President Obama released his Fiscal Year 2015 budget today and DU appreciates that it includes funding for waterfowl and wildlife conservation programs, including the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA).
The budget proposes funding the Department of the Interior at $11.9 billion. NAWCA funding is included at $34.14 million, which is the enacted funding for Fiscal Year 2014. The president also requested funding for other important conservation programs, such as the Land and Water Conservation Fund and state wildlife grants, which deliver on-the-ground conservation of significant waterfowl and other wildlife habitats.
“The NAWCA program just turned 25 and wetlands conservation is more important than ever because of prolonged drought in many parts of the country,” said DU CEO Dale Hall. “NAWCA has operated as a sound example of a public-private partnership since its enactment. It’s essential that NAWCA receives adequate funding in fiscal year 2015 to continue conserving the wetlands that help recharge aquifers, improve water quality and provide habitat for waterfowl and other wildlife. We appreciate the president’s request but will work closely with Congress to try to increase the ultimately enacted level to meet the overwhelming needs of the program.”
Outdoor recreation, including hunting and angling, is responsible for $646 billion in consumer spending each year. The industry also supports more than 6.1 million non-exportable jobs in the nation.
Every federal dollar provided by NAWCA must be matched by at least one dollar from non-federal sources. The program is so effective that NAWCA funds are usually tripled or quadrupled on the local level. Over the lifespan of the program, NAWCA has turned more than $1 billion in federal funds into nearly $3.5 billion in additional non-federal economic activity. These projects create nearly 7,500 new jobs annually and generate more than $200 million in worker earnings each year.
Logo courtesy Ducks Unlimited