Last week, California Senators Feinstein and Boxer introduced the California Emergency Drought Relief Act as a way to mitigate the devastating effects of the drought crippling California. Ducks Unlimited CEO Dale Hall released the following statement regarding the legislation:
"On behalf of Ducks Unlimited, I would like to thank Senators Feinstein and Boxer for advancing a drought bill that recognizes the tremendous value of California to waterfowl populations in the Pacific Flyway. California serves as the winter home to millions of waterfowl, shorebirds and other wetland-dependent species, and sportsmen and women - including waterfowl hunters - contribute $3.5 billion annually to California's economy.
"We look forward to working with Senator Feinstein, Senator Boxer, California's Congressional Representatives and leaders from the House and Senate to ensure that conservation priorities will be reflected in the California drought bill that reaches the president's desk."
In January 2015, Ducks Unlimited provided members of Congress with detailed principles intended to safeguard Pacific Flyway interests. The focus of these principles was to protect current water rights priorities, preserve the Central Valley Project Improvement Act (CVPIA) refuge water supplies, prevent the shift of oversight for refuge spending to non-refuge contractors and maintain CVPIA's core emphasis on mitigation and restoration. Senator Feinstein worked diligently with Ducks Unlimited to understand and incorporate these waterfowl habitat priorities into the measure introduced last week.
Ducks Unlimited is hopeful this bill will be brought to the floor when the Senate returns in September. The House of Representatives passed its own version of drought legislation last month.