Conservation Currents

In This Issue

League's Conservation Policies Handbook Updated for 2012

Conservation Policies 2012The League's Conservation Policies handbook is a compilation of 90 years of League policies on a range of natural resource, conservation, and outdoor recreation issues. The handbook has been updated to include resolutions adopted at the League's 2012 national convention and is now available on our Web site in PDF format.

This handbook is a great resource for new League members to learn about our breadth of policies and for all members to prepare for meetings with decision-makers at the local, state, and national levels.

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2012 Farm Bill in Limbo

Tractor in fall fieldAs Congress prepares to reconvene September 10th, prospects for passage of a comprehensive 2012 Farm Bill remain uncertain. The House of Representatives adjourned for its August recess without even debating the Farm Bill. The League and many other conservation, hunting, angling, and agriculture groups have been urging the House to act – and act quickly. However, House leaders have been vague about their plans for bringing this important legislation up for a vote.

Congress will make decisions over the next few weeks that will affect conservation, farm policy, and taxpayers well into the future. Stay tuned for updates and Action Alerts from the League. You can read more about the League's Farm Bill 2012 priorities on the League Web site.

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More Americans Are Hunting and Fishing

Hunter in deer standThe U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reported last month that the number of hunters across the country grew 9 percent between 2006 and 2011 and the number of anglers jumped 11 percent over the same period. The increase in hunters is especially encouraging because there had been a persistent downward trend in hunting participation over many years.

This is good news for our sporting traditions, conservation funding – and the economy as well. Americans who hunt, fish, and watch wildlife injected $145 billion into our economy in 2011, according to the Fish and Wildlife Service. This spending benefits companies large and small and communities across the nation. Read more in a blog on the League Web site.

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League Welcomes New Agriculture Program Director

Bill Wenzel joins the League staff September 6th as our new Agriculture Program Director. He will be based in the League's St. Paul, Minnesota, office and lead our work on the federal Farm Bill and sustainable agriculture policies at the national, regional, and state levels.

Bill has more than 25 years of experience working on a range of agriculture issues. He served as National Director of the Farmer to Farmer Campaign on Genetic Engineering between 2001 and 2009, leading a national campaign to provide farmers with a voice on agricultural biotechnology issues. He has served as Chief of Staff and Agriculture and Environmental Committee staffer for two Wisconsin state senators. Throughout the 1990s, Wenzel held a series of leadership positions with the American Farmland Trust, Wisconsin Land Conservation Association, Clean Water Network, and the Wisconsin Rural Development Center, working on sustainable agriculture policy development and grassroots campaign organizing.

We are excited to have Bill on the Izaak Walton League team. Please help us welcome him to the League. You can reach Bill at

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Creek Freaks Leader Trainings

Creek Freaks - Jones Lane ES 2012Want to attract youth and families to your chapter and educate the next generation of conservation leaders? Creek Freaks provides tools to engage youth in outdoor learning using streams as living classrooms. These hands-on workshops will show you how:

Lincoln, Nebraska
September 22-23, 2012
9am – 5pm (both days)
Location: Lincoln Chapter of the Izaak Walton League
Event page:

Bloomington, Minnesota
October 6-7, 2012

9am – 5pm (both days)
Location: Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center
Event page:

You will learn how to conduct fun, water-based activities for kids, and we'll show you how to upload data, photos, and videos to the Creek Freaks Web site. Whether you want to start a new youth program or expand a program already underway, Creek Freaks is an excellent opportunity to share your love of the outdoors with kids in your community.

This project was developed in partnership with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and U.S. Forest Service.

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Tiny Ikes - 2012Tiny Ikes Program Pilot at League Headquarters

Encourage children to love the outdoors and they'll love it for life – and lead a healthier lifestyle. League staff are piloting an outdoor education program for children ages 2-5 to help them celebrate the wonders of nature, from wiggly worms to nocturnal animals. We're calling this program Tiny Ikes (or T'Ikes).

Sessions will be held at the League's national headquarters in Gaithersburg, Maryland. For more information about scheduled events, visit For more information on conservation education for youth, contact Rebecca Wadler, IWLA Conservation Education Associate, at

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Celebrate National Hunting and Fishing Day: September 22

Smallmouth bass fishingNational Hunting and Fishing Day encourages people from all walks of life to learn more about outdoor skills and conservation through hunting, shooting, fishing, archery, and more. Help make National Hunting and Fishing Day a success by hosting an event at your chapter or in your community, whether it's an archery event, a hunter education class, or a fishing tournament.

Need poles for a youth fishing derby? Your chapter can get youth fishing gear at a discount through the League's partnership with Zebco. Visit the Chapters section of the League Web site to download an order form.

You can find a link to the National Hunting and Fishing Day Event Planning Guide, plus tips from the IWLA Chapter Manual, on the League Web site.

The Izaak Walton League of America is a proud sponsor of National Hunting and Fishing Day ®.

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Share Your Fish Stories

Boy preparing to fishMillions of Americans spend their summers fishing and enjoying the great outdoors. And most of us have told a tale or two about the "big one" we caught – or the one that got away. Through mid-October, you can share your fish stories with other Americans and highlight how clean water and great fishing go hand-in-hand. Visit the Share Your Fish Tales Web site to post your fish photos, talk about where you caught it, and describe why this place – and fishing – is special to you.

The League is working with the National Wildlife Federation and other conservation groups to protect our nation's water quality and strengthen the Clean Water Act. Ikes understand that great fishing disappears when our streams, lakes, and other waters aren't clean. By sharing our fishing photos and stories, we can have some fun and send a powerful message about protecting the waters that are important to us.

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Volunteer on National Public Lands Day: September 29

From local and state parks to national forests and wildlife refuges, Americans have access to the most extensive network of public lands in the world. National Public Lands Day is an annual event for citizens across the country to celebrate these lands and volunteer to maintain, restore, and enhance them. Last year, more than 170,000 people volunteered at more than 2,000 sites in every state. It's a great opportunity to engage your community in a conservation project on land that everyone can enjoy.

The National Public Lands Day Web site is a great resource for finding volunteer opportunities. You can also post your own public-lands project to the site.

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Serve Outside September

Volunteers planting treesLeague members across the country are building bird houses, planting trees, removing invasives, and cleaning up streams. If you have a project scheduled for September (or plan to schedule one), you can recruit youth volunteers through The Children & Nature Network's "Serve Outside September" Web page.

The goal of the "Serve Outside September" initiative is to inspire a life-long commitment to outdoor recreation and community service among young people. The program Web site also offers tips and tools to help organize outdoor service projects. Register your event or find out about events in your area on the "Serve Outside September" Web site.

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Don't Forget: Officer Report Forms

Reminder to IWLA Chapter Leaders: Your 2012-2013 Officer Report Forms are due to the IWLA national office by October 31. These forms are used to create the annual League directory and let us know who to contact for important League issues. You can find a copy of the Officer Report Form on the League's Chapter Tools Web page.

Fax your completed form to (301) 548-0146, e-mail it to, or mail it to IWLA, Membership Department, 707 Conservation Lane, Gaithersburg, MD 20878. Your chapter's cooperation and participation is very much appreciated.

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Resource of the Month: Young Ikes Activity Books

Young Ikes Activity Book cover

Looking for something to hand out at your next youth event? Purchase sets of Young Ikes Activity books – available for ages 5-8 and ages 9-11 – for youth-focused materials to help children understand the natural world around them and what they can do to protect our precious natural resources.

Available in vibrant color on 100% recycled paper, they are filled with games and puzzles designed to educate and encourage future conservation leaders. Go to for more details and an order form.

90 Years of Defending Outdoor America

To commemorate the League's 90th anniversary, we are proud to announce our "$90 for 90" campaign. Donate $90 or more to the League, and you will receive our limited-edition Snapshots in Conservation anthology.

Snapshots in Conservation booklet

Your contribution will also support the League's national conservation work. Please visit the League Web site for more information.

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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.


Izaak Walton League of America (6), Corbis-Fotosearch, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (2), IStock (2)

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