Last week, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) sent an alert to members of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) urging them to support critical funding for the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA).
The alert comes in advance of the March 20 House Appropriations deadline for Member of Congress to submit their funding level requests for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021. NAWCA was funded at a level of $46 million in FY2020, and CSF would like to see this number increased to recognize the significance of this critically important program.
Enacted in 1989, NAWCA helps support the conservation efforts of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan by providing financial resources to carry out wetland conservation projects in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. In 31 years, NAWCA has completed more than 2,833 on-the-ground conservation projects while conserving more than 29.8 million acres in all 50 states, Canada, and Mexico. NAWCA helps improve critical habitat for waterfowl, other fish and wildlife, and will enhance flood mitigation while improving air and water quality, among many other positive conservation benefits.
NAWCA requires that for every federal dollar contributed to the program, a non-federal source must equally match the federal contribution. However, the program is often matched at a rate of $3 of non-federal money for every $1 of federal money, a sign that conservation groups, including sportsmen and women, are willing to contribute, which makes this program one of the most cost-effective conservation programs our nation’s fish and wildlife managers have in their tool boxes.
Funding for NAWCA awaits further action in both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees.
Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?