Conservation Currents

In This Issue

Keep the Clean Water Act Strong

Wetland in WisconsinFormer Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator William Reilly, who served in that office under President George H.W. Bush, made a strong case last week for restoring Clean Water Act protections for streams, wetlands, and other at-risk waters. In an opinion article in the New York Times, Reilly highlighted the significant improvements in water quality made since the Act was passed in 1972 and also made clear that Supreme Court decisions weakening the Act jeopardize some of those gains.

Reilly endorses policies proposed by EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers to strengthen protections for at-risk streams and wetlands. The League is leading a coalition of hunting, angling, and conservation groups supporting EPA and Corps action.

To read Reilly's article and learn more about this issue, including water resources that are at risk, visit the League's Protecting Clean Water Web page.

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Farm Bill Update

Tractor mowing cornstalksWith the collapse of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (popularly called the "Super Committee") at the end of November, the unprecedented effort to craft a new federal Farm Bill within a few short weeks also came to an end.

Leaders of the Senate and House Agriculture Committees – Senate Chair Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and House Chair Frank Lucas (R-OK), along with their ranking members Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN) – developed a strategy to include a completed Farm Bill in the broader deficit reduction package the Super Committee was tasked with crafting. This version of the Farm Bill would have produced $23 billion in savings over 10 years – cuts taken from current Farm Bill programs.

This effort by Agriculture Committee leaders received criticism from many groups due to the closed nature of the process – a process that could have produced a five-year omnibus Farm Bill without public hearings or even committee votes. Ultimately, no final Farm Bill was released, although many details have been publicly discussed. League staff strove throughout the process to relate League members' priorities for the 2012 Farm Bill to the four Congressional leaders drafting this legislation.

What happens next? Senator Debbie Stabenow and other committee members now assert that the process will return to a more "regular order," with Farm Bill hearings expected to commence in late January and February 2012. The League will continue to champion our members' priorities and work with members of Congress to assemble a Farm Bill that achieves stewardship, prosperity, and fairness in our federal agricultural policy. For more information, visit the League's Farm Bill Web page.

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Young Ikes Materials Connect Youth and Conservation

Young Ikes Activity Book 6-8Working to engage youth in your community? Our new Young Ikes materials are ideal for introducing youth to conservation issues.

Activity Books: Available in vibrant color with original illustrations – and printed on 100% recycled paper – these Young Ikes Activity Books are filled with games and puzzles designed to engage future conservation leaders. Activities for ages 5-8 and 9-11 were developed using age-appropriate language and concepts centered on the League's core conservation mission: Defending America's soil, air, woods, waters, and wildlife. You can view activity book PDFs and download an order form (PDF) on the Young Ikes Web page.

One-Page Fun Sheets: For a quick look at conservation, Young Ikes Worksheets can help children understand the natural world around them and what they can do to protect it. Four worksheets were developed for kids 5 and younger and more for older age groups. Each black and white page was designed to print out easily from your home computer. Download these worksheets on the Young Ikes Web page.

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The Gift of Conservation

Kids crossing a streamAs you check off names on your holiday shopping list, don't forget about future generations! This holiday season, you can give them clean water, clear skies, and a great outdoors worthy of the name – all by supporting the Izaak Walton League's conservation efforts.

Your contribution will help us conserve our nation's natural resources and introduce young people to the outdoors. To learn more about giving to the League, please visit the Donations page of our Web site.

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Protect Outdoor America While You Work

CFC 50th blue logo

Check CFC #10620 on your workplace giving form if you are a federal employee. Or look for EarthShare in your workplace giving campaign materials if you work for a private corporation or local government agency. It's one of the easiest ways to conserve outdoor America for the future generations!

For more information or to start a workplace campaign, contact

Support the Izaak Walton League Tax-Free Through Your IRA

If you're an IRA owner age 70½ or older, here's a great opportunity to support the conservation programs you care about: Through the end of 2011, you can make tax-free distributions of up to $100,000 from an IRA to qualified charitable organizations like the League! Visit our Web site for details.

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Contact Information

If you have any questions about this newsletter or other IWLA programs, please contact:

Dawn Merritt
Communications Director
707 Conservation Lane
Gaithersburg, MD 20878
(301) 548-0150 ext. 220

Founded in 1922, the
Izaak Walton League of America
protects America's outdoors through community-based conservation, education, and the promotion of outdoor recreation.

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