National Wildlife Federation

From New World Encyclopedia

National Wildlife Federation
Founder(s)Jay Norwood Darling
HeadquartersReston, Virginia, United States
Area servedUnited States
MethodEducation, training, research, lobbying
Revenue$125,000,000 USD (2006)[1]
VolunteersApprox. 5,000,000 nationwide
Slogan"To inspire Americans to protect wildlife for our children's future."

The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) is the United States' largest private, nonprofit conservation education and advocacy organization, with over five million members and supporters in 48 state-affiliated organizations. The NWF strives to remain "A national network of like-minded state and territorial groups, seeking balanced, common-sense solutions to environmental problems that work for wildlife and people." The NWF has an annual budget of over $125 million as of 2006. Its mission statement is "to inspire Americans to protect wildlife for our children's future."[2]

Despite the urgency of environmental issues, nations are not taking sufficient action to address them, particularly America. The NWF has been working to heighten people's awareness of environmental issues through programs, publications, conferences, scholarships, TV programs, and films geared to people of all ages; their efforts not only pertain to Americans but they also affect the global community.

History and Mission

On March 1, 1934, U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt appointed political cartoonist Jay Norwood "Ding" Darling to be chief of the U.S. Biological Survey. At Darling's behest, the president created plans to convene a conference in Washington D.C. to unite individuals, organizations and agencies interested in the restoration and conservation of wildlife resources. The conference took place from February 3- 7, 1936 and was called the North American Wildlife Conference.[3]

At this conference, an organization called the General Wildlife Federation was created and Darling was elected president. The first annual meeting was held March 3, 1937 in St. Louis, Missouri. The General Wildlife Federation became the National Wildlife Federation in 1938.[3]

Its three main areas of focus are:

  1. connecting people to nature
  2. reversing global warming
  3. protecting and restoring critical wildlife habitats

The National Wildlife Federation unites sportsmen, outdoor enthusiasts, bird-watchers, wildlife gardeners, nature lovers, and others, bringing together a broad spectrum of people who share a passionate concern for wildlife. Affiliates from across the country have created a national network of like-minded state and local groups who seek balanced, common-sense solutions to environmental problems.

To achieve its mission, the NWF offers the following services to individuals, organizations, and businesses: accessible conservation training, leadership training, educational curricula, information outreach, and networking opportunities. The NWF frequently partners with other conservation organizations and corporations to achieve its goals.

The NWF seeks to educate people of all ages by publishing a variety of wildlife magazines, including Wild Animal Baby, Your Big Backyard, Ranger Rick, and National Wildlife, and by the Backyard Habitat series on Discovery's Animal Planet along with IMAX films, such as Coral Reef Adventure, India: Kingdom of the Tiger, Bears, Wolves, and Dolphins. It maintains an on-line field guide of flora and fauna called Additionally, the NWF offers hands-on training and support for habitat restoration through its Backyard Wildlife Habitat and Schoolyard Habitat programs. It has developed a new green hour program aimed at reversing the modern trend of nature deficit in children brought on by their spending an average of six daily hours indoors watching TV, playing video games or chatting online.[4]

Some of the NWF's specific conservation priorities include: seeking solutions to global warming; reducing mercury pollution; strengthening the Endangered Species Act; combating invasive species; saving the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from oil drilling; restoring America's waterways; reforming the Army Corps of Engineers; and educating future environmental stewards.

The NWF's headquarters is currently located in Reston, Virginia.

Current Programs

The National Wildlife Federation continues its involvement in many leading environmental issues facing the country today, particularly in the areas of land stewardship, air quality, water resources, and wildlife conservation.

Communication Programs

The NWF operates education and communication programs via published magazines, television shows and movies, and other forms of media. Its published magazines include: National Wildlife (for adults), Ranger Rick (for children aged seven to 12), Your Big Backyard (for preschoolers), and Wild Animal Baby (for toddlers). It also operates a film and television arm, National Wildlife Productions, Inc.[5]

Backyard Wildlife Habitat

The Backyard Wildlife Habitat program was started in 1973 with the purpose of showing people how to make their yards and their community friendly to local wildlife. Criteria for being a Backyard Wildlife Habitat includes providing food, water, cover, and places to raise young through the use of native plants and other features such as nest boxes and water gardens. The Backyard Wildlife Habitat can be certified by the NWF as an official Backyard Wildlife Habitat site if these elements are provided.[6]

Campus Ecology

The Campus Ecology program promotes climate leadership and sustainability among colleges and universities by providing resources, technical support, networking opportunities, and by organizing education events.[7] Campus Ecology provides case studies on various environmental projects that can be implemented on college and university campuses, a yearly teleconference series, memberships, and is part of the Energy Action Coalition, helping to fund the Coalition in its infancy.

Since 2000, the Campus Ecology program has awarded over 100 fellowships on more than 65 campuses to undergraduate and graduate students working on sustainability projects.[8] In 2006, the fellowship program shifted focus exclusively to student projects that focus on clean energy initiatives and conservation efforts.

In 2007, the Campus Ecology program launched the first Chill Out: Campus Solutions to Global Warming web broadcast. This annual event takes place each April. The webcast highlights winners of the NWF Chill Out competition[9] and has an interactive panel of climate experts and student videos.

Volunteer Programs

The NWF runs an expansive network of volunteer programs that reaches over ten million people.[10]

Some of the current programs include:[11]

  • Habitat Ambassadors
  • Habitat Steward Volunteers
  • Habitat Steward Hosts
  • The Louisiana Grant Project
  • Global Warming Ambassadors
  • Wildlife Literacy Ambassador
  • Frogwatch USA Volunteer
  • Behind the Scenes Volunteers

Regional Offices

Apart from its headquarters, the NWF runs nine regional offices across the United States.[12]

Alaska Natural Resource Center

The Alaska Natural Resource Center focuses on global warming, renewable energy, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, sustainable tourism, and youth education in Alaska. Additionally, it works to preserve existing wildlife in Alaska, such as the caribou. The Alaska Natural Resource Center also offers the Alaska Youth for Environmental Action, which trains young people to be environmental leaders.[13]

Great Lakes Natural Resource Center

The Great Lakes Natural Resource Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan focuses on global warming, Great Lakes restoration, Great Lakes water resources, Great Lakes water quality, Backyard Wildlife Habitats, and wolves. It leads the Healing Our Waters Great Lakes Coalition in the "Healthy Lakes, Healthy Lives" campaign. It focuses on the eight states in the Great Lakes region.[14]

Gulf States Natural Resource Center

The Gulf States Natural Resource Center focuses four-state region of Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Missouri and attempts to restore clean rivers and estuaries, conserve wetlands, springs, and natural river systems, protect wildlife populations, and promote sustainable land and water use. Like the overall NWF, it tries to educate children and adults about the natural world as well.[15]

Northeast Natural Resource Center

The Northeast Natural Resource Center (a.k.a. Northeast Field Office) works mostly with state-based affiliates and local organizations to protect natural resources in New England. Its goals are to provide conservation leadership and protection for wildlife for generations to come.[16]

Northern Rockies Natural Resource Center

The Northern Rockies Natural Resource Center focuses on protecting the fish and wildlife resources of the northern Rockies and their habitats. It covers the states of Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Idaho and works with state affiliates, individuals, and other groups to advocate for endangered species and public land management policies, and to increase public awareness. It has a strong interest in the Yellowstone ecosystem and runs a program to retire livestock grazing allotments that experience chronic conflict with wildlife, and on compensating ranchers for retiring their allotments.[12]

Rocky Mountain Natural Resource Center

The Rocky Mountain Natural Resource Center is located in Boulder, Colorado, and focuses on protecting public lands and wildlife of the American West. It also concerns itself with protecting and restoring wildlife habitat on tribal lands, strengthening protection for critical migratory bird habitat, providing training and resources to educators and homeowners, and promoting environmental education in the community.[12]

Southeast Natural Resource Center

The Southeast Natural Resource Center attempts to protect public lands such as the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, endangered species such as the Florida Panther, and freshwater streams against sprawl development by working with affiliates and other organizations. It also attempts to engage students and other residents of the region to develop environmental leadership skills.[17]

Office of Federal and International Affairs

Located in Washington DC, the Office of Federal and International Affairs focuses on policy issues, grassroots outreach, law, government affairs, and media, to advances the NWF's national and international agenda. It focuses on Congress and other decision-making bodies to ensure environmental legislation is drafted and passed.[12]

Western Natural Resource Center

The Western Natural Resource Center covers the states of Washington, Oregon, California and Hawaii. It focuses on the protection and restoration of threatened and endangered species, habitat protection, and climate change education and damage control.[18]

See also


  1. NWF Annual Reports.
  2. NWF Structure.
  3. 3.0 3.1 History of the NWF.
  4. NWF Greenhour Program Retrieved July 8, 2008.
  5. NWF Communication and Public Programs.
  6. NWF Education Programs.
  7. Campus Ecology.
  8. Fellowships at Campus Ecology.
  9. Chillout at Campus Ecology Retrieved July 8, 2008.
  10. Volunteer Statistics Retrieved July 8, 2008.
  11. Volunteer Types Retrieved July 8, 2008.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 NWF Regional Offices Retrieved July 8, 2008.
  13. Alaska Natural Resource Center Retrieved July 8, 2008.
  14. Great Lakes Natural Resource Center Retrieved July 8, 2008.
  15. Gulf States Natural Resource Center Retrieved July 8, 2008.
  16. Northeast Natural resource Center Retrieved July 8, 2008.
  17. Southeast Natural Resource Center Retrieved July 8, 2008.
  18. Western Natural Resource Center Retrieved July 8, 2008.

ISBN links support NWE through referral fees

  • Allen, Thomas B. Guardian of the Wild: The Story of the National Wildlife Federation, 1936-1986. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1987. ISBN 0253326052 ISBN 9780253326058
  • Borland, Hal. The History of Wildlife in America. Washington: National Wildlife Federation, 1975. ISBN 0912186208 ISBN 9780912186207
  • National Wildlife Federation, and Canadian Wildlife Federation. International Wildlife. Washington, D.C.: National Wildlife Federation, 1971.
  • National Wildlife Federation. Beginnings. Gifts of nature. Washington, D.C.: National Wildlife Federation, 1989. ISBN 0945051107 ISBN 9780945051107
  • ———. Conservation Directory, 2000: A Guide to Worldwide Environmental Organizations. Vienna, Va: National Wildlife Federation, 2000. ISBN 1558219455 ISBN 9781558219458
  • ———. EnviroAction: Environmental Digest of the National Wildlife Federation. Washington, D.C.: National Wildlife Federation, 1991.
  • ———. Pollution: Problems & Solutions. Ranger Rick's naturescope. New York: Learning Triangle Press, 1998. ISBN 0070471053 ISBN 9780070471054

External links

All links retrieved November 11, 2022.


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