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President's FY13 budget requests include $39.4M for NAWCA

The president released his FY13 budget request on Monday with recommendations for funding levels of all federal programs. This request now goes to the Congress for consideration as they develop their FY13 budgets, which are scheduled to be released in late March.

Among the numbers was a proposed allocation of $39.4 million for the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA), which is similar to the current funding of $35.5 million. While this request marks a nearly $4 million increase from current enacted levels, it is significantly lower than last year's request of $50 million. Ducks Unlimited is concerned about the lowered request, but understand that the FY13 budget proposal reflects concern in Washington regarding the federal deficit.

"We will continue to work with both the administration and Congress to advocate for the highest possible funding for this program in the next year, and for its reauthorization," said Scott Sutherland, director of Ducks Unlimited's Governmental Affairs Office. "This mission-critical program is at the top of DU's priority list this year, and we are working hard here in Washington to get it funded and reauthorized through 2017."

Members of DU's Conservation Programs Committee and other DU staff met with members of Congress and their staffs on Capitol Hill this week to discuss legislation affecting America's wetlands and waterfowl. The topic of greatest concern was the future of NAWCA.

The president's FY 13 budget also included suggestions for other important conservation programs such as the Land and Water Conservation Fund, as well as a proposed increase in the cost of federal duck stamps, from $15 to $25 per stamp. More on the president's budget and these programs will be discussed in future issues of the Waterfowl Advocate.

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