Issues: Conservation Funding

Challenge:

In spring of 2011, the U.S. House of Representatives passed House Resolution 1, a continuing resolution for fiscal year 2011 appropriations. This bill eliminated and/or drastically cut foundational fish and wildlife conservation programs such as the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, State Fish and Wildlife Grants Program, Land and Water Conservation Fund  and numerous Farm Bill conservation programs, including the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and the Wetlands Reserve Program. H.R. 1 was a wake-up call for the sportsmen-conservation community.

Strategy:

In the summer of 2011, in response to ongoing congressional budget challenges and following a meeting with the secretary of the interior, the TRCP co-led the creation of a steering committee consisting of a broad array of sporting, conservation and historic preservation groups. The TRCP worked closely with the steering committee to create a new coalition, “America’s Voice for Conservation, Recreation and Preservation,” which supports conservation funding for outdoor recreation, conservation and historic preservation.

Action:

The TRCP and our partners in the AVCRP coalition worked tirelessly to obtain the support of more than 1,000 organizations that signed a letter calling on Congress to stop the proposed funding cuts. These groups represent more than 20 million Americans and range from the Boone and Crockett Club to the Sierra Club – an unprecedented show of support for conservation funding issues important to sportsmen. During the 2011 August congressional recess, the TRCP helped lead an effort to reach out to more than 30 targeted congressional districts. The TRCP worked with coalition partners from the hunting and fishing community to write letters to the editor and opinion columns for newspapers in the home districts of House members and to attend “town hall” style meetings.

In December of 2011 Congress finally passed, and the president signed, an omnibus appropriations bill, apparently in response to our collective voices. Due in part to the efforts of the AVCRP coalition, many of the important programs in the Department of the Interior’s 2012 enacted budget either were level funded or increased slightly. This is a real victory given the current congressional environment of budget cutting and deficit reduction.

The TRCP will continue working to unite organizations and individuals behind a shared belief that investments in natural resource conservation, outdoor recreation and historic preservation are vital to the future of our great nation.

Related Content

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Reports

  • Land and Water Conservation Fund Basics

    Since 1965, the Land and Water Conservation Fund has been one of the most successful federal conservation endeavors. The LWCF has played a crucial role in the conservation of our nation's natural resources, and the program has long enjoyed bipartisan support. These funds provide millions of public acres on which people can recreate, supporting the hunting, fishing and larger outdoor recreation economy. Download the Report

    • TRCP 2014 Policy Agenda

      In the TRCP's 2014 Conservation Policy Agenda we outline priority issues for sportsmen and conservation as well as our expectations for leadership from the White House and Congress in the coming year. Download the Report

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