Jim Williams has been watching birds and writing about their antics since before "Gilligan's Island" went into reruns. Join him for his unique insights, his everyday adventures and an open conversation about the birds in your back yard and beyond.

Gutting the wildlife refuge system

Posted by: Jim Williams under Bird conservation Updated: July 22, 2013 - 10:16 PM

 The appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2014 (FY14) being proposed by House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies would gut wildlife conservation in the country for years to come.

If enacted, the proposed funding and riders would:

·      Cut the overall funding for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service by 27 percent (and if the 27 percent cut was evenly distributed to all Service programs, the Refuge System will fall from $502.8 million in FY10 to $331.2 million in FY14, a 34 percent cut in four years!)

·      Eliminates all funding for conservation easements and land acquisition under the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), a program established in 1995 that uses a small portion of royalties from off shore drilling to support conservation of other resources.

·      Eliminates all funding for the State Wildlife Grants Program, which helps states keep species from becoming endangered.

·      Eliminates all funding for the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA), which funds wetland restoration on refuges. 

·      Eliminates all funding for Landscape Conservation Cooperatives that are forums for federal, state, tribes, organizations, and groups to work together to support conservation.

·      Eliminate funds for establishment of refuges and boundary expansion.

The House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee will vote on the bill, Tuesday, July 23, and the House Appropriations Committee will vote Thursday, July 25. You might want to contact your Congressional Representative about this. The number for the Capitol switchboard is  202-224 -3121.

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