During the next several weeks, Congress will make budget decisions for FY 2012. These decisions will also determine the future of many conservation programs. In order to make sure these programs are not unjustly cut or eliminated entirely, Ducks Unlimited is working to educate national leaders and policymakers on how important conservation programs are to our people, our economy and our future.
More than 250 agricultural, sportsmen, business and conservation groups sent letters to budget negotiators last week calling for the protection of America's natural resource funding. America's lands and waters protect people, create jobs and generate billions of dollars each year for the national economy. But federal spending on land, water, ocean and wildlife programs comprised only 1.26 percent of the total federal budget in 2010. As a miniscule share of the overall budget, conservation spending
is not the cause of the nation's budget instability, nor will making further cuts to these programs solve the deficit crisis. The groups signing the letters called on budget negotiators to avoid
disproportionate cuts to natural resource programs.
"Ducks Unlimited is known for its fiscal conservatism. However, funding for cost-effective conservation programs that make a clear profit for the U.S. taxpayer, such as the North American Wetlands Conservation Act
, should not be reduced under the pretense of getting spending under control. Overall, hunting and fishing support more than 1.6 million jobs and generate more than $25 billion a year in federal, state and local taxes," said Ducks Unlimited CEO Dale Hall.
Conservation pays for itself. If we lose sight of this, we run the risk of losing the precious natural resources that sustain us, and our values, as hunters and anglers. That is a loss we cannot afford to take."
To learn more about the important role public policy plays in protecting waterfowl visit www.ducks.org/conservation/public-policy