resources for promoting the interest of Friends and refuges with the community and with decision-makers

DID YOU TAKE PART IN THE CORFA/NWRA FRIENDS SURVEY?

I don’t know about you, but I don’t like it when I take part in a survey and then never hear anything about the survey results. So, for the 88 of you who generously gave your time to provide us with answers to our questions and for those of you who didn’t but would like to know what the respondents told us, here you go with the results of our recent Friends Webinar Survey.

I’m going for the focus of the survey first, specifically, what webinar topics seemed to be of most interest to the respondents of our survey. Look for information from other parts of the survey in coming blog posts.

We provided 11 general subjects that we thought might be of interest to Friends and asked them to rate their interest in each topic as High, Medium, Low, or No interest. Here’s what you told us:

The winning topic in both “High” plus “Medium” interest and with the most “High” interest votes was OUTREACH & COMMUNICATIONS. We need to dig deeper now and find out exactly what kinds of things you are interested in but be sure to check out our Webinar on June 9 at 2:00 Eastern, with Angie Horn the NWRA Southern California Regional Refuge Partnership Specialist and Angelina Yost, The FWS Urban Programs Coordinator. They will be telling us about successful ways of building community partnerships, no matter where your refuge is located. To register click here.


No surprise that the second most “High” plus “Medium” interest votes was FUNDRAISING, followed closely by GRANTS. We have one fundraising webinar planned for the near future and will continue to seek presenters and subjects related to these two high-demand topics for additional presentations in the future.


The last topic we will highlight was GOVERNANCE & LEADERSHIP. Again, this is such a broad topic that we will be looking for some guidance from you as to what aspects of governance and leadership you would like more information about.

A couple of the remaining topics are areas that we have already provided webinars on, specifically, ADVOCACY & LOBBYING and FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT.


The remaining topics were Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI), Organizational Planning, Technology, Volunteer Management, and Sales/Retail. While these topics did not receive as many “High” or “Medium” interest votes as the ones mentioned above, none of the suggested topics received fewer than 54% “High”/”Medium” votes. It looks like we have our work cut out for us. If you have ideas for a webinar in one of the categories listed or know of a Friends member/supporter who might be a good presenter on one of these topics, please reach out to Cheryl Hart or Joan Patterson. Thanks for your hel

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ADVOCACY CHAMPIONS

  • Post category:Advocacy
  • Reading time:2 mins read

Many people believe that nonprofit organizations are not allowed to advocate or lobby. Nothing could be further from the truth. Nonprofits like Friends of Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge Complex use advocacy, and on occasion lobbying, to help meet their mission of support for the refuge complex and the system of refuges across the nation. Friends are the Advocacy Champions of the National Wildlife Refuge System.

Photo Credit: City of Tualatin

During the past year, Friends of Tualatin River NWR have been actively involved in monitoring and speaking out on both local and national concerns that impact our local refuge and the refuge system. At the local level, Friends and FWS Staff at the refuge and regional level have continued to monitor efforts to create a rock quarry on Tonquin Rd in Sherwood, just feet away from one of the few pristine units of our refuge. The Tonquin Road area was shaped by the Missoula floods about 15,000 years ago when an ice dam broke in western Montana and changed the land in the Northwest. Following public comment, the State requested further information from the owners. The deadline for that response is September 30, 2020. Friends will continue to work with FWS to document concerns regarding the negative impacts that a quarry in the proposed location can have on our refuge.

Monitoring the impacts of different land uses adjacent to or around the refuge are important to supporting our mission. As we strive to protect the natural, historical, and cultural, resources of the refuge we are also protecting them for your communities.

“Throughout my Service career, I was continually reminded of the value of friends and Friends organizations, and the important voice they give through advocacy (and yes, that includes “lobbying”) that career Service employees are restricted from doing. Friends are private citizens, and they have all the rights and privileges of citizenship, including the constitutional right to petition their government.” — Dan Ashe, Former Director of US Fish and Wildlife

Resources:
What is Advocacy?
https://bolderadvocacy.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/What_Is_Advocacy.pdf

What is Lobbying Under the 501(h) Election?
https://www.bolderadvocacy.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/What_is_lobbying.pdf

Influencing Legislation – Taking the 501(h) election
https://www.councilofnonprofits.org/taking-the-501h-election

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What Are You Doing During Summer Recess?

  • Post category:Advocacy
  • Reading time:2 mins read
Photo credit: Alex Galt/USFWS

Traditionally, August is a time for members of Congress to head home and work in their district or state. This year because of the need for a fifth coronavirus relief package, those plans are in turmoil.

When your legislators are in the district or state, it is a perfect time to get them out to your refuge or hatchery to thank them for the recent passage of the Great American Outdoors Act. The Act boosts funding to reduce the maintenance backlogs on public lands and fully funds the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The Land and Water Conservation Fund is a tool to conserve landscapes and invest in parks and outdoor recreation.

If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to discuss with your board and Service staff about inviting your members of Congress to your site. It’s an opportunity for you to show them why you give your time to your refuge/hatchery and why it is an asset to your community.

If you have never requested a meeting with your members of Congress then check out the advocacy webinars created by the National Wildlife Refuge Association and Coalition of Refuge Friends.

The second webinar in the advocacy series addresses how to make and prepare for a meeting with legislators. Friends, check out the weinar and if you have questions or need advice let us know.

Resources:
Great American Outdoors Act https://bit.ly/3itPc9T

Land and Water Conservation Fund https://bit.ly/2FflNCf

Recording of webinar https://bit.ly/2DXGxxq

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You’re Invited to a Conversation about Arctic NWR

  • Post category:Advocacy
  • Reading time:1 mins read
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is one of our nation’s most majestic public lands, home to the Porcupine Caribou Herd, denning polar bears, musk oxen, wolves, and nearly 200 species of migratory birds. Its biological heart, the coastal plain, is no place for oil and gas development. 
 
As goes that Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, could go any refuge. Joining the effort to protect the Arctic Refuge, in turn prepares refuge advocates to protect their local refuge.  The National Wildlife Refuge Association is hosting a series of conversations designed to educate and engage refuge friends groups through an online discussion.  Please join Kristen Berry for a one hour online discussion to learn how you can help. 
 
We are offering several sessions that you and other refuge advocates can join in order to get the latest information and support in finding out the best ways you can contribute your voice to the effort to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. These will be small, intimate groups where you can ask questions and learn how you can join the fight.
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Expanding Hunting & Fishing at Refuges & Hatcheries

On April 9th the Administration announced a proposal to expand hunting and fishing across more than 2.3 million acres at 97 wildlife refuges and 9 national fish hatcheries. This proposed rule would create approximately 900 distinct new hunting and fishing opportunities. A chance to hunt or fish an additional species at a particular refuge or hatchery is defined as an new opportunity.

The proposed rule also continues the Administration’s effort toward revising U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s hunting and fishing regulations so they more closely align with the state regulations where a refuge is located. When additional regulations are need for safety or conservation compatibility reasons then the Service will try to ensure that these regulations are consistent on all refuges in a particular state.

To see if your local refuge or hatchery will be impacted by this proposed change go to the Federal Register at https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/04/09/2020-06258/2020-2021-station-specific-hunting-and-sport-fishing-regulations. Scroll down the document to Table 1 to see if and how your refuge or hatchery will be affected or view an online list and map.

You, as a member of the public, are encouraged to comment on this proposed rule. To submit your comments go to the Federal Register https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/04/09/2020-06258/2020-2021-station-specific-hunting-and-sport-fishing-regulations and click on the “Submit A Formal Comment” green tab. The deadline for submitting your comments is Monday, June 8, 2020.

The Service’s press release about this rule is available at https://bit.ly/2Vno6rm.

Photo credit: Chuck Traxler/USFWS

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