Monday, June 6, 2011

National Bird Conservancy Programs at risk of de-funding

The following email alert from ABC Birds regarding the US House of Reps debating the Bird Conservation Bills.  Please act if you care about birds' future in North America.


Note  : the Brooklyn Bird Club is a member of the Bird Conservancy Alliance (BCA)


To: Bird Conservation Alliance (BCA)

From: Steve Holmer, Director

Date: June 6, 2011

Alert: Urge Your Senators Not to Slash Funding for Bird Conservation

The House of Representatives plans on cutting at least $2 billion in funding from the Interior Appropriations bill that includes key bird conservation programs. If passed by the Senate, these destructive cuts will harm birds and wildlife as well as undermine decades of successful conservation efforts.

Your Senators need to hear from you this week before the June 10 deadline for submitting program requests. To send letters to your Senators, click here:

Please forward this link to your members so that they can take action as well.

Programs targeted:

· The Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act, the only federal U.S. grants program specifically dedicated to the conservation of our migrant birds throughout the Americas.

· Joint Ventures, which coordinate, plan, and implement projects that benefits birds, and have protected more than 13 million acres of important bird habitat so far.

· State Wildlife Grants, the nation’s core program for preventing birds and wildlife from becoming endangered in addition to supporting strategic conservation investments in every state and territory.

· The North American Wetlands Conservation Act, which provides funding for conservation projects that benefit wetland birds.

Senators need to hear from bird advocates like you today to ensure that these critical bird conservation programs continue to be funded. Click here:

We have made it easy for you to take action now - simply click on the link below, enter your zip code, and then send the automatically generated email to your Senators asking them to express their support for these programs in their annual appropriations request. Feel free to take a little extra time to add some thoughts of your own to the text we have provided.

Thank you for your help in ensuring the next generation of Americans will have a chance to appreciate the native birds we enjoy today.

Take action today:

Dear Senator:

I call on you to provide the highest level of funding possible to several key bird conservation programs I believe are crucial to maintaining healthy and abundant bird populations throughout the United States which also have a proven track record of success.

Funding for the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act grants program is crucial since it is the only federal U.S. grants program specifically dedicated to the conservation of our migrant birds throughout the Americas. It has a proven track-record of success advancing conservation for many declining species, such as the Cerulean Warbler, and other birds American see in their backyards.

Joint Ventures (JVs), which cover the entire country and are key to carrying out bird conservation help by identify local land use priorities. JVs provide coordination for conservation planning, and implementing projects that benefits birds and other species and have protected, restored, or enhanced more than 13 million acres of important habitat for migratory bird species.

State and Tribal Wildlife Grants program was created to assist states with their voluntary efforts to protect the more than 12,000 at-risk wildlife species around the United States from becoming endangered. The program leverages more than $100 million per year in state, tribal, local, and private dollars that directly support jobs in virtually all states. Slashing funding for this program also undermines the federal government’s ten year investment in State Wildlife Action Plans.

The North American Wetlands Conservation Act has a proven track record of success leveraging over $2 billion in matching funds affecting 20 million acres through the work of more than 4,000 partners and has fostered public and private sector cooperation for migratory bird conservation, flood control, erosion control, and water quality. For every dollar of money invested in the program, an average of 3.2 dollars is raised to match the federal share by non-federal entities.

These are programs that Congress should be highlighting as models of successful government programs that are working, instead of drastically reducing.

As you may know, birds have been a driving force behind the American conservation movement since its early day when unregulated hunting, the use of toxic pesticides, and the destruction of wetlands threatened our wildlife and wild places. But birds are also big business. A report by The Outdoor Industry Foundation found all outdoor wildlife related recreation activities generate $730 billion annually for the U.S. economy. The report estimated that bird watching and other wildlife viewing contributes $43 billion annually to the economy. An estimated 66 million Americans participate in wildlife viewing, which supports 466,000 jobs. Retail sales of gear average $8.8 billion, trip related expenditures total $8.5 billion, and state and federal tax receipts amount to $2.7 billion.

I urge you to express your support for these programs by including them in your annual appropriations request to ensure the Senate supports the highest level of funding possible for these important programs.

Steve Holmer

Senior Policy Advisor &

Director, Bird Conservation Alliance

202-234-7181 ext. 216

Skype: sholmerabc