Monday, February 14, 2011

Congressional committee considering cutting funding for wetland and waterfowl conservation

The Ducks Need Your Voice Today to Protect Conservation Funding for Waterfowl!
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U.S. House Appropriations Committee targets crucial conservation funding
Take Action for the Ducks!Dear Ducks Unlimited Supporter,
The U.S. House of Representatives is proposing deep cuts to vital funding for waterfowl habitat conservation programs and is taking other actions that would directly impact waterfowl populations and your hunting heritage.
These proposed cuts would significantly undermine the ability of state agencies, organizations like Ducks Unlimited, and individual farmers, ranchers and other landowners, to partner with the federal government to accomplish crucial conservation objectives. Just a few of the waterfowl habitat conservation programs and efforts that would be affected include:
  • North American Wetlands Conservation Act grants – Currently funded at $47.6 million – Proposed - $0. A program that has conserved more than 20 million acres of waterfowl habitat.

  • Clean Water Act protections – Proposed budget actions would prevent discussions from taking place that could restore protection to prairie potholes in key waterfowl breeding areas and millions of acres of other wetlands across the nation.

  • Funds for USFWS land acquisitions in the Prairie Pothole Region, also known as “The Duck Factory” – Proposed 81 percent budget cut.

  • State wildlife grants – Currently $90 million used by states to promote and assess the health of a state’s wildlife habitat, including managing lands that provide hunting opportunities.
    Proposed budget - $0.
If these cuts and actions take place, waterfowl, waterfowl hunters and wetlands conservation would lose in a big way. In short, these actions would adversely affect all of us who care about, and have funded, wetlands and waterfowl conservation. What’s being proposed by the House Appropriations Committee will cripple conservation efforts as we know them. Elimination of NAWCA, an 86 percent reduction of acquisition for refuges and seriously reducing many other programs so vital to our mission is something DU strongly opposes.
DU fully supports efforts to bring a greater balance to the U.S. budget, but these actions would be detrimental for future sportsmen and women. By cutting these programs, we are limiting the opportunities for future generations to enjoy the wonders of wildlife.
Let your elected officials know the importance of waterfowl habitat to you and your family.
H. Dale Hall
Dale Hall
Ducks Unlimited
Chief Executive Officer