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Policy News 1.29

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Top stories for Dec. 15, 2009
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NAWCA bill closer to finish line

The bill to enhance the popular North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) took another step toward becoming law recently, unanimously passing the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. The bill now goes to the Senate floor for a vote.

"We're excited that this bill is closer to the finish line," said Scott Sutherland, director of the Governmental Affairs Office for Ducks Unlimited.

The bill, introduced by Migratory Bird Conservation Commission member Rep. Rob Wittman (Va.), would allow additional matching investment in the program. The program has conserved more than 25 million acres across North America. The bill passed the House unanimously in September.

Every dollar in federal grants to the program must be matched 1:1 by funds from state and local governments, non-profit organizations like Ducks Unlimited and/or community groups. Since its inception in 1989, NAWCA has used a federal investment of just over $1 billion to leverage over $3 billion in other funds.




Landowners with expiring CRP find new ways to conserve their land

With acres in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) expiring, and without a new signup for the program planned for the immediate future, landowners are finding creative ways to keep their land in conservation. The Kauller Partnership, made up of Don Kauth, his two sons Tom and Paul, and friends Mark Miller and Charlie Mueller, recently agreed to a conservation easement with Ducks Unlimited that permanently protects more than 2,300 feet of shoreline on Fish Lake and soon-to-expire CRP acres.

Using funds from the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Fund, and a grant from the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, the project will protect more than 180 acres. Eighty of those acres are currently enrolled in the CRP but are expiring soon.

"This land is all about wildlife conservation and making sure the kids and their kids have the opportunity to develop their own outdoor hunting traditions," said Don Kauth. "Partnering with DU to protect this property and Fish Lake fits right in with those goals."

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