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WASHINGTON, DC, Dec. 13, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Rachel Jacobson, former Deputy General Counsel of Environment, Energy and Installations at the US Department of Defense (DOD), will join WilmerHale. Ms. Jacobson is recognized nationally as a leader in environmental and natural resources law, having served more than 30 years in the federal government. In addition to her experience at the DOD, Ms. Jacobson litigated some of the nation's largest environment cases while holding senior leadership positions at the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of the Interior (DOI). Ms. Jacobson also has considerable experience working with states and tribes. "Having served at the DOD, DOI and DOJ, Rachel brings significant, high-level experience in environmental law and policy to WilmerHale," said Andrew Spielman, chair of WilmerHale's Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Practice. "Her extensive, cross-cutting experience will help clients with complex environmental legal challenges achieve effective and long-lasting results." Since August 2014, Ms. Jacobson has been the lead environmental lawyer for the DOD, overseeing all activity pertaining to environmental, energy, natural resources and installations, including environmental compliance and cleanup, natural resource management, endangered species protection and litigation, energy procurement and siting, domestic and international basing, military construction, and historic preservation. In this capacity, she advised senior-level policy officials in the DOD and its three military departments. Ms. Jacobson served at the DOI from 2009-2014, first as Principal Deputy Solicitor, where she was the lead negotiator of the $1 billion early restoration settlement agreement with BP following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. She was later appointed Acting Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks, where she oversaw policy for the US Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park Service and led the DOI's planning effort for a suite of post-spill early restoration projects in the Gulf of Mexico valued at $750 million. From 2008-2009, Ms. Jacobson served as director of the impact-directed environmental accounts program at the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, managing a $100 million mitigation portfolio for environmental restoration and habitat conservation. Ms. Jacobson spent the majority of her career at the DOJ, where she supervised and litigated for more than 20 years and built a reputation as an authority in environmental law and natural resource damages. During this time, she was at the forefront of some of the largest environmental cases in US history, including the Exxon Valdez oil spill and the Coeur d' Alene Superfund trial. "I am proud of my years in public service and honored to be joining WilmerHale," Ms. Jacobson said. "The invaluable experience I gained in environment regulatory and cleanup and working the intersection of natural resource management and energy development is ideally suited for WilmerHale's focus and strength in working with clients facing complex regulatory and litigation challenges." Ms. Jacobson has received numerous academic, professional and government achievement awards and honors, including most recently the 2015 and 2016 Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service. She received her undergraduate degree in Economics from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri in 1980 and her law degree from Boston University School of Law in 1984. Ms. Jacobson will join WilmerHale as special counsel in the firm's Washington DC office in early January. About Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP WilmerHale provides legal representation across a comprehensive range of practice areas that are critical to the success of its clients. The law firm's leading Intellectual Property, Litigation/Controversy, Regulatory and Government Affairs, Securities, and Transactional Departments participate in some of the highest-profile legal and policy matters. With a staunch commitment to public service, the firm is renowned as a leader in pro bono representation. WilmerHale is 1,000 lawyers strong with 12 offices in the United States, Europe and Asia. For more information, please visit www.wilmerhale.com. A photo accompanying this release is available at: http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=41993


News Article | December 16, 2016
Site: www.marketwired.com

Public-private partnership funds seven projects to improve stormwater management, habitat and green space in Chicago/Calumet region CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwired - December 16, 2016) - Today Chi-Cal Rivers Fund partners announced seven projects selected to receive $1.3 million in grant funding that will improve and enhance waterways in the Chicago-Calumet region. With a focus on reducing stormwater runoff, enhancing fish and wildlife habitat, and improving public-use opportunities, this investment will support community-driven projects that benefit the people and wildlife in the region. Grant recipients will match the new grant funding with an additional $2.9 million, for a total on-the-ground impact of $4.2 million. Administered by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), the fund is supported in 2016 with contributions from ArcelorMittal, Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust, The Crown Family, the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, The Joyce Foundation, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Forest Service. The grants announced today mark the fund's fourth annual slate of grants, bringing the total cumulative impact of the fund over four years to $16 million. "ArcelorMittal has a significant presence in the Chicago-Calumet region and understands the importance of water quality and corresponding habitat throughout the region," said Bill Steers, general manager, corporate responsibility and communications, for ArcelorMittal Americas. "We recognize that our waterways are inextricably linked and reach beyond our state and political boundaries. Therefore, we are proud to partner with the Chi-Cal Rivers Fund to leverage collective investment in community-driven projects that will have a meaningful impact on the region's water quality, diverse natural environment and communities." "We are pleased to be among the founding members of this innovative partnership," said David Farren, executive director of the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation. "Bringing together private funders allows us to pool funds and leverage additional public support to improve the health of our river systems -- all of us getting more done by working together." The seven grants announced today will improve stormwater management in the greater Chicago area and northwest Indiana; enhance public park space and improve access to the area's waterways; and enhance and restore savanna, instream and riparian habitat along the East Branch of the Little Calumet and North Branch of the Chicago River. Collectively, the funded projects will: "The Chi-Cal Rivers Fund's public-private partnership model harnesses the unique power of coordinated, regional grant-making to move the conservation needle," said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. "The awards announced today demonstrate how the shared commitment of the Chicago and Calumet region can help restore and revitalize both communities and wildlife." More information on the seven projects announced today can be found by clicking here. Chi-Cal Rivers Fund partners plan to announce the next Request for Proposals in June 2017. For more information, please visit www.nfwf.org/chi-cal. The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) protects and restores our nation's wildlife and habitats. Chartered by Congress in 1984, NFWF directs public conservation dollars to the most pressing environmental needs and matches those investments with private contributions. NFWF works with government, nonprofit and corporate partners to find solutions for the most intractable conservation challenges. Over the last three decades, NFWF has funded more than 4,500 organizations and committed more than $3.5 billion to conservation projects. Learn more at www.nfwf.org. ArcelorMittal is the world's leading steel and mining company, with a presence in 60 countries and an industrial footprint in 19 countries. Guided by a philosophy to produce safe, sustainable steel, we are the leading supplier of quality steel in the major global steel markets including automotive, construction, household appliances and packaging, with world-class research and development and outstanding distribution networks. Through our core values of sustainability, quality and leadership, we operate responsibly with respect to the health, safety and wellbeing of our employees, contractors and the communities in which we operate. For more information about ArcelorMittal, visit: www.corporate.arcelormittal.com or www.usa.arcelormittal.com. The Chicago Community Trust, our region's community foundation, partners with donors to leverage their philanthropy in ways that transform lives and communities. Since our founding in 1915, the Trust has awarded approximately $2.3 billion in grants to thousands of local and national nonprofits, including $164.5 million in 2014. Throughout our Centennial year, the Trust will celebrate how philanthropy in all its forms -- time, treasure and talent -- strengthens our region and impacts the lives of others in countless ways. After more than 60 years of family grantmaking under the name Arie and Ida Crown Memorial, in 2009 Crown Family Philanthropies (CFP) was developed as a vehicle for a variety of family grantmaking. Crown Family Philanthropies environmental grantmaking supports efforts to value, preserve and restore natural ecosystems through innovative science-based approaches, emphasizing collaborative efforts which deliver measurable results. Established in 1952, The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation supports land conservation and artistic vitality efforts in the Chicago Region and Lowcountry of South Carolina. The Foundation seeks to foster land conservation through preservation, restoration, and protection of landscape-scale lands. Particular focus areas include the Calumet Region and the Cook County Forest Preserves. See more about the Foundation at www.gddf.org. The Joyce Foundation works with grantee partners to improve quality of life, promote community vitality, and achieve a fair society. We focus grant making primarily on the Great Lakes region, and also have national impact through our program areas -- Education, Employment, Environment, Gun Violence Prevention, Democracy and Culture. Joyce was established in 1948 in Chicago, and over the years its focus areas have evolved in response to changing social needs. The foundation has assets of $950 million and distributes approximately $48 million annually. For more information, please visit our website www.joycefdn.org or follow us on Twitter @JoyceFdn. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) leads the nation's environmental science, research, education, and assessment efforts. The mission of the Environmental Protection Agency is to protect human health and the environment. Since 1970, EPA has been working for a cleaner, healthier environment for the American people. For more information, visit www.epa.gov. The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is to work with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov. Established in 1905, the U.S. Forest Service is an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Forest Service's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. Public lands managed by the Forest Service contribute more than $13 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone. Those lands also provide 20 percent of the nation's clean water supply, valued at approximately $7.2 billion per year. The agency has a direct or indirect role in stewardship of about 80 percent of the 850 million forested acres in the U.S. including 100 million acres in urban areas where most Americans live. For more information, visit www.fs.fed.us.


News Article | November 15, 2016
Site: www.marketwired.com

Fourth Round of Grants from the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - November 15, 2016) - The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) today announced that is has approved nearly $370 million from its Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund (GEBF) to fund 24 projects in the states of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. The projects, developed in consultation with state and federal resource agencies, are designed to remedy harm and reduce the risk of future harm to natural resources that were affected by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Today's announcement represents the fourth year of approved funding from the payments received thus far by the GEBF. With today's announcement, NFWF has approved the award of over $870 million for projects across the five Gulf States. "The projects we announce today include significant investments to advance sediment diversions along the Lower Mississippi River that will build, sustain and maintain thousands of acres of wetlands in Louisiana," said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. "In addition, the new projects will protect critical coastal habitat, while bolstering populations of Gulf Coast birds, sea turtles, marine mammals and other fish and wildlife species that were injured as a result of the spill." NFWF created the GEBF in 2012 to receive and administer funds resulting from remedial orders arising from the plea agreements between the U.S. Department of Justice and BP and Transocean. The plea agreements resolved certain criminal charges against both companies relating to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Provisions within the agreements direct a total of $2.544 billion to NFWF over a five-year period to be used to support natural resource benefit projects in the Gulf States. As required under the plea agreements, NFWF consulted with state resource agencies, as well as with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), to identify potential project priorities and funding needs. The discussions ensured coordination between NFWF's GEBF and the agencies' related activities under the Natural Resource Damage Assessment and RESTORE Act programs. "Our nation's Gulf Coast encompasses some of the most unique and irreplaceable wildlife habitat in the world - 33 major river systems and more than 200 estuaries culminate here, providing food and shelter for hundreds of native species of birds, fish and other wildlife and plants," said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe. "The Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund plays a crucial role in helping the Service and its partners address the impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and restore the health of the Gulf for the wildlife and people who share this incredible place." "This new round of funding will continue the significant progress countless groups have made toward restoring the Gulf following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill," said Kathryn D. Sullivan, Ph.D., undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. "Using the best available science and data, our efforts are paying off to restore wildlife, habitat, and marine resources for future generations." The GEBF projects announced today will complement those previously announced or currently under consideration by the Natural Resource Damage Assessment and RESTORE Act programs. Collectively, and where appropriate, these efforts are being coordinated and leveraged to advance large-scale Gulf Coast conservation outcomes and maximize sustainable environmental benefits. NFWF, a congressionally chartered nonprofit corporation, is one of the largest conservation funders in the United States. It is subject to oversight by Congress and a board of directors that includes the heads of the FWS and NOAA, as well as representatives from states, non-governmental organizations and industry. The board is appointed by the Secretary of the Interior. For additional information on state-specific projects, please see below: The NFWF Board of Directors approved the award of more than $63 million for six projects in the state of Alabama. The Alabama projects address high-priority conservation needs, including the acquisition and restoration of significant coastal habitats in key focal areas, and the continuation of fisheries monitoring. For additional information on GEBF projects in Alabama, please click here. The number of projects approved for funding from the GEBF in the state of Alabama now stands at 19, with a total value of more than $115 million. All projects were selected for funding following extensive consultation with the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, FWS and NOAA. The NFWF Board of Directors approved the award of more than $32 million for four projects in the state of Florida. The Florida projects address high-priority restoration and conservation needs, including the continuation of fisheries monitoring, an expansion of shorebird restoration activities, enhancement to sea turtle stranding response capacity, and oyster reef restoration in the Big Bend. For additional information on GEBF projects in Florida, please click here. The number of projects approved for funding from the GEBF in the state of Florida now stands at 25, with a total value of more than $100 million. All projects were selected for funding following extensive consultation with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, FWS and NOAA. The NFWF Board of Directors approved the award of more than $245 million for five projects in the state of Louisiana. New projects include the engineering and design of two major sediment diversions along the Lower Mississippi River that, once constructed, will restore and protect thousands of acres of vulnerable coastal wetlands in Louisiana. Construction on these major coastal restoration projects is estimated to begin as early as 2021. Louisiana also will advance engineering and design on a freshwater diversion of the Atchafalaya River to protect marshes in the upper part of Terrebonne Parish Louisiana. The state also will continue its effort to adaptively manage these critical coastal restoration projects. For additional information on Louisiana projects, click here. The number of projects approved for funding from the GEBF in the state of Louisiana now stands at 12, with a total value of more than $465 million. All projects were selected for funding following extensive consultation with the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, FWS and NOAA. The NFWF Board of Directors approved the award of more than $16.2 million for two projects in the state of Mississippi. The Mississippi projects address high-priority conservation needs, including an expansion of a coastal bird stewardship and monitoring program, and the advancement of marine mammal and sea turtle conservation. For additional information on GEBF projects in Mississippi, please click here. The total number of projects approved for funding from the GEBF in the state of Mississippi now stands at 14, with a total value of more than $100 million. All projects were selected for funding following extensive consultation with the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, FWS and NOAA. The NFWF Board of Directors approved the award of nearly $12 million for seven projects in the state of Texas. The Texas projects address high-priority conservation needs, including the acquisition of significant coastal habitat, protection of critical stretches of shoreline, enhancement of rookery habitats, and hydrologic restoration of vital coastal wetland habitat. For additional information on GEBF projects in Texas, please click here. The total number of projects approved for funding from the GEBF in the state of Texas now stands at 29, with a total value of more than $82 million. All projects were selected for funding following extensive consultation with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas General Lands Office, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, FWS and NOAA. About the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) protects and restores our nation's wildlife and habitats. Chartered by Congress in 1984, NFWF directs public conservation dollars to the most pressing environmental needs and matches those investments with private contributions. NFWF works with government, nonprofit and corporate partners to find solutions for the most intractable conservation challenges. Over the last three decades, NFWF has funded more than 4,500 organizations and committed more than $3.5 billion to conservation projects. Learn more at nfwf.org.


News Article | December 13, 2016
Site: www.marketwired.com

National Parks in Wyoming and Louisiana Benefit as National Park Service Celebrates 100 Years WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - December 13, 2016) - Acres for America, one of the most effective public-private partnerships in the history of U.S. conservation efforts, today announced the award of $2.6 million in grants to conserve, improve or connect wildlife habitat across more than 82,000 acres in Arizona, California, Louisiana, Tennessee and Wyoming. The Acres for America program was established by Walmart and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) to conserve lands of national significance, protect critical fish and wildlife habitat and benefit people and local economies. "The Acres for America grants announced today represent the best of conservation in the United States," said John Clarke, vice president of Walmart store planning. "Walmart is pleased to support the protection of these natural habitats, in particular, the two projects that add to our unparalleled National Park system as it celebrates its Centennial year." The National Park Service turned 100 on August 25, 2016, and is kicking off a second century of stewardship of America's national parks and engaging communities through recreation, conservation, and historic preservation programs. Two of this year's grants -- including its largest -- dovetail with the National Park Service celebrations: Protecting Antelope Flats, Grand Teton National Park (Wyoming): Identified as the highest national priority acquisition for the U.S. National Park Service, this land serves as a critical migration route for elk, pronghorn, moose, bison and wolves. The Foundation's $1 million grant to the Grand Teton National Park Foundation will support an effort to purchase and protect a 640-acre parcel that is surrounded by national park land. The purchase, which closed December 12, 2016, will be immediately added to the Grand Teton National Park as part of this year's centennial celebration. The acquisition will ensure that the natural and scenic resource value of Grand Teton National Park remains protected in perpetuity. The grant leverages an additional $45.2 million in matching contributions for the protection of the property. Conserving Fleming Plantation (Louisiana): The Foundation's $380,000 grant to The Trust for Public Land will conserve the 3,476-acre Fleming Plantation as an addition to Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve. Located in the biological hotspot of the Barataria Basin, the site provides forest, marsh and aquatic habitat for migratory birds, fish and other wetland-dependent wildlife. The conservation of this property, located just 15 miles from New Orleans, will improve the ecological integrity of the Louisiana Gulf Coast while expanding opportunities for public recreation. The grant leverages an additional $2 million in matching contributions from the North American Wetland Conservation Act grant program for the protection of the property. The remaining 2016 Acres for America grant awards are: Conservation of Cienega Grassland Ranch (Arizona): The Foundation's $225,000 grant to The Trust for Public Land will permanently protect 16,500 acres of high-quality native grasslands and wildlife habitat at the base of the Chiricahua Mountains in the Sky Island Region of southeastern Arizona. Conservation easements on these acres will allow working cattle operations to be maintained in the face of increasing pressure for residential development, fragmentation, and conversion to intensive agriculture. The easements will also preserve an important conservation corridor for desert and grassland bird species. The grant leverages an additional $3.1 million in matching contributions for the protection of the property, and has spurred significant additional investments from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service. Protecting Working Hardwood Forestland and Bat Habitat in Skinner Mountain Forest (Tennessee): The Foundation's $500,000 grant to The Conservation Fund, in partnership with the State of Tennessee, will acquire 14,600 acres of working hardwood forestland in Tennessee's Cumberland Plateau to protect critical karst habitat for seven bat species of Greatest Conservation Need, most notably three bat species listed under the Endangered Species Act: Indiana bat, gray bat, and northern long-eared bat. The protection of this area will preserve important ecological sites, increase land connectivity, sustain forestry jobs, create new public recreation opportunities, and preserve water quality and forest health. The grant leverages an additional $6.5 million in matching contributions for the protection of the property. Creating a Cold-Water Refuge for Klamath River Salmon at Blue Creek (California): The Foundation's $500,000 grant to Western Rivers Conservancy (WRC) will help complete the acquisition of 47,097 acres of land along the lower Klamath River and its most important cold-water tributary, Blue Creek. The lands lie within the globally important Klamath-Siskiyou ecoregion of California. In partnership with California's largest Native American tribe, agencies and corporations, WRC is creating a cold-water sanctuary essential for the survival of coho and Chinook salmon, as well as a sustainable community forest to help revitalize the economy of the Yurok people. The grant leverages an additional $14.7 million in matching contributions for the protection of the property. The program's 2016 grants will draw an additional $71.5 million in matching contributions, pushing the total conservation investment to more than $74.1 million. "The projects supported by these grants will protect some of our country's most valuable and productive wildlife habitats," said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. "The protection of Antelope Flats property, in particular, represents an incredible conservation success for our nation, and one of the most important accomplishments of the Acres for America program." Acres for America began in 2005, when Walmart made its first commitment of $35 million to purchase and preserve one acre of wildlife habitat in the United States for every acre of land developed by the company. The program has far surpassed that 10-year goal, with more than 1 million acres protected -- an area comparable in size to Grand Canyon National Park. Through its first 10 years, the competitive grant program leveraged Walmart's initial $35 million investment to generate more than $352 million in matching contributions, for a total conservation impact of approximately $387 million. In 2015, NFWF and Walmart announced a 10-year, $35 million program renewal of the program that is expected to double the total acreage protected. For additional information about the Acres for America Program, please click here. For a short video about the Acres for American Program, please click here. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. ( : WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better -- anytime and anywhere -- in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, nearly 260 million customers and members visit our 11,593 stores under 63 banners in 28 countries and e-commerce websites in 11 countries. With fiscal year 2016 revenue of $482.1 billion, Walmart employs approximately 2.4 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting http://corporate.walmart.com on Facebook at http://facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmart. About the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) protects and restores our nation's wildlife and habitats. Chartered by Congress in 1984, NFWF directs public conservation dollars to the most pressing environmental needs and matches those investments with private contributions. NFWF works with government, nonprofit and corporate partners to find solutions for the most intractable conservation challenges. Over the last three decades, NFWF has funded more than 4,500 organizations and committed more than $3.5 billion to conservation projects. Learn more at www.nfwf.org.


News Article | February 28, 2017
Site: www.marketwired.com

Shell Marine & Wildlife Habitat Program will help address conservation challenges across U.S. WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - February 28, 2017) - The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and Shell Oil Company (Shell) today announced the geographic expansion of their successful Shell Marine Habitat Program, a move that will broaden Shell's conservation scope beyond the Gulf Coast to better reflect the company's commitment to help protect and conserve the communities where it lives and operates. The expanded program, renamed the Shell Marine & Wildlife Habitat Program (SMWHP), now includes a wider focus with additional geographies and habitats that will be announced in the near future. In addition, SMWHP will consolidate several of Shell's key conservation initiatives under one platform. "Conservation is a vital part of our operations," said Bruce Culpepper, Shell's US Country Chair. "That is why we partner and engage with key organizations such as the NFWF to leverage their expertise and increase the impact of our conservation initiatives. Working together helps better preserve the environment we all enjoy." Since 1998, the NFWF and Shell partnership has funded 270 projects, supporting the protection, restoration and management of over 155,000 acres of habitat, as well as the improved monitoring and management of key species in coastal ecosystems. NFWF has leveraged Shell's funds over the years to generate more than $78.8 million for on-the-ground conservation. "We are pleased to build on our long history of success working with Shell to support vital conservation efforts along the Gulf Coast," said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. "This expanded focus will enable our partnership to address a wider range of conservation challenges across the nation, to the benefit of species, habitats and local communities by providing the resources necessary to take action." For additional information on funding opportunities available through the Partnership, please visit the Shell Marine & Wildlife Habitat Program site: http://www.nfwf.org/partnerships/corporate/Pages/shell.aspx Shell Oil Company is an affiliate of the Royal Dutch Shell plc, a global group of energy and petrochemical companies with operations in more than 70 countries. In the U.S., Shell operates in 50 states and employs more than 20,000 people working to help tackle the challenges of the new energy future. About the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) protects and restores our nation's wildlife and habitats. Chartered by Congress in 1984, NFWF directs public conservation dollars to the most pressing environmental needs and matches those investments with private contributions. NFWF works with government, nonprofit and corporate partners to find solutions for the most intractable conservation challenges. Over the last three decades, NFWF has funded more than 4,500 organizations and committed more than $3.5 billion to conservation projects. Learn more at www.nfwf.org.


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.marketwired.com

Four-year commitment will help communities minimize the impacts of fire and extreme weather events through conservation and capacity building WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - February 13, 2017) - The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and Wells Fargo (WFC) today announced the launch of the Resilient Communities grant program. Through a commitment from Wells Fargo of $10 million over the next four years, this new program will improve natural resources and enhance local capacity to help communities prepare for expected impacts associated with water quantity and quality issues, forest conservation challenges, and sea-level rise. "We are pleased to be working with the experts at NFWF on this important, multi-year community resiliency program," said Mary Wenzel, Director of Environmental Affairs at Wells Fargo. "Focusing on resiliency through conservation and capacity building helps communities minimize climate- and extreme-weather-related impacts while simultaneously improving community well-being and prospects for economic development." By enhancing and restoring wetlands, resilient shorelines, urban tree canopies, natural forests and healthy upstream watersheds, communities across the country can improve their residents' quality of life, increase resilience, and support wildlife populations. The program places special emphasis on helping low- and moderate-income communities build capacity for resilience planning. "Wells Fargo's dedication to conservation and the long-term environmental health of local communities serves as the cornerstone of this public-private partnership designed to improve natural habitats and community resilience throughout the United States," said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. Resilient Communities will accept applications and award five to 10 grants per year supporting the goals of the program. Proposals will be evaluated by their effectiveness in accomplishing regional goals and engaging low- and moderate-income communities. Applicants may submit a proposal through NFWF's online system by March 30; awards for this program will be announced in fall 2017. For the 2017 round of applications, Resilient Communities grants will emphasize the interconnectedness of natural systems and community well-being by: More information on the Resilient Communities program and partnership is available at www.nfwf.org/resilientcommunities. Wells Fargo & Company ( : WFC) is a diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.8 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through 8,800 locations, 13,000 ATMs, the internet (wellsfargo.com) and mobile banking, and has offices in 36 countries to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 269,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 27 on Fortune's 2016 rankings of America's largest corporations. Wells Fargo's vision is to satisfy our customers' financial needs and help them succeed financially. Wells Fargo perspectives are also available at Wells Fargo Blogs and Wells Fargo Stories. About the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) protects and restores our nation's wildlife and habitats. Chartered by Congress in 1984, NFWF directs public conservation dollars to the most pressing environmental needs and matches those investments with private contributions. NFWF works with government, nonprofit and corporate partners to find solutions for the most intractable conservation challenges. Over the last three decades, NFWF has funded more than 4,500 organizations and committed more than $3.5 billion to conservation projects. Learn more at www.nfwf.org.


News Article | November 17, 2016
Site: www.prweb.com

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and the American Forest Foundation (AFF) today announced the launch of the Southern Woods for At-Risk Wildlife Partnership (Partnership), which will help Southern family forest owners protect at-risk wildlife, while at the same time encouraging sustainable wood production. Through the Partnership, AFF and NFWF have committed to providing $7.5 million in grant funding over the next seven years, to collaborative projects in important geographies that help family forest owners manage for wildlife. This new grant funding is the largest part of AFF’s $11 million initiative in the South to provide tools and resources to help family forest landowners with the stewardship of their lands. Southern forests, rivers and streams are some of the most biologically diverse in the world. But, due to historical trends and present day pressures that have effected this forested ecosystem, there are 224 forest-dependent fish and wildlife species in the South already listed as threatened or endangered, with an additional 293 species petitioned or under review by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast Regional office for possible listing under the Endangered Species Act. The South is also the wood “basket” for the country. Nearly 60 percent of the wood harvested in the U.S. comes from the Southeast, which also equates to more than 16 percent of the commercial wood produced for the entire global market. “Our Southern forests are key to providing both wildlife habitat and wood supplies for Americans,” said Tom Martin, President and CEO of the American Forest Foundation. “Family landowners, who own nearly 60 percent of the forest land in the South, want to manage and help at-risk wildlife. And what’s more, our recent analysis shows that managing for wood and wildlife go hand-in-hand. We are excited to launch this new Partnership with NFWF that will bring new resources and support to help families accomplish both objectives on the land.” “Our work in the South has reinforced the importance of private landowner conservation, so we very much welcome this opportunity to join with the American Forest Foundation to launch the Southern Woods for At-Risk Wildlife Partnership,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. “NFWF’s experience building public-private partnerships, when combined with AFF’s existing relationships with family landowners, expertise with developing data-driven landowner engagement strategies, and commitment to building sustained capacity, will enable a more effective and lasting approach to restoring fish and wildlife while keeping working forests working across the southeastern United States.” This Partnership responds to findings of a recent AFF report Southern Wildlife At Risk: Family Forest Owners Offer a Solution, which details the important role family-owned forests play in protecting at-risk wildlife and providing sustainable wood supplies. The report includes findings of a south-wide survey of family landowners through which AFF found that 87 percent of landowners say protecting and improving wildlife habitat is a key reason they own land, and 73 percent state they want to do more for wildlife in the future. What is preventing most landowners from doing more is a lack of certainty that they are employing the best possible management practices, as well as difficulty finding support, and the cost of management. What’s more, the survey also found that it is possible to both protect at-risk wildlife and continue to meet the demands for sustainable wood from family lands. The report shows how, contrary to popular belief, landowners who harvest or thin their forests are the individuals doing more for wildlife. In fact, 85 percent of those who have harvested have also implemented other wildlife-improvement activities. The Partnership will fund projects through existing NFWF grant programs that measurably improve habitat on family forests for forest-dependent, at-risk wildlife while encouraging sustainable wood supplies in the South. These projects will build on-the-ground capacity among local partners in priority landscapes to connect with landowners through strategic outreach and long-term relationship building, and help landowners overcome barriers to sustainable forest management. In doing this, the Partnership seeks to increase the number of families actively stewarding their forests for both wildlife and sustainable wood supplies. Key focal areas of the Partnership will include conservation of forest-dependent fish and wildlife and habitats within coastal plains and piedmont forest ecosystems in the South. The Partnership intends to support 11 local, collaborative projects to engage at least 1,600 landowners in specific on-the-ground actions on 48,500 acres that improve at-risk wildlife habitat and advance sustainable wood supplies. For additional information on funding opportunities available through the Partnership, please visit the following program sites: Longleaf Stewardship Fund and Cumberland Plateau Stewardship Fund. About the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) protects and restores our nation’s wildlife and habitats. Chartered by Congress in 1984, NFWF directs public conservation dollars to the most pressing environmental needs and matches those investments with private contributions. NFWF works with government, nonprofit and corporate partners to find solutions for the most intractable conservation challenges. Over the last three decades, NFWF has funded more than 4,500 organizations and committed more than $3.5 billion to conservation projects. Learn more at http://www.nfwf.org. About the American Forest Foundation The American Forest Foundation, as a forest conservation organization, helps ensure family and private forest owners have the tools and resources they need to manage their forests and measurably improve the wildlife habitat, clean water and sustainable wood supplies that Americans count on. In the Southern U.S. in particular, the American Forest Foundation is helping landowners get started managing so they can address the biggest ecological and economical issues facing our forested habitat, which will help protect at-risk species across the region.


New partnership to help Southern family forest owners find sustainable forest management options that benefit wildlife WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - November 17, 2016) - The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and the American Forest Foundation (AFF) today announced the launch of the Southern Woods for At-Risk Wildlife Partnership (Partnership), which will help Southern family forest owners protect at-risk wildlife, while at the same time encouraging sustainable wood production. Through the Partnership, AFF and NFWF have committed to providing $7.5 million in grant funding over the next seven years, to collaborative projects in important geographies that help family forest owners manage for wildlife. This new grant funding is the largest part of AFF's $11 million initiative in the South to provide tools and resources to help family forest landowners with the stewardship of their lands. Southern forests, rivers and streams are some of the most biologically diverse in the world. But, due to historical trends and present day pressures that have effected this forested ecosystem, there are 224 forest-dependent fish and wildlife species in the South already listed as threatened or endangered, with an additional 293 species petitioned or under review by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast Regional office for possible listing under the Endangered Species Act. The South is also the wood "basket" for the country. Nearly 60 percent of the wood harvested in the U.S. comes from the Southeast, which also equates to more than 16 percent of the commercial wood produced for the entire global market. "Our Southern forests are key to providing both wildlife habitat and wood supplies for Americans," said Tom Martin, President and CEO of the American Forest Foundation. "Family landowners, who own nearly 60 percent of the forest land in the South, want to manage and help at-risk wildlife. And what's more, our recent analysis shows that managing for wood and wildlife go hand-in-hand. We are excited to launch this new Partnership with NFWF that will bring new resources and support to help families accomplish both objectives on the land." "Our work in the South has reinforced the importance of private landowner conservation, so we very much welcome this opportunity to join with the American Forest Foundation to launch the Southern Woods for At-Risk Wildlife Partnership," said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. "NFWF's experience building public-private partnerships, when combined with AFF's existing relationships with family landowners, expertise with developing data-driven landowner engagement strategies, and commitment to building sustained capacity, will enable a more effective and lasting approach to restoring fish and wildlife while keeping working forests working across the southeastern United States." This Partnership responds to findings of a recent AFF report Southern Wildlife At Risk: Family Forest Owners Offer a Solution, which details the important role family-owned forests play in protecting at-risk wildlife and providing sustainable wood supplies. The report includes findings of a south-wide survey of family landowners through which AFF found that 87 percent of landowners say protecting and improving wildlife habitat is a key reason they own land, and 73 percent state they want to do more for wildlife in the future. What is preventing most landowners from doing more is a lack of certainty that they are employing the best possible management practices, as well as difficulty finding support, and the cost of management. What's more, the survey also found that it is possible to both protect at-risk wildlife and continue to meet the demands for sustainable wood from family lands. The report shows how, contrary to popular belief, landowners who harvest or thin their forests are the individuals doing more for wildlife. In fact, 85 percent of those who have harvested have also implemented other wildlife-improvement activities. The Partnership will fund projects through existing NFWF grant programs that measurably improve habitat on family forests for forest-dependent, at-risk wildlife while encouraging sustainable wood supplies in the South. These projects will build on-the-ground capacity among local partners in priority landscapes to connect with landowners through strategic outreach and long-term relationship building, and help landowners overcome barriers to sustainable forest management. In doing this, the Partnership seeks to increase the number of families actively stewarding their forests for both wildlife and sustainable wood supplies. Key focal areas of the Partnership will include conservation of forest-dependent fish, wildlife and habitats within coastal plains and piedmont forest ecosystems in the South. The Partnership intends to support 11 local, collaborative projects to engage at least 1,600 landowners in specific on-the-ground actions on 48,500 acres that improve at-risk wildlife habitat and advance sustainable wood supplies. For additional information on funding opportunities available through the Partnership, please visit the following program sites: Longleaf Stewardship Fund and Cumberland Plateau Stewardship Fund. About the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) protects and restores our nation's wildlife and habitats. Chartered by Congress in 1984, NFWF directs public conservation dollars to the most pressing environmental needs and matches those investments with private contributions. NFWF works with government, nonprofit and corporate partners to find solutions for the most intractable conservation challenges. Over the last three decades, NFWF has funded more than 4,500 organizations and committed more than $3.5 billion to conservation projects. Learn more at www.nfwf.org. The American Forest Foundation, as a forest conservation organization, helps ensure family and private forest owners have the tools and resources they need to manage their forests and measurably improve the wildlife habitat, clean water and sustainable wood supplies that Americans count on. In the Southern U.S. in particular, the American Forest Foundation is helping landowners get started managing so they can address the biggest ecological and economical issues facing our forested habitat, which will help protect at-risk species across the region.


News Article | February 16, 2017
Site: www.marketwired.com

Conservation partnership funds nine organizations to complete habitat, water, and innovative conservation projects HOUSTON, TX--(Marketwired - February 16, 2017) - The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and ConocoPhillips today announced $1.2 million in grant awards through the SPIRIT of Conservation and Innovation program. These grants will support restoration and enhancement of important habitats and advance innovative water conservation technologies in 11 states. The grants, awarded to nine organizations for work in Alaska, Colorado, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming, will support projects that collectively will restore more than 16,300 acres of grassland bird habitat, increase partner collaboration, establish decision support tools, increase critical late season stream flows, and develop innovative on-site tools for aquatic invasive species prevention. Grant recipients will match the $1.2 million in funding with $7 million in financial contributions or in-kind support for a total on-the-ground conservation impact of more than $8.3 million. Since 2005, NFWF and ConocoPhillips have invested more than $9.5 million in projects through the SPIRIT of Conservation and Innovation program. Grantees have matched this funding with an additional $21 million for a total conservation impact of $30.5 million. As a result of these investments, more than 214,000 acres of critical fish and wildlife habitat have been conserved or restored. "Identifying innovative species and habitat conservation solutions that help provide long-lasting ecological benefits is a primary goal of our SPIRIT of Conservation and Innovation program," said John Sousa, manager of Communications, Brand and Community Relations at ConocoPhillips. "Through our SPIRIT of Conservation and Innovation program and partnership with NFWF, we are proud to support this year's winners and their pursuit to advance water and biodiversity conservation efforts." This public-private partnership has continued to invest in proven techniques for improving and restoring critical fish and wildlife habitat to address long-standing conservation challenges. Additionally, the partnership is investing in promising, innovative solutions to difficult conservation problems. "The grants awarded this year through this innovative partnership between NFWF and ConocoPhillips will improve priority habitats for targeted fish and wildlife species in some of America's most important landscapes," said Eric Schwaab, vice president for NFWF's conservation programs. "These projects will support iconic species ranging from coho salmon in Alaska to whooping cranes in Texas and lesser prairie chickens in Kansas." For additional details on the individual grants, please click here. Learn more about the ConocoPhillips SPIRIT of Conservation and Innovation Program at: www.nfwf.org/spirit About the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation: The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) protects and restores our nation's wildlife and habitats. Chartered by Congress in 1984, NFWF directs public conservation dollars to the most pressing environmental needs and matches those investments with private contributions. NFWF works with government, nonprofit and corporate partners to find solutions for the most intractable conservation challenges. Over the last three decades, NFWF has funded more than 4,500 organizations and committed more than $3.5 billion to conservation projects. Learn more at www.nfwf.org. ConocoPhillips is the world's largest independent E&P company based on production and proved reserves. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, ConocoPhillips had operations and activities in 17 countries, $90 billion of total assets, and approximately 13,300 employees as of Dec. 31, 2016. Production excluding Libya averaged 1,567 MBOED in 2016, and preliminary proved reserves were 6.4 billion BOE as of Dec. 31, 2016. For more information, go to www.conocophillips.com.


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

After more than a year of data collection, analysis and mapping, the University of Georgia River Basin Center and the Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute recently published a comprehensive survey of aquatic animals in Southeastern watersheds. This first-of-a-kind study used information on where aquatic animals live gathered directly from field researchers, universities, museums and government agencies. The report’s creators hope it will serve as a call to action for protection and restoration, helping to chart future conservation efforts in the region. Among scientists, the Southeast is renowned as a hotspot for freshwater wildlife, but the life that teems beneath the surface of its rivers and streams — a veritable underwater rainforest — remains relatively unknown to the general public. After decades of being overlooked, conservationists think the time has come for the region to take its rightful place in the spotlight. “The Southeast’s rich aquatic communities are globally significant. There’s nothing else like our biodiversity anywhere else on the continent or anywhere else in the temperate world,” said Dr. Duncan Elkins, the study’s coordinator and a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Georgia River Basin Center. All southeastern states have incredible aquatic life, but the study spotlights areas with higher diversity and at greater risk of imperilment. Take one look at the report’s heat maps, and the Southeast’s ecological significance becomes impossible to ignore. The maps use colors to represent the variety of species in a given area — warmer colors indicating greater diversity — and are based on the distribution of almost 1,050 fish, crayfish and mussel species in almost 300 watersheds spanning 11 states. The vivid red-and-orange bullseye centered on Middle and Southeast Tennessee, Northwest Georgia and Northern Alabama clearly shows why this region is so biologically significant. “The Southeast has an incredible number of species, and it's really important that we focus our attention on protecting places where we can get the most bang for our buck,” said Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute Director Dr. Anna George. By highlighting the region’s most diverse watersheds, the study will help to focus future scientific research and guide conservation groups to areas where intervention can have the greatest impact. “The need is great for us to act to protect our species,” George continued. “This project allows us to visualize, across the Southeast, where those places are that are so critically important for our water and wildlife.” Scientists “scored” each watershed based on three characteristics: the number of species it contained, the conservation status of those species and how widespread each species was. Areas containing a larger variety of species, many endangered or threatened species or species found in few or no other locations were ranked higher. According to the study, the 10 highest-priority watersheds are: The story of the Southeast’s freshwater ecology is one of both unrivaled diversity and rampant imperilment. Experts place the region’s plethora of aquatic wildlife on equal footing with that of species-rich tropical ecosystems. More than 1,400 species reside in waterways within a 500-mile radius of Chattanooga, Tenn., including about three-quarters (73.1 percent) of all native fish species in the United States. More than 90 percent of all American mussel and crayfish species live within that same area. More than a quarter of the species included in the study are found nowhere else in the world, yet 28 percent of Southeastern fish species are considered imperiled, more than doubling during the last 20 years fueled by intensive human development and a lack of financial support for regional conservation efforts. The publication of the Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute and River Basin Center study, which was created through a National Fish and Wildlife Foundation grant, comes at a crucial time for Southeastern aquatic ecosystems. Efforts to study and safeguard freshwater species in the region continue to struggle due to anemic funding and a lack of federally protected lands, especially compared to less-diverse regions, such as the Western United States. The study’s creators say they hope it will serve as a master plan to guide research and conservation work that will ensure the long-term survival of waterways that dramatically impact the human communities that rely on them. “Rivers and streams in the U.S. are the arteries that flow through our landscape, and they carry a measure of the health of the landscape with them,” George said. “Right now, those rivers are having heart attacks. “What we're doing is like visiting a doctor to learn how to take better care of the health of our rivers. We’ve identified some of the most important places to start a small change in our habits and how we take care of our waters. And over time, just like walking a mile turns into running a race, those small changes will add up to big differences for the health of the country’s rivers and streams.’”

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