The National Wildlife Federation, or NWF, believes that America's wildlife belongs to the people. Interestingly, it was the work of a cartoonist, Jay Norwood “Ding” Darling, who formed the base of the NWF.

The conservationist nature of Darling's work caught the attention of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. In 1934, the president promoted him to head of the U.S. Biological Survey. Darling went on to gather conservationists from all over to form the General Wildlife Federation. This would later become the NWF.

The NWF's Work

On its website (, the NWF says it desires to inspire people to preserve and protect wildlife through a "strategic plan that accommodates change." Its mission is to "to inspire Americans to protect wildlife for our children's future." The NWF is therefore flexible in its approach. They are willing to take varying approaches to reach various people.

The NWF does have a unifying affect – it unites hunters, environmentalists, bird watchers, and others in a common cause. They publish magazines, organize programs, and set up local organizations to educate people with regard to wildlife preservation.

Legislative Victories

From the 1930s to the 2000s, NWF has influenced many bills and laws that concern the wildlife. Here are some victory highlights:

* In 1947, the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) was passed. Considered landmark legislation, this act was the first of its kind to consider "non-target" wildlife in the use of toxic chemicals.

* The Water Pollution Control Act passed in 1956, and allows for federal grants to fund the construction of water treatment plants.

* The 1972 Marine Mammals Protection Act called upon the federal government to develop a program to conserve marine mammals.

* 1992 saw the enactment of the Energy Policy Act, which established national standards for water conservation.

* The Energy Independence and Security Act, which was passed in 2007, created the Renewable Fuel Standard.


Joining the NWF costs $30 at this writing. They describe the benefits of membership on their website:

* An NWF field bag
* A year's subscription to National Wildlife magazine
* Invitations to members-only expeditions
* Stationary, cards, and a calendar

This means that, as a member, you not only get some great stuff, but you also get exclusive invitations and privileges. On the wildlife expeditions, members are able to view wildlife in its natural habitat. And if you are someone who cares about the environment, your membership will bring peace of mind that you are helping to make a difference.

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