In the face of the U.S. House of Representatives threatening to eliminate funding for the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, Ducks Unlimited members responded by telling Congress about NAWCA's positive impacts on conservation and America's economy. Your actions helped partially restore NAWCA funding in the current year to $37.5 million.

More recently, there was information that suggested the House Appropriations subcommittee would again eliminate next year's funding for NAWCA and DU members responded once again. The U.S. House of Representatives Interior, Environment and Related Agencies subcommittee on appropriations has just announced its proposed budget for the coming year. The subcommittee's proposal would allocate only $20 million for funding of the North American Wetlands Conservation Act. This represents a $17.5 million reduction from the FY 2011 funding level and a 58 percent reduction from the FY 2010 level.

As the FY 2012 budget negotiations continue, Ducks Unlimited will look for more opportunities for its supporters to contact Congress to convey how a loss of funding for NAWCA is a loss for the economic sector driven by recreation spending. In a nutshell, NAWCA creates jobs and contributes to the economy. Since NAWCA is match-based, for every dollar cut in this program, the ducks and duck enthusiasts lose nearly four dollars worth of habitat conservation. Once again, we must remind Congress that their constituents care about waterfowl conservation programs and that an investment in these programs generates a significant return for America's economy.

DU thanks all of its members who answered the NAWCA Call to Action this spring. Your letters, phone calls and e-mails to your elected officials have positively impacted NAWCA's future. With NAWCA facing additional budget cuts in FY 2012, your involvement will again be essential to NAWCA's future.

Remember, ducks don't have a voice unless DU supporters speak up; let's make sure we are heard by Congress.

Again, thank you for your help and let's continue to fight for waterfowl conservation! To learn more about NAWCA, click here.