The Time is Now: Protecting Wildlife, People and Our Planet

As the adage goes, we do not inherit the land, water, and wildlife from our parents, we borrow them from our children.

This past year, millions upon millions of us witnessed, experienced, and understood what’s at stake if we default on this intergeneration covenant. From devastating hurricanes and heatwaves to wildfires and floods, climate-fueled disasters exacted a toll measured in lives lost, homes destroyed, businesses buried, and communities displaced. We also saw the biodiversity crisis accelerate as more and more species slide towards the brink of extinction.

Yet despite these escalating challenges, there are so many reasons for hope. 2021 saw our leaders at home and abroad commit to a new path forward to address the climate crisis, recover imperiled wildlife, and start to redress generational environmental and social injustices.

To say that the United States turned a corner would be an understatement. At home, our leaders stepped up to make historic, generational investments in clean energy, natural infrastructure, climate resiliency, environmental justice, and wildlife recovery. We re-engaged globally to address the immense and interconnected climate, biodiversity, and environmental justice challenges we face today. Moreover, many of the solutions embraced demonstrated a shared commitment to treat nature as an ally, empower states and Tribes to recover wildlife, and enlist all people to conserve and restore our lands and waters.

The National Wildlife Federation has been at the center of these solutions and the negotiations that transformed these ideas into action. In every instance, our Federation strived to ensure these discussions and the solutions they inspired were inclusive and equitable. We also built on one of the central ideas of much of our work that everyone should see themselves in the conservation movement and that individual actions, from planting milkweed at home to enacting social change, help people and wildlife thrive.

Thanks to your steadfast involvement and generous investment, the National Wildlife Federation and our 52 affiliates have achieved important victories all across the country in 2021. We also have laid a strong foundation that we will build upon to pass the historic bipartisan Recovering America’s Wildlife Act early in 2022.

Please join me in celebrating our shared victories as we continue our mission to unite all people to ensure wildlife thrive in our rapidly changing world. I’m incredibly grateful that we’re in this together!

Collin O’Mara
President and CEO
National Wildlife Federation