NATIONAL ISSUES

[Image Description] SCWF's Ben Gregg talking conservation with Senator Lindsay Graham in DC, along with Mark White of Orvis.

[Image Description] SCWF's Ben Gregg talking conservation with Senator Lindsay Graham in DC, along with Mark White of Orvis.

SCWF works closely with the National Wildlife Federation to engage our supporters on issues of national significance. SCWF monitors these issues and partners with other state affiliates of the NWF to be sure our voices are heard.  

offshore drilling & seismic testing

In addition to the potential for oil spills like we’ve seen in the Gulf, seismic testing activities could have extremely detrimental impacts on our marine life, not to mention the tourism impacts of pipelines and refineries popping up on our beautiful coastline.  SCWF works with state legislators to oppose the on-shore infrastructure needed for offshore drilling, and we talk directly with our Congressional delegates to voice our opposition at the Federal level. 

Climate resiliency

South Carolina Wildlife Federation has joined a national effort to demonstrate our support for climate-related issues to our federal elected leaders. Visit this page on our website to stay updated on Climate news and activities to get involved in.

We also applaud Senator Graham’s willingness to stand up and publicly encourage the President and others to acknowledge the realities of climate change.  We are excited about the creation of the Roosevelt Conservation Caucus, and we look forward to seeing some creative and innovative new solutions proposed.

LAND & WATER CONSERVATION FUND (LWCF)

We would like to thank Senator Graham for co-sponsoring the bill for permanent funding of the LWCF which preserves, creates, and ensures access to outdoor recreation facilities so as to strengthen the health of all Americans.  This includes places in South Carolina such as Congaree National Park, Fort Sumter National Monument, Francis Marion National Forest, Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, and several of our state and local parks including Rile Range Road Park in Mount Pleasant, Myrtle Beach State Park Boardwalk, Manchester Meadows Park in Rock Hill, and Jones Gap State Park.  No taxpayer dollars are used for this Fund – it is largely funded by oil and gas revenues from offshore drilling.  However, for the past 3 years, congress has only actually appropriated half of the fully authorized amount.  SCWF supports full funding at $900 million. 

endangered species act (ESA)

We are fully committed to upholding and fully funding the ESA, and to opposing damaging ESA regulation changes introduced by the Trump administration.  Under these new rules, the Endangered Species Act will no longer provide guaranteed protections for threatened species, which are just one step away from being endangered. Among other changes, the new rules also will allow costly economic analysis to be presented in what are legally mandated to be science-based decisions to list species as endangered or threatened, and lessen protections for habitat considered critical to recovering each species.  In South Carolina, ESA-listed species include the North Atlantic Right Whale, Loggerhead Sea Turtle, Flatwoods Salamander, Red-cockaded Woodpecker, and Wood Stork.  Rather than reducing protections for wildlife, we urge Congress to take action and enact proactive solutions. 

Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (H.R. 3742)

One such proactive solution is the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (H.R. 3742).  This bipartisan bill, introduced by Representatives Dingell (D-MI) and Fortenberry (R-NE), will dedicate $1.397 billion annually towards voluntary conservation efforts for wildlife at-risk. This will prevent species from requiring the emergency room measures of the Endangered Species Act.  State fish and wildlife agencies will spend $1.3 billion from this bill to implement their Congressionally mandated State Wildlife Action Plans. These detailed plans incorporate science and public input and are approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  In South Carolina, this bill will protect habitat for important wildlife species such as the American Kestrel, Painted Bunting, Black Bear, Coral Snake, and the American Eel.