Take Action for the Ducks! Enough is enough! Congress has been slashing funding for conservation programs recently and it's time for legislators to hear from sportsmen.

A House Appropriations bill has proposed zeroing out several vital grant programs such as the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA). These programs combine non-federal dollars from partners such as Ducks Unlimited and match them with modest federal dollars in order to deliver millions of acres of habitat conservation on the ground. These programs are good for conservation, good for the economy and are good government.

Total federal investments in natural resources and outdoor recreation are equivalent to less than 1 percent of the federal budget. However, this modest federal funding accounts for 60 percent of the direct investments in United States conservation resulting in the delivery of programs on the land. Much of the remaining investment in delivering conservation comes from states and conservation organizations such as Ducks Unlimited, which join non-federal and federal dollars in partnership to effectively conserve habitat. Ducks Unlimited understands that conservation programs must also be scrutinized during the budget-cutting process, but it is short-sighted to zero out programs that are also economic drivers. Conservation funding is a great investment of taxpayers' dollars and yields a net profit for the nation!

According to the Outdoor Industry Association, the pursuit of outdoor recreation directly contributes more than 6.1 million U.S. jobs - those are jobs that can't be exported overseas. Sportsmen and women spent $144.7 billion on wildlife-related activities in 2011, which includes equipment purchases, licenses, travel expenditures. That is more than the entire net worth of online retailer Amazon. This is a vibrant, sustainable industry valued by all Americans who love the great outdoors.

Help us protect our nation's conservation programs that contribute to wildlife habitat and clean water from disproportionate budget cuts. You can also call your House members using the U.S. Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121.

Thank you for your help protecting our nation's conservation programs.

H. Dale Hall
Dale Hall
Ducks Unlimited
Chief Executive Officer