Wednesday, August 14, 2013

ABC Bird conservancy press release on Federal programs cuts

-----Original Message-----
To: abcorgs
Sent: Mon, Aug 12, 2013 1:09 pm
Subject: Alert: Sign on letter to Preserve Wildlife Conservation Programs


Hello Valued Conservation Partner:

Last month the House Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Subcommittee
 eliminated funding for the following popular and highly successful grant programs
for next fiscal year:

·       State & Tribal Wildlife Grants Program
·       North American Wetland Conservation Fund
·       Neotropical Migratory Bird Fund
·       Forest Legacy Program
·       Land and Water Conservation Fund
These programs have conserved some of our nation’s rarest and most cherished
fish and wildlife, restored vital wetlands and protected priority forests, grasslands,
coasts  and other important habitats.  Complete elimination of funding for these
 popular programs is unprecedented!

We need your help to convince appropriators in the US House and US Senate
how important these programs are to fish and wildlife and request that funding be 
restored for the next fiscal year which is set to begin on October 1st.

Below and attached is a national sign-on letter supporting these vital programs.
 Please consider adding your organization’s name to this letter so we can
 demonstrate that these programs have broad support amongst birders, hikers,
 hunters, anglers, paddlers, conservation educators and others who use and
enjoy the outdoors.  

To sign on to this letter, send an email with your organization’s name and state
 to by Friday August 30th.   Zeroing out these programs
would have serious consequences for fish and wildlife conservation.  Help be a
voice for fish and wildlife and the natural areas that they need to exist.

[Date inserted Here]
The Honorable Jack Reed, Chairman

The Honorable Lisa Murkowski, Ranking Member
Senate Interior & Environment Appropriations Subcommittee
Senate Interior & Environment Appropriations Subcommittee
728 Hart Senate Office Building
709 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington DC 20510
Washington DC 20510

The Honorable Mike Simpson, Chairman

The Honorable Jim Moran, Ranking Member
House Interior & Environment Appropriations Subcommittee
House Interior & Environment Appropriations Subcommittee
2312 Rayburn House Office Building
2252 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington DC  20515
Washington DC  20515

Dear Senators Reed and Murkowski & Congressmen Simpson & Moran:
On behalf of the millions of outdoor recreationists our organizations represent, we wish to
 express our support for the State & Tribal Wildlife Grants Program, North 
American Wetland Conservation Fund, Neotropical Migratory Bird Fund,
 Forest Legacy Program and Land and Water Conservation Fund. We are 
concerned that the House Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations 
Subcommittee proposed to eliminate funding for these successful and important fish 
and wildlife conservation programs next fiscal year. Elimination of funding will have 
significant impacts to collaborative on-the-ground conservation in communities nationwide 
resulting in more federal endangered species listings, fewer restored wetlands, further 
imperiled migratory birds, less protection for forests and other key habitats and diminished
 outdoor recreation opportunities.
We appreciate the need to reduce the size of the federal deficit and the difficult choices 
that you face. However, these programs are priorities and we believe they have done their 
fair share to help balance the budget after being cut by more than 25% in the last several
 years. Continued disproportionate cuts in the current budget under consideration will
 further rollback conservation work that serves the national interests of fish and wildlife 
conservation, creation of non-exportable jobs and delivery of essential services such as 
clean water and air and storm protection to current and future generations
Investments in natural resources conservation and outdoor recreation total less than 1% 
of all discretionary spending, a percentage that has been declining for decades. Grant 
programs represent an even smaller percentage of this total but are unique in that they
 leverage hundreds of millions in state, local and private dollars.  According to the US 
Census Bureau, 90 million US residents participate in fish and wildlife recreation, 
spending over $150 billion annually. Federal grant programs help ensure these consumers
 have sustainable fish and wildlife populations to view, hunt and fish. 
We strongly encourage you to work in a bipartisan manner to find solutions to the budget 
problem that do not further harm successful and publicly supported conservation grant 
programs that help fuel the outdoor recreation economic engine.  Thank you for your time
 & consideration.  
[Your Organization’s Name Here]

Mark Humpert, Wildlife Diversity Director
Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies

Anne Law, Deputy Director of Conservation Advocacy
American Bird Conservancy

Steve Holmer
Senior Policy Advisor
American Bird Conservancy &
Director, Bird Conservation Alliance
202-234-7181 ext. 216
Skype: sholmerabc


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