight to ban DDT starting in 1945
- Outdoor Recreation Commission in 1958
- Land and Water Conservation Fund in 1964
- Clean Water Act of 1972
- conservation provisions in the 1985 Farm Bill
For details about the vision see www.iwla.org/vision. To learn more about the League’s history, visit www.iwla.org.
Founded in 1922, the Izaak Walton League fights for clean air and water, healthy fish and wildlife habitat and conservation of our natural resources for future generations. The League plays a unique role in supporting community-based conservation and volunteer science and has a long legacy of shaping sound national policy. See www.iwla.org.
Michael Reinemer, Director of Communications, Izaak Walton League of America