Read Full Press Release Here.
A Win for Wildlife, Public Lands, and the Economy
U.S. House of Representatives passes Great American Outdoors Act
The Arkansas Wildlife Federation heralds the overwhelming bipartisan support for the Great American Outdoors Act in Congress. This bipartisan legislation will provide permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and $1.9 billion a year to tackle deferred maintenance projects at national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, and other public lands.
“Passage of the Great American Outdoors Act is good news for our state and our nation. It will restore wildlife habitat and increase access to public lands, boost opportunities for recreation, and create jobs in conservation, restoration and construction,” said Charles “Trey” Buckner, III, president of the Arkansas Wildlife Federation. “This legislation will help our state immediately by stimulating our economy and it will help in the long run so that future generations will be able to enjoy the public lands that we all treasure so much.”
“Passing the Great American Outdoors Act is quite simply the most significant investment in conservation in decades. It’s a huge win for wildlife, our natural treasures, our economy, and all Americans, who enjoy our America’s public lands for solace, recreation, and exercise, especially amid this pandemic,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “The Great American Outdoors Act shows us once again that investing in our public lands and waters is a rare issue that transcends partisan politics. All Americans will benefit from this historic legislation, which will create hundreds of thousands of jobs, expand outdoor recreation opportunities in every community, and accelerate our nation’s economic recovery from COVID-19.”
Arkansas Representative French Hill stated earlier today, “My top priority as a member of the bipartisan Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus is to promote programs that improve access to our state and federal public lands, including national parks. I’m proud to have this opportunity to make The Natural State a better place for our friends, families and neighbors to adventure and to call home.”
The Land and Water Conservation Fund has created and maintained local, state and national parks, hiking and biking trails, hunting and fishing access, and much more for over five decades. Last year Congress permanently reauthorized this successful conservation program. The Great American Outdoors Act provides full and permanent funding for it. Over the years, Arkansas has received more than $186 million from the Land and Water Conservation Fund to support places such as the Ozark-St. Francis National Forests, Cache River National Wildlife Refuge, and the Buffalo National River. It has also boosted our outdoor recreation economy which generates $9.7 billion in consumer spending and 96,000 jobs in Arkansas. ***
As a non-profit 501 (c) 3 conservation organization, the Arkansas Wildlife Federation’s mission is to promote conservation, responsible management, and sustainable use of Arkansas' fish, wildlife, natural resources and outdoor recreational opportunities through education and advocacy.
Wildlife of Arkansas Traveling Art Exhibit Schedule |• Opening and Awards Ceremony: May 3, 6:30 pm, Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center, Little Rock
• May 4 – 31: Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center, Little Rock
• June 2 – 28: Forrest L. Wood Crowley's Ridge Nature Center, Jonesboro
• June 30-July 27: Janet Huckabee Arkansas River Valley Nature Center, Fort Smith
• July 28: AWF Annual Conservation Achievement Awards Banquet, White Hall Community Center
• July 30-Aug 23: Governor Mike Huckabee Delta Rivers Nature Center, Pine Bluff
The Bobwhite Quail is one of 377 species in Arkansas which, due to habitat loss, are at risk of becoming extinct.
Help the Arkansas Wildlife Federation keep poison away from our wildlife. The Arkansas Feral Hog Eradication Task Force is seeking input from Arkansans regarding Kaput® Hog poison currently being proposed to kill wild hogs. Recently denied its use by the state of Texas this poison producing company has now turned their sights for approval here in Arkansas. Yes, Arkansas has a feral hog problem but poison is not the answer.
“Poison is an indiscriminate killer,” said Sidney Charbonnet, Special Agent with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “It is extremely poor practice for nuisance animal reduction, as it doesn’t just kill the target species, it can take out whole segments of the food chain with secondary poisonings, as well as potentially killing pet dogs or cats who may consume the bait or the poisoned wildlife.”
Arkansas's eagles, bears, foxes, and other wildlife could suffer if this poison is allowed in our state. Join us at the Arkansas Wildlife Federation in letting them know this is a very bad idea for Arkansas wildlife. You must hurry because the deadline to make your voice heard is October 22.
Submit responses by completing an online survey, here:
Join AWF today to help secure the future of fish and wildlife in Arkansas and save money on travel expenses, too.
AWF has partnered with Choice Hotels to offer all AWF members 15 percent off each night’s stay at over 6,400 Choice Hotel locations around the world. With hotels across 11 brands ranging from upscale with all the extras to a simple room, members can save on every overnight stay whether it’s business or family fun.
AWF members can also join the Choice Privileges Rewards Program to earn free nights at any Choice Hotel brands. Brands include: Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Sleep Inn, Quality Inn, Econo Lodge, Clarion, Roadway, Cambria, Ascend, Main Stay, and Suburban. To see all eligible hotels in a specific area, go to choicehotels.com.
Existing AWF members will receive the discount code and details about this program via email. New and renewing members will receive the code and information in a membership confirmation email.
This AWF benefit could save hundreds of dollars each year for our members depending on how much they travel, so remember AWF and Choice Hotels the next time you make business or family travel plans.
Arkansas Wildlife Federation board members passed a resolution requesting that the US Army Corps of Engineers decline approval of the Diamond Pipeline pending an Environmental Impact Statement. The vote took place during Arkansas Wildlife Federation's board meeting on May 6 at the Witt Stephens, Jr. Nature Center in Little Rock.
"This was an easy decision for board members. The resolution passed unanimously," said Johnny Carrol Sain, interim executive director of the Arkansas Wildlife Federation. "AWF is concerned about the potential dangers to wildlife, watersheds, and municipal water sources. We don't feel those potential dangers have been properly evaluated."
The resolution will be submitted to the Corps of Engineers by its author and AWF board member Jim Wood.
Founded in 1936, the Arkansas Wildlife Federation is Arkansas's oldest nonprofit conservation organization. AWF works with state agencies and other organizations as an advocate for Arkansas wildlife and habitats, and the sustainable use of natural resources
RESOLUTION — ARKANSAS WILDLIFE FEDERATION
PROPOSED DIAMOND OIL PIPELINE PROJECT
WHEREAS, Arkansas Wildlife Federation views our streams, floodplains and their function as valuable Natural State assets to be wisely managed and protected, and
WHEREAS, this proposed $900 million, 424 mile, 20 inch, 200,000 barrel daily volume Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee Diamond Oil Pipeline route involves 500 waterways, drinking water for 250,000 Arkansans, fish, wildlife, wetlands and other aquatic resources, and
WHEREAS, Corps of Engineer decision to permit this major and significant three state federal action under Clean Water Act Nationwide Permit 27 notably excludes the public from any information building input role, and violates the 40 CFR 1500-1508 National Environmental Policy Act process, and
WHEREAS, Nationwide Permit 27 applies only to activities that provide aquatic habitat restoration, establishment and enhancement, none of which is produced by Diamond Pipeline, and
WHEREAS, Diamond Pipeline project is a major and significant federal regulated action that the National Environmental Policy Act requires all reasonable alternative routes must be analyzed, and
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that Arkansas Wildlife Federation, at their May 6, 2017 board meeting, proposes and request that the Corps of Engineers decline approval of the proposed region-wide Diamond Oil Pipeline project and water related crossings until such time as the agency provides an approved Environmental Impact Statement sufficient to meet Council on Environmental Quality procedural requirements.
Arkansas Wildlife Federation Interim Executive Director Johnny Carrol Sain was a featured speaker at the March for Science in Little Rock on April 22.
The March ended at the Arkansas State Capital Building where an estimated 1,500-2,000 people listened to a diverse group of speakers discuss the importance of science.
Sain's speech reflected back to a childhood of observation and appreciation of the natural world that led to his becoming an environmental conservationist.
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette featured excerpts from Sain's speech in a Sunday edition article.
After the march, Sain and AWF volunteers met and visited with marchers at the Museum of Discovery in downtown Little Rock.
Sain's speech in its entirety:
I’m an avid hunter and angler. My wife would say I’m often obsessive about hunting and fishing. I crave that primal connection to the wild. But before I became a hunter and an angler, I was an observer. Of course, I had no credentials, but I was — by the most basic definition — a scientist. A curious child blessed with family that fed the curiosity, my grandfather always had a jar holding some critter he wanted to introduce me to. My dad taught me to listen for spring in the call of a whip-poor-will, which snakes were harmless and which ones deserved my deepest respect, and how much I could learn about the woods and water through quiet observation.
The only reason I had these opportunities at a semi-feral life, seeking an intimate relationship with the natural world we belong to, is because of forward thinking people that leaned heavily on conservation science to save and restore wildlife and habitat. The founder of this forward thinking is my philosophical grandfather Aldo Leopold. Leopold was a hunter, angler, writer, and scientist whose work and words influenced the North American Wildlife Conservation Model. This model is the reason we enjoy our relatively abundant fish and wildlife today, which, given the pressures brought on by the industrial age, is really quite astounding.
One of the seven tenants of the model is that wildlife management be based on sound science by trained wildlife biologists making decisions based on facts, professional experience, and a commitment to shared underlying principle. Research on population dynamics, fish and wildlife behavior, habitat management, and hunter/angler surveys are all part of this science that was, in fact, the saving grace for exploited populations of fish and wildlife, and the habitat only a century ago.
These efforts through science are the reason I’m interim executive director of the Arkansas Wildlife Federation. These efforts through science are why I write about the wild places and wild things within our beautiful state, the Natural State. These efforts through science to conserve fish, wildlife, and their habitat made me who I am today.
Conservation science preserved our hunting and fishing heritage for my generation, and conservation science will ensure my grandchildren can enjoy a semi-feral life, seeking that unique intimate relationship with the natural world known to hunters and anglers.
As Leopold said : “There are some who can live without wild things, and some who cannot.”
Let’s ensure that facts based in science lead us through an increasingly politicized minefield of environmental policy. Conservation science brought us out from the dark ages of depleted fish and wildlife populations. Conservation science is the only hope for those of us who cannot live without wild things.
The Arkansas Wildlife Federation’s Governor’s Conservation Achievement Awards are presented each year to individuals, organizations, and corporations who have gone above and beyond in the conservation of our wildlife and natural resources. The program brings awareness of conservation practices and projects to the public by recognizing conservation leadership in Arkansas.
The award categories include:
Harold Alexander Conservationist of the Year — The highest honor presented by AWF to an individual for sustained and broadly significant conservation work.
Rex Hancock Wildlife Conservationist of the Year — Presented for outstanding contributions to the management, enhancement, and/or restoration of wildlife resources in Arkansas.
Dr. John L. Gray Forestry Conservationist of the Year — Presented for outstanding leadership in the management of our state’s forest resources.
Water Conservationist of the Year — Presented for outstanding contributions to the management, enhancement, and/or restoration of fisheries resources or improvement of water quality in Arkansas.
Carol Griffee Conservation Communicator of the Year — Presented for outstanding conservation media work.
Corporate Conservationist of the Year — Presented for significant efforts by an Arkansas business toward environmental restoration or habitat/resource stewardship.
Conservationist Organization of the Year — Presented for outstanding conservation achievement by a state or local organization.
Conservation Educator of the Year — Presented for outstanding performance in conservation education by a professional or volunteer.
Student Conservationist of the Year — Presented to a young Arkansan who has demonstrated conservation leadership through a personal commitment to conserving the state’s resources and protecting the environment.
Nominations are now open for all awards with a May 1 deadline for submissions. Please go to arwild.org and click the "what we do" tab, then "Governor's Conservation Achievement Awards" tab to make your nominations or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Governor’s Conservation Achievement Awards will be presented to recipients on August 12 at the AWF Annual Governor’s Conservation Achievement Awards Banquet held at the James “Jitters” Morgan White Hall Community Center in White Hall.
Arkansas Wildlife Federation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) founded in1936 to promote conservation, responsible management and sustainable use of Arkansas’s fish, wildlife, natural resources and outdoor recreational opportunities through education and advocacy. AWF is a non-partisan organization. Hunters, anglers, birders, naturalists and outdoors enthusiasts of all types make up its membership.
The Arkansas Wildlife Federation (AWF) joined 56 conservation organizations across the US in asking the Trump administration to include sportsmen’s outdoor infrastructure in Trump’s infrastructure package. Written on behalf of outdoor enthusiasts numbering in the millions, the letter thanked President Trump for his commitment to America’s sportsmen and women. It also applauded the nominations of Rep. Ryan Zinke as secretary of interior and Gov. Sonny Perdue as secretary of agriculture. Both are sportsmen who understand our nation’s conservation heritage. The letter describes an opportunity for the Trump administration to advance three campaign promises — creating American jobs, revitalizing rural America, and honoring the conservation legacy of Theodore Roosevelt — simultaneously.
America’s outdoor economy is one of the strongest facets of our nation’s economy generating more than $646 billion in annual economic benefit, supporting 6.1 million jobs, and attracting more than 140 million participants including nearly 40 million hunters and anglers. In Arkansas, $10 billion is spent yearly to enjoy the outdoors according to the Outdoor Industry Association. The Arkansas outdoor recreation industry supports 126,000 Arkansas jobs, supplies $2.9 billion in wages, and $696 million in state and local tax revenue. This robust outdoor economy depends upon healthy and accessible public lands, clean water, clean air, and abundant wildlife populations. Arkansas, as well as the rest of the US, would benefit from outdoor infrastructure funding. Investment in restoration projects at the state level would drive non-regulatory collaboration to save at-risk wildlife avoiding expensive regulatory and litigation actions taken through the Endangered Species Act. Investing in restoration would also create jobs and strengthen America’s economy.
Advancing bipartisan sportsman legislation would expand hunting and fishing access and create jobs by implementing key on-the-ground conservation and natural infrastructure projects through the North American Wetland Conservation Act, National Fish Habitat Conservation Through Partnerships Act, and a modernized Land and Water Conservation Fund. Sportsman legislation as a bipartisan solution is needed to address the fire funding crisis, improve wildlife habitat restoration, timber yields, and recreational opportunities.
During his confirmation hearing, Rep. Zinke discussed a significant maintenance backlog for our federal public lands and tribal lands. In 2014 AWF and two affiliates, Friends of Delaware Park and Friends of Cane Creek Park, rallied to keep two US Corps of Engineers parks along the Arkansas River open to the public. Both parks were scheduled to be closed because of maintenance budget cutbacks. Sportsman infrastructure legislation would address maintenance backlog and create tens of thousands of jobs.
With Trump’s infrastructure package and bipartisan support we can maximize economic growth while restoring fish and wildlife populations, expanding access to public lands, ensuring clean air and water, and creating more outdoor recreation opportunities for all Americans.
The Arkansas Wildlife Federation, the oldest conservation organization in Arkansas, advocates for the sustainable use of Arkansas’ wildlife habitats and natural resources for future generations. To view the Sportsmen’s Outdoor Infrastructure Letter in its entirety, donate to AWF, or to become an AWF member, visit the Arkansas Wildlife Federation’s website at www.arwild.org.
Dear Mr. President,
On behalf of the millions of hunters, anglers, shooters, and outdoor enthusiasts that our organizations represent, we write to thank you for your commitment to America’s sportsmen and women. We especially want to thank you for nominating Representative Ryan Zinke to serve as Secretary of Interior and Governor Sonny Perdue for Secretary of Agriculture, both of whom are sportsmen who understand our nation’s conservation heritage.
We write because we believe that there is an opportunity for your Administration to advance three campaign promises simultaneously—creating American jobs, revitalizing rural America, and honoring the conservation legacy of Theodore Roosevelt—by including strategic investments in America’s outdoor economy into the President’s infrastructure package.
America’s outdoor economy is one of the fastest growing parts of our nation’s economy, generating more than $646 billion in annual economic benefit, supporting 6.1 million jobs, and attracting more than 140 million participants (including nearly 40 million hunters and anglers). This burgeoning sector depends upon healthy and accessible public lands, clean water, clean air, and abundant wildlife populations. Investments in natural infrastructure as part of an infrastructure package would bolster the outdoor economy, while creating more jobs (15-28 per $1 million invested) and producing a greater return on investment ($2-2.62 return per $1 invested) than other types of investments because most of the investment goes into labor. Investments in natural infrastructure are an opportunity to significantly improve wildlife habitat and water quality while securing dramatic infrastructure investment savings for the taxpayer. Importantly, many of the jobs created would be in rural communities facing high unemployment.
We specifically encourage the Administration to dedicate 5% of the $1 trillion infrastructure package ($5 billion/year) toward natural infrastructure and conservation investments that will grow America’s outdoor economy, including:
1.Recover America’s Wildlife: Much of the outdoor economy is predicated on healthy wildlife populations, yet thousands of wildlife species are at-risk with more than 1,500 listings pending under the Endangered Species Act. Investing in restoration projects at the state-level (through the Wildlife Conservation and Restoration program at $1.3B/year) will drive non- regulatory collaboration to save at-risk wildlife, reduce the need for expensive “emergency room” measures, and avoid tens of billions of dollars in regulatory/ litigation paralysis—all of which create jobs and strengthen America’s economy. The Blue Ribbon Panel on Sustaining America’s Diverse Fish and Wildlife Resources stands ready to help.
2.Advance Bipartisan Sportsman Legislation: America’s sportsmen have been waiting more than six years for bipartisan sportsmen legislation that expands hunting and fishing access and creates jobs by implementing key on-the-ground conservation and natural infrastructure projects through the North American Wetland Conservation Act, National Fish Habitat Conservation Through Partnerships Act, and a modernized Land and Water Conservation Fund.
3.Confront Forest Fire Crisis: Larger and more frequent wildfires are harming local rural economies, affecting millions of acres of wildlife habitat, and consuming more than half of the U.S. Forest Service budget. There are broadly supported bipartisan solutions that will address the fire funding crisis and improve the agency’s ability to restore wildlife habitat, increase timber yields, and expand recreational opportunities—all of which create jobs.
4.Address Maintenance Backlog: As Rep. Zinke discussed during his confirmation hearing, there is a significant maintenance backlog for our National Parks, National Wildlife Refuges, National Forests, Bureau of Land Management Lands, and Tribal lands. This backlog is hindering the growth of the outdoor economy, contributing to conflicts with local communities, and preventing millions of outdoor enthusiasts from enjoying public lands and spending money in local economies. Such investments will create tens of thousands of jobs.
5.Restore Degraded Habitat: Restoring degraded wildlife habitat on private lands and large landscapes would spur significant rural job growth, while reconnecting key wildlife migratory corridors and cleaning up contaminated waterways. For example, there is bipartisan support for investing a portion of the Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fund in habitat restoration that could help put people back to work, revitalize communities, and expand hunting and fishing opportunities. Similarly, restoring degraded grasslands and coastal and inland wetlands would increase duck and pheasant populations and hunting opportunities, while strengthening local economies.
In addition to accelerating the growth of America’s outdoor economy, we suggest that projects across the entire package be encouraged to enhance wildlife habitat and expand hunter and angler access to lands and waterways. We also recommend that the Administration adopt a simple proposition when considering how best to pay for the infrastructure package: If public resources are taken out of the ground, some of the monetized value should be put back into the ground through investments in conservation and natural infrastructure, as listed above. This principle will ensure that wealth and jobs are not transferred out of rural America and that we are instead “leaving this land even a better land for our descendants than it is for us,” as Theodore Roosevelt envisioned.
Including the investments above in your infrastructure package will create significant jobs and help ensure that you and your administration leave a conservation legacy worthy of President Roosevelt himself. Together, we will show that we can maximize economic growth, while also restoring fish and wildlife populations, expanding access to public lands, ensuring clean air and water, and creating more outdoor recreation opportunities for all Americans. Thank you for embracing hunting, fishing and our nation’s outdoor heritage.
Alabama Wildlife Federation
National Wild Turkey Federation
Archery Trade Association
National Wildlife Federation
Arkansas Wildlife Federation
National Wildlife Refuge Association
Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies
Nevada Wildlife Federation
Boone and Crockett Club
New Mexico Wildlife Federation
Camp Fire Club of America
North American Grouse Partnership
Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation
North Carolina Wildlife Federation
Conservation Federation of Missouri
North Dakota Wildlife Federation
Orion- The Hunter's Institute
Council to Advance Hunting and the
Dallas Safari Club
Quality Deer Management Association
Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
Ruffed Grouse Society
Florida Wildlife Federation
Shikar Safari Club International
Georgia Wildlife Federation
South Carolina Wildlife Federation
Houston Safari Club
South Dakota Wildlife Federation
Indiana Wildlife Federation
Iowa Wildlife Federation
Tennessee Wildlife Federation
Izaak Walton League of America
The Conservation Fund
Kansas Wildlife Federation
The Wildlife Society
Louisiana Wildlife Federation
Theodore Roosevelt Conservation
Masters of Foxhounds Association
Michigan United Conservation Clubs
Minnesota Conservation Federation
Mississippi Wildlife Federation
Wild Sheep Foundation
Montana Wildlife Federation
Wildlife Management Institute
National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative
Wisconsin Wildlife Federation
National Trappers Association
Wyoming Wildlife Federation
Have injured or orphaned wildlife? Below is a list of independent VOLUNTEER rehabilitators in your area that may be able to help.
AR Wildlife Rehabilitators
Arkansas Wildlife Federation / P.O. Box 56380 / Little Rock, AR 72215Call: 501-414-2845 or Email: Info@arwild.org Questions about website or membership renewals: 479-459-5889