Middle River Dispatches is a gumbo of posts about fly-fishing, conservation, politics and days afield.

Sportsmen’s Organizations Oppose Conservation Cuts

A deliberate move away from America’s long conservation tradition…

Responding to the draconian cuts passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in HR 1, 42 of the country’s leading hunting, fishing and outdoor organizations sent a letter to the U. S. Senate today urging restoration of funding to conservation programs.

The key point for me:

While we fully acknowledge that conservation programs should shoulder a fair and proportional burden of reductions to the Federal budget as required to address the budget deficit, these provisions of HR 1, in our view, represent a deliberate move away from America’s long conservation tradition and, specifically with respect to the interests of the hunting, fishing and outdoor community. We are very disappointed that the House considered these actions without consultation with the hunting, fishing and conservation community, and appeal to you to please give significant and favorable consideration to our perspectives. These vital conservation programs with long-standing track records of success are foundational to fish, wildlife and habitat conservation, good for the economy in creating jobs particularly in rural communities, and critical to providing opportunities for access to and enjoyment of fish and wildlife resources by America’s sportsmen and sportswomen. [emphasis mine]

You can add your voice with this Action Alert from Trout Unlimited

Full letter after the jump.

Here is the entire letter:

American Fisheries Society *American Fly Fishing Trade Association * American Sportfishing Association * Archery Trade Association * Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies * Bear Trust International * Bonefish and Tarpon Trust * Boone and Crockett Club * Catch a Dream Foundation * Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation * Conservation Force * Dallas Safari Club* Delta Waterfowl Foundation * Ducks Unlimited * Houston Safari Club * Izaak Walton League of America * Masters of Foxhounds Association * Mule Deer Foundation * National Marine Manufacturers Association * North American Bear Foundation * North American Grouse Partnership * Northwest Sportfishing Industry * Orion the Hunter’s Institute * Quail Forever * Quality Deer Management Association * The Ruffed Grouse Society * Pheasants Forever * Safari Club International * Shimano Sport Fisheries Initiative * Texas Wildlife Association * The Conservation Fund * The Nature Conservancy * The Wildlife Society * Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership * Tread Lightly * Trout Unlimited * U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance * Western Native Trout Initiative * Whitetails Unlimited * Wild Sheep Foundation * Wildlife Forever * Wildlife Management Institute

March 1, 2011

Dear Senator:

HR 1 as passed by the House on February 19, 2011, would impose severe cuts to several long-standing conservation programs with demonstrated track records of on-the-ground success. We sincerely and respectfully urge that you restore funding to these vital programs consistent with cuts imposed across other federal government programs.

We, the hunting, fishing and conservation community are writing you with great urgency to ensure that you appreciate that various provisions of HR 1 as passed by the House strike directly at America’s longstanding tradition of federal support for conservation and management of fish, wildlife and their habitat. Among these are the elimination of funding for State and Tribal Wildlife Grants, the elimination of funding for the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, significant cuts to Farm Bill Conservation Programs, the drastic reduction or elimination of funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, Forest Legacy, the Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund and the National Fish Habitat Action Plan.

While we fully acknowledge that conservation programs should shoulder a fair and proportional burden of reductions to the Federal budget as required to address the budget deficit, these provisions of HR 1, in our view, represent a deliberate move away from America’s long conservation tradition and, specifically with respect to the interests of the hunting, fishing and outdoor community. We are very disappointed that the House considered these actions without consultation with the hunting, fishing and conservation community, and appeal to you to please give significant and favorable consideration to our perspectives. These vital conservation programs with long-standing track records of success are foundational to fish, wildlife and habitat conservation, good for the economy in creating jobs particularly in rural communities, and critical to providing opportunities for access to and enjoyment of fish and wildlife resources by America’s sportsmen and sportswomen.

We respectfully urge that the Senate alter the deep cuts cited above to reflect a proportional share of the budget reductions that Congress is seeking. Thank you for your sincere consideration of our views.

Speak Your Mind

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