UPDATE ON NAWCA

House may vote on Interior Appropriations as early as next week


nawca update

The U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee considered legislation last week that includes serious budget cuts to NAWCA. Now that the legislation has been passed by the full committee, many Washington insiders believe the full House may vote on the Interior Appropriations bill as early as next week. (Photo courtesy Brent Gale)
With the start of FY 2012 fiscal year less than three months away, Congress is ramping up efforts to pass a budget. The U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee considered legislation last week that includes serious budget cuts to the North American Wetlands Conservation Act. NAWCA is a vital conservation program that provides a cost-effective way to conserve and protect wetlands through match-based grants. Now that the legislation has been passed by the full committee, many Washington insiders believe the full House may vote on the Interior Appropriations bill as early as next week.

"It is important that Congress understands that conservation not only pays for itself but also significantly impacts our nation's economy by helping to create jobs, sustain small businesses and fuel local economies," Ducks Unlimited CEO Dale Hall said. "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."

Ducks Unlimited understands the need to reduce our deficit and supports this effort. We also understand that when it comes to budget cuts, Congress has some tough choices to make. These hard choices make it even more important that programs providing good value, such as NAWCA, which conserves land while yielding strong economic results, are strongly supported.

Despite the fact that conservation generates revenue for states and the federal treasury, these programs have been some of the hardest hit by budget cuts. The House Appropriations Subcommittee has proposed that NAWCA's FY 2012 funding be allocated only $20 million, which represents a $17.5 million reduction from its current funding level and a 58 percent reduction from the FY 2010 funding level.

As FY 2012 budget negotiations move forward, it is essential that sportsmen continue to remind Congress that their constituents care about waterfowl conservation programs and the economic benefits they provide. To make your voice heard by Congress, click here to ask your elected officials to support NAWCA funding in FY 2012.