Matt Dempsey Matt_Dempsey@epw.senate.gov (202) 224-9797
Katie Brown Katie_Brown@epw.senate.gov (202) 224-2160
Inhofe and Boxer Introduce Bipartisan North American Wetland Conservation Act Reauthorization
Washington, D.C. - Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, introduced the North American Wetland Conservation Act (NAWCA) reauthorization last night along with Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, and five other co-sponsors: Senators David Vitter (R-LA), Thad Cochran (R-MS), Tim Johnson (D-SD), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Mary Landrieu (D-LA).
The NAWCA program provides valuable matching grants that leverage federal dollars with state and private dollars to conserve wetlands habitat for migratory birds and other fish and wildlife. On average, for every federal dollar invested, the program leverages three state and private dollars. Senator Inhofe was the author of the last NAWCA reauthorization bill in 2006, which was passed by unanimous consent in the Senate and later signed into law by President Bush on September 30th 2006.
Senator Inhofe: "I am pleased today to introduce this common sense bipartisan legislation that will reauthorize the North American Wetland Conservation Act (NAWCA) program. The reason NAWCA has been so successful is because it is a voluntary effort: it involves multiple partners from private organizations and the federal government who work together to protect and restore millions of acres of wetlands. In my home state of Oklahoma, NAWCA currently has 12 projects either completed or underway, which have conserved 26,869 acres of wildlife habitat and leveraged $11.3 million in partner contributions. NAWCA a prime example of how voluntary efforts are far more successful in achieving conservation goals than mandates and federal regulations - it should be the model for all conservation programs. I look forward to working with my colleagues to advance this bill, which achieves the appropriate balance between environmental protection and economic growth."
Senator Boxer: "The bipartisan legislation I am joining Sen. Inhofe and many colleagues to introduce will ensure continued investment in conservation of important wetland habitat in California and across the Nation. This successful program helps to conserve our natural resources for future generations, protects water quality, and boosts local economies. As Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, I will work with my colleagues to advance this important bill."
Paul Schmidt, Chief Conservation Officer for Ducks Unlimited:
"This is a great day for conservationists throughout the United States. Ducks Unlimited is extremely grateful to Senators Inhofe, Boxer, Cochran, Johnson, Klobuchar, Landrieu, and Vitter for their leadership in introducing legislation to reauthorize the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA.) This important legislation will ensure the protection and restoration of critical wetland habitat and the creation of thousands of American jobs. This joint effort by the Chair and Ranking Member of the Committee on Environment and Public Works, coupled with a diverse suite of bipartisan co-sponsors, is a testament to how NAWCA is a model for uniting diverse and effective partnerships behind shared conservation objectives."
"NAWCA has proven to be a powerful incentive for generating non-federal contributions to wildlife habitat in all 50 states. Pursuant to NAWCA's authorization, every dollar invested into the program must be met by an equal or greater non-federal match. However, overwhelming demand for the program has resulted in a highly competitive grant process which has produced an average match of more than three to one throughout the program's history."
Conservation and hunting groups support NAWCA
The many conservation and hunting groups that support NAWCA include: Archery Trade Association, Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, Boone and Crockett Club, Bowhunting Preservation Alliance, Catch-A-Dream Foundation, Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation, Conservation Force, Dallas Safari Club, Delta Waterfowl, Ducks Unlimited, Izaak Walton League of America, Mule Deer Foundation, National Assembly of Sportsmen's Caucuses, National Rifle Association, National Trappers Association, National Wild Turkey Foundation, North American Bear Foundation, North American Grouse Partnership, Orion-The Hunters' Institute, Pheasants Forever, Pope and Young Club, Public Lands Foundation, Quail Forever, Quality Deer Management Association, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Ruffed Grouse Society, Safari Club International, Texas Wildlife Association, The Conservation Fund, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, Whitetails Unlimited, Wildlife Forever, and Wildlife Management Institute.