Wildlife Conservation in America
The National Wildlife Federation
The National Wildlife Federation is America’s largest conservation organization. Established in 1936 they aim to increase and enhance wildlife populations by implementing strategic plans. Following the Industrial Revolution, as hunting increased so did the need for regulatory laws and restrictions. President Roosevelt set aside 230 million acres of land as protected landscape for the use of wildlife conservation. This pushed legislation which began national parks and preserves, beginning of conservation.
The National Wildlife Federation set a Common Agenda for Wildlife built on science with scalable solutions. It includes protecting and restoring habitats, changing conservation practices, and spreading awareness to support policy changes. The four-year plan begins with ensuring Americans have a better understanding of the wildlife crisis and partnering with other organizations to improve wildlife conservation efforts.
The National Wildlife Federation has facilitated several policy changes by working with government representatives to lobby bills concerning wildlife and the environment.
The Endangered Species Act
The Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973 provides the framework to conserve endangered and threatened species and their habitats. The act incentivizes development of conservation programs and provides the financial assistance need for implementation. The ESA makes it possible for the United States to meet their international responsibilities to treaties and conventions.
Water Resources Development Act
The Water Resources Development Act( WIIN Act) was passed in 2016 to correct the water infrastructure in Flint Michigan. The bill sent aid to Flint allowing the replacement of pipes as well as decontamination of drinking water. Two key ecosystem restoration projects were included in this bill to protect and restore the Everglades and develop regional restoration programs for additional water resources such as the Great Lakes.
The Wild Act
In 2019 the Wildlife Innovation and Longevity Driver (WILD) Act was signed into law. This Act fell under the Natural Resources Management Act to support wildlife conservation and protect endangered animals. It manages invasive species and combats poaching internationally. It does this by reauthorizing the Interiors Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program through 2023 as well as providing funding. The act requires federal agencies implement programs to control invasive species, protect endangered species and establish incentives for technological innovations in areas of wildlife conservation.
Conservation International (CI) works to build bipartisan support for international conservation. They provide important information and advisement to the United States government on topics pertaining to wildlife conservation. Focused on raising awareness of the direct connection between international conservation and global security they address the worlds challenges. Through the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the Development Assistance Account administered by USAID the United States government is a major contributor to CI programs. As population increases greatly increase the demand for natural resources the depletion of and competition for resources grows leading to instability and conflict.
CI is advising the U.S. government on international conservation budgeting, ocean conservation, and habitat protection plans. Currently, the U.S. government is funding the following CI implemented programs: Sustainable Landscapes Partnership- Peru and Forest Carbon Markets and Communities.