June 27, 2013
As Congress wrestles with next year’s budget, the Cooperative Alliance for
Refuge Enhancement (CARE)
warns that proposed funding cuts to the nation’s federal conservation lands will have big impacts for more than just wildlife.
While the National Wildlife Refuge System is charged with conserving wildlife and providing recreational opportunities to the public, a report released by CARE
today (America's Wildlife Refuges 2013: Delivering the Unexpected
) describes some of the unlikely benefits that the nation’s 561 wildlife refuges add to the health, safety, and economic well-being of the American people. The broad coalition is urging Congress to provide the Refuge System with sufficient funds to allow these benefits to continue.
According to the report, the National Wildlife Refuge System needs at least $900 million annually to carry out its conservation mission, but at its highest funding level in FY 2010, it received only $503 million. Since then, Congress has not only failed to provide the $8 million annual increase needed to cover rising costs, but has steadily cut the Refuge System’s budget. With Congress poised to slash federal spending, the System could see its funding drop to $389 million in FY 2014 – a 23% cut from FY 2010
that would leave an average of only $2.59 to manage each of its 150 million acres.
To read the entire press release, click HERE
To download a full copy of the report, click HERE