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Banding Together for Waterfowl

Policy News: Vol. 3, Issue 13

Top stories for Apr. 5, 2011

Waterfowl Need Your Help! DU members urge Congress to support NAWCA funding

DU supporters' letters, e-mails and calls to senators and members of Congress are pivotal to keeping NAWCA's funding intact. (Member photo courtesy Brett Downes)
Ducks Unlimited recently sent an action alert to its supporters asking them to help save an important, cost-effective program that helps conserve vital waterfowl habitat across our continent—the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA).  

NAWCA's future is threatened by legislation that would strip all funding from this crucial program. In the last few weeks, DU supporters who have responded to action alerts and other efforts have helped protect NAWCA from immediate budget cuts in the temporary measures that have kept the government running on a short-term basis. However, these measures are set to expire Friday, April 8, and NAWCA's future will once again be threatened.  

In a note sent to DU supporters, DU CEO Dale Hall and DU President John Pope expressed the importance of contacting Congress in the process of securing funding for NAWCA:

"This week, Congress will consider which programs to keep, cut back or eliminate. We need your help right now to make sure the NAWCA program continues to provide quality wetland habitat for waterfowl and other migratory birds." 

Ducks Unlimited members are urged to contact their U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives throughout this week as Congress deliberates on continued funding for the 2011 fiscal year. To make your voice heard for waterfowl, visit www.ducks.org/SaveNAWCA to easily contact your senators and members of Congress about supporting NAWCA funding. 

Ducks Unlimited hails the importance of NAWCA during press conference call 

Dr. Scott Yaich, director of conservation operations for Ducks Unlimited, explained NAWCA's essential role in conserving waterfowl habitats during a teleconference call with members of the press to express concern about the recently-proposed budget cuts to critical conservation programs.
Last week, Ducks Unlimited, along with several national sportsmen conservationist organizations, hunters and anglers, spoke on a teleconference call with members of the press to express concern about the recently-proposed budget cuts to critical conservation programs, such as NAWCA. The call was organized by conservation interests in Montana

Reporters from around the country tuned in to the call to hear Dr. Scott Yaich, director of conservation operations for Ducks Unlimited, explain NAWCA's essential role in conserving waterfowl habitats and highlighted the program's ability to generate viable streams of revenue. Dr. Yaich participated from DU's headquarters in Memphis, Tenn.

During the teleconference, Yaich also stressed important NAWCA projects in the Montana area and how NAWCA successfully generates conservation funding through a federal match-based program. 

In Montana alone, the NAWCA program has provided $19.1 million in funding, which in turn has generated partner contributions of more than $92.6 million. These matching contributions have helped conserve more than 187,000 acres across the state. 

"What NAWCA did, and has continued to do, was invest in those partnerships as the key to successful wetland conservation," Yaich said. "NAWCA funding requires at least a 1:1 non-federal match. However, due to highly successful partnerships, NAWCA federal competitive grants totaling $1 billion have leveraged more than $3.4 billion overall from non-federal partners." 

DU urges the continued funding of key conservation programs in written testimony to House Committee on Appropriations

Ducks Unlimited has submitted written testimony to Congress requesting continued congressional support for the funding of key conservation programs. (Member photo courtesy of Ryan Askren)
Ducks Unlimited has submitted written testimony to Congress on behalf of the more than one million DU members and supporters who are waterfowl conservationists, including hunters, bird watchers and other outdoor enthusiasts concerned about the future of waterfowl habitat conservation in this country. Writing on behalf of DU, Governmental Affairs Director Scott Sutherland urged the U.S. House Committee on Appropriations to continue funding critical waterfowl conservation programs, many of which have been a target of budget cuts in the 2011 fiscal year budget proceedings.

"Ducks Unlimited is the world's largest and most effective private waterfowl and wetlands conservation organization," said Sutherland. "It is our duty to ensure that important waterfowl programs, like the North American Wetlands Conservation Act and Land and Water Conservation Fund, are not cut. In order to help secure future funding of these programs, we must make Congress aware that these conservation efforts not only restore wetlands and waterfowl, but also create revenue for the government." 

The written testimony submitted by Ducks Unlimited requested continued congressional support for the funding of North American Wetlands Conservation Act, Land and Water Conservation Fund, Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act and U.S. Migratory Bird Joint Ventures. To learn more about how DU is helping protect waterfowl in Washington, D.C., visit the DU Public Policy section on www.ducks.org

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