Ducks Unlimited has voiced approval for the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works subcommittee on Water and Wildlife meeting held April 24, 2012. DU submitted written testimony to the hearing related to several conservation measures up for review, including reauthorization of the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA). The historically successful program is critical to the well being of North American waterfowl populations. Ranking Minority member Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma addressed the hearing.

“Today’s hearing is a great opportunity to put the spotlight on voluntary efforts, as time and time again, they prove to be the best methods of achieving land and species conservation goals without destroying jobs and hurting our economy” Inhofe said. “One such example can be found in a bipartisan bill I am sponsoring with my good friends Senators Boxer (CA) and Vitter (LA) : the North American Wetlands Conservation Extension Act of 2012 (S.2282). This program has such a good track record for conservation precisely because it is a voluntary effort; it incentivizes non-federal funds for wetland wildlife habitat conservation. On average, each federal dollar is match by $3.20 of non-federal contributions.”

The hearing addressed several bills important to waterfowl and other wildlife. The reauthorization of NAWCA, authorization for the internet sales of Federal Duck Stamps, reauthorization of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and a process to adjust the cost of the Federal Migratory Bird Conservation and Hunting Stamp -the federal duck stamp, to better keep pace with inflation, sponsored by Senator Begich (AK.)

The price of the federal ducks stamp hasn’t been raised since 1991, as a result it is only conserving approximately one half of what it was 21 years ago. The stamp has raised hundreds of millions of dollars since it was introduced in 1934 and more importantly, has conserved more than 5.2 million acres of migratory bird habitat across the United States.

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