Ducks Unlimited and Pheasants Forever will partner with South Dakota farmer, ranchers and sportsmen in a telephone news conference on Thursday, May 24, to spotlight the opportunity to secure land and water conservation funding in the final transportation bill by the reauthorization deadline of June 30.
The House and Senate are currently debating two versions of a transportation bill in the hope of finding agreement on one final package. The Senate's version of the transportation bill (S. 1813) ensures that the funds authorized for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) are spent for their intended purpose in each of the next two years, and permanently commits 1.5 percent of LWCF to projects that provide public access for hunting, fishing and other outdoor recreation. This was added to the Senate bill during floor consideration in March, passing with an overwhelming 76-22 bipartisan vote.
Securing this funding will be vital for areas like the Prairie Pothole Region, one of the country's most at-risk landscapes, but also an area well known to sportsmen for its importance for migratory waterfowl and for upland birds. LWCF has also helped provide access for hunting and fishing at hundreds of national wildlife refuges, national forests and national recreation areas, as well as state parks and wildlife management areas.
The teleconference will give reporters a chance to hear about the opportunity to secure additional funding for habitat conservation and outdoor recreation access, and will provide an example of the areas that would benefit from funding.
Who: National conservation groups and Dakota sportsmen and landowners
What: Telephone news conference on land and water conservation funding
When: Thursday, May 24, 11 a.m. EDT/10 a.m. CDT/9 a.m. MDT
Where: Dial 800-621-4410, passcode 6758331#
Dakota Grasslands Project Fact Sheet (PDF)
Dakota Grasslands Conservation Area (PDF)
For high-resolution images, please contact Becky Jones Mahlum
Becky Jones Mahlum (701) 355-3507
Jodi Stemler (703) 915-1386