WASHINGTON, D.C., June 21, 2011 -- More than 250 agricultural, sportsmen, business and conservation groups sent letters to budget negotiators today calling for the protection of America's natural resource funding. America's lands and waters protect people and generate jobs and billions of dollars each year to the national economy in fishing, hunting, other outdoor recreation, agriculture and other industries. But federal spending on land, water, ocean and wildlife programs comprises only 1.26 percent of the total federal budget in 2010. As a miniscule share of the overall budget, conservation spending is not the cause of the nation's budget instability, nor will making further cuts to these programs solve the deficit crisis. The groups signing the letters called on budget negotiators -- led by Vice President Joe Biden -- to avoid disproportionate cuts to natural resource programs.
"Ducks Unlimited is well known for its fiscal conservatism. However, funding for cost-effective conservation programs that make a clear profit for the U.S. taxpayer, such as the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, should not be reduced under the pretense of getting spending under control. Overall, hunting and fishing support more than 1.6 million jobs and generate more than $25 billion a year in federal, state and local taxes," said Ducks Unlimited CEO Dale Hall.
Conservation has always paid for itself. If we lose sight of this, we run the risk of losing the precious natural resources that sustain us, and our values, as hunters and anglers. That is a loss we cannot afford to take."
Ducks Unlimited is the world's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 12 million acres, thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever. Visit the DU website, www.ducks.org
for more information.