“NAWCA is a non-regulatory, incentive-based, voluntary wildlife conservation program. Since its inception, more than 2,000 NAWCA projects have contributed to the conservation of almost 27 million acres of habitat across North America,” said DU CEO Dale Hall. “Although the act requires only a 1:1 match, federal funding for NAWCA has leveraged more than $3.4 billion in contributions from partners matching federal dollars by a ratio of 3:1.”
The North American Wetlands Conservation Act conserves North America's waterfowl, fish and wildlife resources while also producing additional environmental and economic benefits. NAWCA’s success is driven by partnerships involving federal, state and local governments; nonprofit organizations like DU and community groups. House Resolution 2346, the North American Wetlands Conservation Extension Act, would reauthorize the NAWCA for five years.
“It is critical that this component of wetlands and waterfowl conservation legislation be reauthorized and back on solid financial ground so it can begin to address conservation challenges in the future,” Hall added.
Also introduced by Representatives Wittman and Thompson is House Resolution 2345 that would ensure interest collected from Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act (P-R) funds continues to flow to NAWCA. Under P-R, excise taxes collected on certain hunting equipment are deposited into the P-R fund and are available without further appropriation to states. Currently, the Pittman-Robertson Act requires that interest earned on balances in that fund be used to finance wetland conservation projects authorized under NAWCA.
“It is essential that this provision be authorized before it expires on September 30, 2015,” Hall said. “This funding source has amounted to almost $17 million to NAWCA in some years, which, when matched by our growing list of partners, represents at least $34 million in on-the-ground wetlands conservation.”