Improving the North American Wetlands Conservation Act
Most people know that the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) is one of the most successful conservation programs in history, conserving more than 25 million acres of habitat in just over 20 years. DU has been working with Congress to enhance NAWCA and make it even more effective for waterfowl by allowing Canadian funds to be used for match. Congressman Rob Wittman (VA), a member of the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission (MBCC), has introduced a bill to make this happen. This legislation passed the House of Representatives unanimously last September. The bill was in the Senate as of press time and could be passed and signed into law early in 2010. As always, DU is also working with the MBCC and thousands of DU members who contact their members of Congress to ensure that NAWCA is adequately funded to continue its success. Congress appropriated a record $47 million for the program in 2010, and DU members who contact Congress continue to make the difference and promote investment in this proven conservation program.
Improving the buying power of the federal duck stamp
Waterfowlers have been promoting conservation since before many environmental groups were formed. One of the main tools has been the federal duck stamp. This program has conserved nearly 6 million acres of habitat in the National Wildlife Refuge System, which also includes waterfowl production areas in the PPR. Unfortunately, the buying power of the duck stamp has diminished as land prices have skyrocketed—in some cases by more than 400 percent in just a few years—in the places that are most important to waterfowl. Adjusting the price of the stamp is vital to ensure that sportsmen's investment in conservation continues to be effective. A bipartisan bill introduced by two MBCC members, Congressmen John D. Dingell (MI) and Rob Wittman, passed the House Natural Resources Committee in September and is awaiting a vote on the House floor. A companion bill in the Senate is expected soon.