Sportsmen and Women Speak Out Against Cuts to Conservation Programs

Montana Wildlife Federation highlights the devastating effects the Continuing Resolution will have on America’s outdoor legacy.

04-01-2011 // Mekell Mikell
Pheasant hunting

Sportsmen and women from around the nation are speaking out against proposed cuts to conservation funding and wildlife programs in H.R.1, the House-passed Continuing Resolution. The budgetary riders proposed in HR. 1, which would gut decades of bi-partisan support for our most basic clean water and clean air protections, would ruin America’s rich hunting and fishing outdoor heritage and harm industries that depend on wildlife.

The Montana Wildlife Federation is just one of many prominent wildlife, conservation and hunting and angling groups that joined a tele-press conference to highlight the devastating effects the Continuing Resolution will have on America’s outdoor legacy. The list of organizations speaking out for wildlife, conservation and the sportsmen’s way of life include:

  • American Fly Fishing Trade Association
  • American Sportfishing Association
  • Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies
  • Berkley Conservation Institute
  • Boone and Crocket Club
  • Bull Moose Sportsmen’s Alliance
  • Ducks Unlimited
  • Montana Wildlife Federation
  • Mule Deer Foundation
  • National Wildlife Federation
  • North American Grouse Partnership
  • Pheasants Forever
  • Quail Forever
  • Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership
  • Trout Unlimited
  • Wildlife Forever
  • Wildlife Management Institute

Some of the critical conservation and wildlife programs that will be drastically reduced or eliminated under the Continuing Resolution include:

Land and Water Conservation Fund: The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) helps preserve develop and provide access to outdoor recreation for all Americans. The program is also designed to protect national treasures such as parks, forests and other wildlife areas.

State and Tribal Wildlife Grants: The State and Tribal Wildlife Grants program keeps at-risk plants and animals off of the endangered species list by supporting non-regulatory, state-based conservation efforts.

Clean Water Act: The Clean Water Act protects clean drinking water for 117 million Americans and the health of surface waters in the United States by limiting pollution that goes into those waters.

These programs, as well as many more that will be handicapped under the Continuing Resolution, protect hunting and fishing access for sportsmen and women and stimulate local economies by creating jobs, particularly in rural communities.

“Sportsmen and women depend on having places to go to hunt and fish. The Land and Water Conservation Fund has been instrumental in providing these opportunities and with reliable funding in the future could go even further to ensure access to existing public lands, making public lands public,” said Ben Lamb of the Montana Wildlife Federation. “However, the cut of nearly 90 percent of the program's funding as proposed in H.R. 1 will dismantle the LWCF. It is critical to note that LWCF is not taxpayer funded but rather paid for as a conservation offset through a small portion of receipts collected from offshore oil and gas drilling in federal waters.”

The most recent budget compromise to keep the government running will expire on April 8th. As Congress wrestles its budget priorities, these national and statewide groups continue to urge lawmakers to protect America’s recreation economies

Related Resources
  • Learn More
    Read a detailed analysis of the Continuing Resolution.
  • Take Action
    Speak up for wildlife. Tell Congress and President Obama to stop this stealth attack on our nation’s bedrock conservation laws.
  • Letter to Congress
    Read a letter signed by 44 NWF affiliate partners (pdf), including the Association of Northwest Steelheaders, urging members of Congress to oppose the Continuing Resolution.

Read More:

Field & Stream: A Crossroads For American Hunters and Anglers: What's At Stake

The Salt Lake Tribune: Fish, wildlife groups criticize proposed cuts

The Grand Forks Herald: House conservation cuts should concern hunters and anglers

The Minneapolis Star Tribune: Conservation groups say budget cuts would be epic 

The Omaha World-Herald: Budget cuts threatening conservation

The Outdoor Wire: Hunters and anglers fear cuts to conservation programs...

Great Falls Tribune: Sportsmen oppose cuts in House funding bill

Clark Fork Chronicle: Federal budget cuts would hurt hunting, fishing

Missoulian: Sportsmen oppose federal cuts to conservation programs

KFYR-TV, Bismarck on NAWCA: Wetlands conservation funding continue to hang in limbo

KPAX-TV Missoula (CBS station): Sportsmen groups concerned about congressional cuts

KECI-TV Missoula (NBC station): Wildlife groups worried about conservation program cuts

Petersens Hunting (InterMedia Outdoors site): Outdoor recreation opportunities threatened by HR1

Gary Engberg Outdoors blog: Hunters and anglers fear cuts to conservation

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