News Flash: Your contacts are working! Your action has helped get three of our targets' signatures on this letter in the last several days: Jeff Landry (LA), Bill Flores (TX) and Jon Runyan (NJ). DU contacts do work, so please keep using this contact method and share it with your fellow waterfowl enthusiasts, asking them to do the same.
With time running out in the 112th Congress, Ducks Unlimited staff and volunteers are in high gear to encourage Congress to renew the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) program and fund it in the year ahead.
Efforts are underway on multiple fronts to promote action for the program's reauthorization. Right now, DU is seeking support from Republicans who serve on the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee. Republican members of that committee are being asked to sign a letter to the chairman seeking action on H.R. 1960, the bill that will reauthorize NAWCA for five more years.
Those who have stepped forward to be among the first signers deserve our special thanks. They include Reps. Rob Wittman (VA), Jeff Denham (CA), Don Young (AK), Scott Tipton (CO), Bill Johnson (OH), Andy Harris (MD) and Dan Benishek (MI).
We need seven additional Republican members of the committee to have a majority. We are asking the following members to show their support: Reps. Jimmy Duncan (TN), Louie Gohmert (TX), Rob Bishop (UT), Doug Lamborn (CO), Mike Coffman (CO), Paul Broun (GA), John Fleming (LA), Tom McClintock (CA), Glenn Thompson (PA), David Rivera (FL), Steve Southerland (FL), Jeff Duncan (SC), Paul Gosar (AZ), Raul Labrador (ID), Kristi Noem (SD) and Mark Amodei (NV). If you are a constituent of any of these members or feel you can help, please request that they sign the letter asking the House Natural Resources Committee to act on the NAWCA reauthorization bill soon. You can get in touch with them using this action alert form created by DU's Governmental Affairs staff: http://www.capwiz.com/ducks/issues/alert/?alertid=61559551&type=TA.
There are other ways DU is working to get Congress to act. DU's Governmental Affairs Office team is meeting with committee staff, the staff of individual congressmen, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service staff that oversees the program and other partners to keep them informed of what's being done, and what they can do to help.
Since it was learned that the House of Representatives is recommending a significant cut to NAWCA funding, DU's efforts on the appropriations process are now focused on the Senate. Sens. Jack Reed (RI) and Lisa Murkowski (AK) are the key players in determining what funding level the Senate will recommend for NAWCA in the year ahead. DU has an effort underway in Rhode Island, Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Reed's home state, aimed at encouraging waterfowl enthusiasts in the Ocean State to let the chairman know of their support for NAWCA. DU's Conservation Programs Committee members are also reaching out to key senators to underscore their support for funding the program.
We will continue to provide updates on NAWCA and additional ways to be involved in future issues of the Waterfowl Advocate.