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  • 02 Jun 2017 5:52 AM | Johnny Sain (Administrator)


    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.   


  • 12 May 2017 2:33 PM | Johnny Sain (Administrator)

    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.     


  • 27 Apr 2017 10:15 AM | Johnny Sain (Administrator)

     

    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.”

    I 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.  




     

     


  • 10 Apr 2017 3:06 AM | Johnny Sain (Administrator)

    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 info@arwild.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. 


  • 23 Feb 2017 8:32 PM | Johnny Sain (Administrator)



    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.


  • 17 Feb 2017 1:26 PM | Johnny Sain (Administrator)

    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.

    Sincerely,

    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

    Conservation Force

    Orion- The Hunter's Institute

    Council to Advance Hunting and the

    Pheasants Forever

    Shooting Sports

    Quail Forever

    Dallas Safari Club

    Quality Deer Management Association

    Delta Waterfowl

    Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation

    Ducks Unlimited

    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

    Sportsmen’s Alliance

    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

    Partnership

    Michigan United Conservation Clubs

    Whitetails Unlimited

    Minnesota Conservation Federation

    Wildlife Forever

    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

  • 10 Feb 2017 10:48 AM | Johnny Sain (Administrator)



    In coordination with the Arkansas Wildlife Federation, US Forest Service biologist Warren Montague will deliver a presentation about pine/bluestem restoration within the Ouachita  National Forest and its beneficial impacts on northern bobwhite quail and other species.Thanks to Warren’s work, this part of western Arkansas still contains the state’s largest bobwhite quail populations. 

    The presentation will take place on February 25 at the Janet Huckabee/River Valley Nature Center in Fort Smith from noon - 12:30 and will be followed by a brief question and answer session with Warren.

    This educational presentation is free and open to the public.   



  • 27 Jan 2017 12:27 PM | Johnny Sain (Administrator)

    The Arkansas Wildlife Federation opposes the nomination of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and asks Senator John Boozeman and Senator Tom Cotton to reject Pruitt’s nomination.

    Ellen McNulty, board president of the Arkansas Wildlife Federation, expressed her concerns to Senator Boozeman in an email:

    "As president of the Arkansas Wildlife Federation, I take great pride in leading the oldest conservation organization in Arkansas. AWF is a nonpartisan, conservative organization that advocates for the sustainable use of Arkansas' wildlife habitats and natural resources for future generations. Our board is composed of democrats and republicans that work together for the state of Arkansas to support science-based decision making and to make sure that our nation's environmental laws are enforced. Our great nation as well as the resource rich and bountiful state of Arkansas deserves an EPA Administrator that will put the interest of the American people above those of special interests. For that reason, I oppose the cabinet nomination of Scott Pruitt as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.

    Mr. Pruitt's record and policy positions represent a stark contrast to past Republican Party conservation legacy. Past Republicans worked tirelessly to develop and pass the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act. Republican leaders were in the forefront to find solutions to threats depleting the ozone layer and coastal resources, acid rain and cross-state air pollution, and to better protect millions of acres of wetlands. Sound science was the foundation of each of these accomplishments.

    Mr. Pruitt does not share America's bipartisan conservation values and I am asking you and Senator Cotton to oppose his nomination by voting no.”

    AWF encourages its members and affiliates to contact Senator Boozeman’s and Senator Cotton’s offices and urge them to reject Pruitt’s nomination.  

    Direct numbers to the senators’ offices:
    Senator Cotton      202-224-2353
    Senator Boozman 202-224-4843

    Founded in 1936, the Arkansas Wildlife Federation is a 501(c)(3) affiliate of the National Wildlife Federation. The NWF’s statement regarding their opposition to Pruitt’s nomination can be viewed here

    For more information about the Arkansas Wildlife Federation, visit arwild.org




  • 25 Jan 2017 12:09 PM | Johnny Sain (Administrator)


    The Arkansas Wildlife federation, Arkansas’s oldest non-profit conservation organization, is pleased to announce the appointment of Johnny Carrol Sain as interim executive director. 

    Sain is a graduate of Arkansas Tech University with a BA in journalism and minor in biology. His resume includes 15 years of sales and marketing prior to becoming a freelance writer and editor focusing on the environment, nature, hunting, fishing, and rural culture. Sain is an Arkansas native from Atkins and currently resides in Dover. 

    “I’m excited to join Arkansas Wildlife Federation and work to protect Arkansas’s wild places and wild things,” said Sain. “I look forward to helping the organization grow and increase its relevancy with the citizens of the Natural State as well as our political leaders.” 

    “The Arkansas Wildlife Federation is very fortunate to have Johnny Sain as our interim executive director,” said Arkansas Wildlife Federation board president Ellen McNulty. “The organization looks forward to Johnny's leadership and his thought provoking perspective on everything outdoors. Johnny has proven himself to be one of Arkansas' best up and coming outdoor writers. Johnny has deep roots in Arkansas. His ability to connect people to the land gives hunters, anglers, and all other outdoor recreationists insight to the many positive ways our beautiful state sustains us all.”

    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 is the state affiliate of the National Wildlife Federation and actively supports issues of national importance such as the Land and Water Conservation Fund, restoring the Clean Water Act to its original intent, and keeping federal public lands open and available to the public. Arkansas-specific issues include supporting the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and all efforts to keep the agency’s autonomous status, protecting Arkansas’ special places like the Buffalo National River, the nation’s first national river, and working on multi-agency and organization restoration projects like Bearcat Hollow.  

    For more information about the Arkansas Wildlife Federation, visit arwild.org 




  • 21 Jan 2017 8:01 AM | AWF Website Administrator (Administrator)


    Let's Get to Work for Arkansas' Wildlife!

    Arkansas has been blessed with a bounty of fish and wildlife, managed and protected through Amendment 35 to the State Constitution, creating the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC).  However, while our AGFC has had great success in restoring game species that were once in decline, many non-game species are facing increasing challenges, declining across the spectrum from songbirds to reptiles to amphibians.  However, the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (H.R. 5650), introduced by Representatives Don Young (R-AK) and Debbie Dingell (D-MI), would help avert this crisis by dedicating $1.3 billion annually nationwide, from existing revenue from energy development on federal lands and waters, to states to solve this conservation challenge. 

    Arkansas’ share of this $1.3 billion is estimated to be around $14.7 million per year.  That can be significant in keeping species of conservation concern off the endangered species list!

    With support from all of us and leadership from members of Congress to direct dedicated funding for proactive conservation measures, these species at high risk of becoming endangered can be spared.

    As members of the Arkansas Wildlife Federation, we need you to reach out to your U.S. Representative and ask them to co-sponsor this non-partisan bill and support our nation’s precious fish and wildlife.  WE'VE MADE IT EASY FOR YOU TO SEND A  MESSAGE TO YOUR U.S. Representative. Simply click the “TAKE ACTION” box and enter your name and zip code.  A message of support will be sent to your Arkansas representatives.  (Feel free to add a personal message to the prepared narrative as well)

    This new funding would be mandated to target species identified in the Arkansas Wildlife Action Plan (AWAP) with priorities determined by a database of scientific knowledge of wildlife. A total of 369 species of greatest conservation need (SGCN) are addressed in the context of 45 terrestrial habitats and 18 aquatic habitats in 7 ecoregions in Arkansas.   

    Game species like white-tailed deer, wild turkey, bear and more, have been saved from declining populations because of dedicated funding through hunting and fishing license fees and excise taxes on hunting and fishing. Despite the success with many game species, there has never been significant investment in the conservation of the full diversity of wildlife species. Non-game species now face threats to their very survival from habitat fragmentation, climate impacts, invasive species, and disease. Many times, all that is left is protection under the Endangered Species Act.  No one wins when a species is declared endangered!   The Endangered Species Act was originally intended to be an “emergency” measure to be used in tragic situations. Once a species reaches dire circumstances, it is much harder and more expensive to recover. Regulatory obstacles make doing business more difficult for farmers, ranchers, developers, builders, and others.  A non-regulatory and proactive approach to conservation is good for wildlife, good for taxpayers and good for business.  H.R. 5650 provides funding to slow or stop this cycle of loss.  

    The GOOD NEWS is this wildlife funding is not new taxes but is capturing existing revenue from oil and gas receipts.  

    The Arkansas Wildlife Action Plan,  mandated by Congress for all states to develop for determining species  of greatest conservation, implements the priorities determined by a database of scientific knowledge of wildlife of greatest conservation need.  Arkansas’ SGCN are addressed in the context of 45 terrestrial habitats and 18 aquatic habitats in 7 ecoregions.   The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC) is responsible for requesting proposals and administering State Wildlife Grants to support the implementation of AWAP. The competitive grants are distributed specifically for the protection and management of nongame species in greatest need of conservation identified in the AWAP. The grant process provides state and federal agencies and other conservation partners the means to efficiently and effectively fit individual and coordinated conservation efforts across the state. (The AWAP can be reviewed at:  www.agfc.com/species/Pages/SpeciesWildlifeActionPlan.aspx )

    This successful conservation foundation is provided by the State and Tribal Wildlife Grant program.  The problem lies in program funding. A survey of all State Wildlife Actions Plans revealed that $1.3 billion annually is what it would cost to implement 75% of every state’s plan. With 25% match from states, $1.3 billion would be sufficient to implement State Wildlife Action Plans and hasten the recovery of thousands of species. (Current funding is only 4.65% of what is necessary to conserve our nation’s species of greatest conservation need.)

    Long-term pressures (and political attacks) on the Endangered Species Act would be reduced.  The states would be held accountable through the implementation and oversight of the state’s Wildlife Action Plans, which will ensure that the resources are spent appropriately on the highest conservation priorities. The funding would be allocated to each state and territory, per an existing formula, from existing federal royalties from oil/gas/coal extraction onshore and offshore, similar (and complimentary) to the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Arkansas’ share would be about 1.7% or $14.7 million.

    By clicking on the “TAKE ACTION” box below and completing the form you can help convince your US Representative to co-sponsor and support H.R. 5650, critical to the future of wildlife in Arkansas and across the Nation.  By entering your information and zip code, your message will be sent to your Arkansas representative. 

    Give us a call if you have any questions about this vital legislation!

    David Long
    Newsletter Coordinator and District Director
    Arkansas Wildlife Federation
    Phone- 870-253-4377
    Josephdavidlong@gmail.com 



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