WASHINGTON, D.C. – February 2, 2011 – U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor (AR) has been appointed to serve on the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission, according to a release from the senator’s office today. “Those of us who have high regard for waterfowl conservation have reason to be pleased,” said Scott Sutherland, director of Ducks Unlimited’s Governmental Affairs Office, after learning of Pryor’s appointment to the MBCC. “Sen. Pryor is a waterfowl hunter and comes from an area of the country where there is an immense history of conserving and appreciating the waterfowl resource,” Sutherland said.
The MBCC was created as part of the 1929 Migratory Bird Conservation Act and has two main objectives:
1. To consider and approve areas of land and water for purchase or paid easement as recommended by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service using funds from the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund (revenue from the sale of federal duck stamps), and,
2. Approve project funding under the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA).
Those conservation programs are strongly supported by waterfowl hunters. Anyone hunting waterfowl in the United States is required to purchase a federal duck stamp. The NAWCA program matches non-federal funds (many generated from hunter donations) with federal funding to provide wetlands habitat projects that serve wildlife across the continent.
The MBCC meets three times each year, and is made of cabinet-level officials, four members of Congress (two senators and two representatives) and a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employee who serves as the commission’s secretary. The Secretary of the Interior serves as chairman of the commission. The members of Congress are named by their party’s leader in each body of Congress.
Other members of the MBCC are:
Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior
Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture
Lisa Jackson, EPA Administrator
Eric Alvarez, Chief, USFWS Division of Realty
Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS),
Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) and,
Rep. Rob Wittman (R-VA)