On August 15, DU Director of Conservation Programs Ray Whittemore and past DU Vermont State Chairman Dennis Havey attended a meeting with U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont at the Mississquoi National Wildlife Refuge in Swanton, Vermont. The meetings focused on the contributions that conservation programs, such as the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, provide to the state's economy and highlighted some successful conservation projects in the Green Mountain State.
Whittemore presented Senator Leahy, who sits on the subcommittee that determines NAWCA's funding level, with a letter signed by conservation partners who support full funding for the program. In Vermont, NAWCA funding of $1 million was matched by $7.7 million to restore over 55,800 acres of waterfowl habitat. These projects not only illustrate the cost-effectiveness of NAWCA, but also how a relatively small federal investment can lead to the restoration of thousands of acres of waterfowl habitat.
The grassroots lobbying by Whittemore and Havey is a part of DU's national efforts to educate key lawmakers on the importance of federal wildlife programs that are being cut or eliminated. To learn more about how you can help DU in its fight to protect these conservation programs, click here.