In his first week as the new director of DU's Governmental Affairs Office in Washington, D.C., Gary Taylor has already been busy tackling some of the country's biggest waterfowl-related public policy issues, including the 2012 Farm Bill and future funding for the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA).
As former legislative director for the American Fish and Wildlife Agencies, Taylor is no stranger to these legislative concerns and hit the ground running when he joined the GAO staff on Monday.
"I'm excited and enthusiastic about joining Team DU, and especially about working with the thousands of volunteers and members, the board and staff who have such passion, dedication and commitment to conservation," Taylor said. "As reflected in the most recent revision to the North American Waterfowl Management Plan, conservation is about waterfowl, wetlands and people, and we need to ensure that our citizens know, understand and support that if we are to successfully meet today's challenges to the sustainability of our natural resources."
This is an especially busy time on Capitol Hill and Taylor and his staff encourage DU supporters to take the opportunity to meet with their congressmen during the upcoming recess (July 2-6) and share their interest in the future of waterfowl and wetlands conservation policy. Along with NAWCA and the farm bill, Congress is currently debating a transportation bill that could impact key waterfowl nesting habitat on the prairies and wintering areas along the Gulf Coast, via the RESTORE Act and Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).
"We have several pots at a steady boil right now, and it's crucial that DU supporters make their voices heard across the country on these issues—most importantly reauthorization and funding for the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, retaining a strong conservation title in the farm bill and keeping RESTORE and LWCF funding in the highway bill," Taylor said. "Our volunteers and supporters are some of the most dedicated people I know, and they will be the key to DU's success in Washington and across the country on behalf of waterfowl and wetlands."