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Moving the Conservation Needle

NWRA applauds Administration’s Budget for National Wildlife Refuge System
and vital Fish and Wildlife Service programs

The President’s budget for FY 2013 requests $494.8 million in funding for the operation and maintenance of the 150-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System and to protect species like this bald eagle | Stan Bousson

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Wildlife Refuge Association praised President Obama’s budget request for the National Wildlife Refuge System and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) for next year. The budget proposal seeks to move the conservation needle by focusing funding on large, collaborative conservation projects while maintaining the current management capability of the Service. The proposal promotes using sound science to guide decisions, and will help the FWS leverage conservation programs by encouraging collaboration with other federal and state agencies to achieve substantial results.

“The President’s budget shows a standing commitment to our national wildlife refuges and wildlife conservation programs in a tough budget climate,” said NWRA President Evan Hirsche. “We hope Congress will agree that our wildlife refuges and related conservation programs protect not only our wildlife heritage, but also the local economies that depend on refuges for jobs, recreation, nature-based tourism and enhanced property values.”

The President’s budget for FY 2013, announced February 13th, requests $494.8 million in funding for the operation and maintenance of the 150-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, and represents an $8.8 million increase over the 2012 enacted level.  This amount matches the recommendation put forth by the National Wildlife Refuge Association and the Cooperative Alliance for Refuge Enhancement earlier this year.

The President’s request also includes $107 million for FWS refuge land acquisition and easements from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), of which a large portion is devoted to advancing multi-agency landscape-scale collaboration. NWRA strongly supports this initiative to leverage taxpayer dollars while accomplishing major conservation gains in a condensed period of time.

“By boosting funds for land acquisition, refuge inventory and monitoring programs, and large-landscape, partnership-driven collaborations, the FWS can achieve science-based conservation results that leverage scarce federal and state dollars” said NWRA Vice-President of Government Affairs Desiree Sorenson-Groves.

Contact: Desiree Sorenson-Groves, dgroves@refugeassociation.org, 202-292-3961

The mission of the National Wildlife Refuge Association is to conserve America’s wildlife heritage for future generations through strategic programs that protect, enhance, and expand the National Wildlife Refuge System and the landscapes beyond its boundaries that secure its ecological integrity.

Permanent link to this article: http://refugeassociation.org/2012/02/moving-the-conservation-needle/