Coalition building brings together the hippies, hunters and hikers to vote yes on Proposal One of 2020
Michigan United Conservation Clubs (MUCC) was awarded the National Conservation Affiliate of the Year Award at the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) Wildlife Unite Conference June 12.
Since MUCC’s founding, the organization has been the Michigan statewide affiliate of NWF. The award recognizes an NWF affiliate organization for conservation accomplishments and contributions to collaborative efforts across the NWF Federation.
While the bulk of MUCC’s work stands on its own, MUCC’s work on Proposal One of 2020 helped cement MUCC’s receipt of this award, said Amy Trotter, MUCC executive director.
“With unanimous consent in our legislature and 84 percent of the popular vote on this constitutional amendment, Michigan’s Proposal One is perhaps the greatest conservation ballot victory in history,” Trotter said during her acceptance speech. “It isn’t commonplace that a singular outdoor issue elicits the collective support of hippies, hunters and hikers. But in 1976 and again in 2020, MUCC and its partners were able to prove that public lands are where we can all come together.”
MUCC engages with NWF in many venues and on many different issues, but none have been as important as clean, fresh water for Michigan’s fish and wildlife. And the MUCC grassroots model has been carried to other NWF affiliates throughout the country.
“From thousands of pounds of invasive plants and waste removed from public lands and waterways to laws enshrined in the state constitution, Michigan United Conservation Clubs has strengthened the Michigan conservation landscape on every level imaginable,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “Their successes – including helping to pass a ballot measure to fund Michigan’s public lands acquisition and stewardship through oil and gas lease subsidies in perpetuity – are a testament to the power of a diverse coalition of interests operating in unison. The conservation community should look to Michigan United Conservation Clubs as a standard for targeted grassroots advocacy and education and field campaigns.”
According to NWF, The National Wildlife Federation Conservation Achievement Awards began in 1966. Since then, the National Wildlife Federation has celebrated individuals and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to protecting wildlife through education, advocacy, communication and on-the-ground conservation. Previous honorees have included former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, First Ladies Lady Bird Johnson and Michelle Obama, and other national leaders, including U.S. Senator John McCain and filmmaker Robert Redford.