WASHINGTON, DC – Senators Ben Cardin (MD) and Mike Crapo (ID) and Congressmen Don Young (AK), Michael Grimm (NY), Mike Thompson (CA) and Ron Kind (WI) were joined by 163 of their fellow Members of Congress on a “Dear Colleague” sign-on letter to Interior appropriators in support of FY15 funding for the State and Tribal Wildlife Grants program.
In both letters, Members urged their Subcommittees on Interior, Environment and Related agencies to provide the most investment possible for the program, which is the nation’s CORE source of funding for preventing fish and wildlife from becoming endangered.
“Choosing to protect our wildlife and natural resources is good for our environment and our economy. Consistent funding for the State and Tribal Wildlife Grants program will further protect more than 12,000 at-risk fish and wildlife species while avoiding costly and often controversial interventions that would be needed if we were forced to add more species to the endangered species list,” said Senator Ben Cardin. “The imminent de-listing, due to sufficient recovery, of the once endangered Delmarva Fox Squirrel is a testament to the success of this program.”
“In my home state of Alaska, which I would argue is home to the most pristine wildlife in the country, we understand the critical importance of protecting our wildlife for future generations,” said Congressman Don Young. “I firmly believe the most appropriate and efficient way for populations to flourish and avoid the endangered species list is through a willingness to work together on all levels. The State and Tribal Wildlife Grant program plays a significant role in bringing together states and the federal government to accomplish the important goal of effectively managing our fish and wildlife resources. We know all too well the negative impacts associated with listing any one of our nation’s species, including the detriment to local economies, homeowners, conservationists and sportsmen alike, which is why I proudly support the work of the State and Tribal Wildlife Grant program and continue to ensure funding levels remain intact from proposed cuts in the President’s FY15 budget.”
The State and Tribal Wildlife Grants program has successfully prevented new endangered species listings. The program is used to support data collection that is important to ensure endangered species listings are science-based and provides states with resources to put voluntary on-the-ground conservation measures in place. Without sufficient funding for this program, more species will be added to the federal endangered species list requiring expensive interventions and resulting in increased uncertainty for businesses.
State Wildlife Grants are vital to fish and wildlife agencies in every state, territory and the District of Columbia to support the implementation and revision of State Wildlife Action Plans that were developed to conserve more than 12,000 species known to be at-risk. The program has the support of the 6,400 organizations that make up the “Teaming With Wildlife” coalition and directly impacts the 90 million individuals who participate in wildlife-related recreation and spend $145 billion on their outdoor pursuits annually.
The number of Members signing on was up for both “Dear Colleague” letters this year. The U.S. Senate letter included 31 democrats, 8 republicans and 2 independents and the U.S. House of Representatives letter included 112 democrats and 17 republicans. Outreach by state agency staff and Teaming With Wildlife coalition partners to Members was key to the success of the letters.
Senate Members Who Signed the FY15 Dear Colleague Letter Supporting State & Tribal Wildlife Grants
Barbara Boxer (CA), Chris Murphy (CT), Thomas Carper (DE), Johnny Isakson (GA),
Mazie Hirono (HI), Brian Schatz (HI), Chuck Grassley (IA), Mike Crapo (ID),
James Risch (ID), Dick Durbin (IL), Edward Markey (MA), Ben Cardin (MD),
Angus King (ME), Carl Levin (MI), Debbie Stabenow (MI), Amy Klobuchar (MN),
John Walsh (MT), Jeanne Shaheen (NH), Robert Menendez (NJ), Cory Booker (NJ),
Martin Heinrich (NM), Charles Schumer (NY), James Inhofe (OK), Bob Casey (PA),
Sheldon Whitehouse (RI), Tim Johnson (SD), Tim Kaine (VA), Patrick Leahy (VT),
Maria Cantwell (WA) and Tammy Baldwin (WI)
House Members Who Signed the FY15 Dear Colleague Letter Supporting State & Tribal Wildlife Grants
Don Young (AK), Paul Grijalva (AZ), Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ), Mike Thompson (CA),
Lois Capps (CA), Jerry McNerney (CA), Henry Waxman (CA), Barbara Lee (CA),
Sam Farr (CA), Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA), Tony Cardenas (CA), Jared Huffman (CA),
Raul Ruiz (CA), Jim Costa (CA), Gloria Negrete McLeod (CA), Rosa DeLauro (CT),
Joe Courtney (CT), Alcee Hastings (FL), Corrine Brown (FL), Frederica Wilson (FL),
David Scott (GA), Hank Johnson (GA), John Lewis (GA), Colleen Hanabusa (HI),
Daniel Lipinski (IL), Jan Schakowsky (IL), John Yarmuth (KY), Stephen Lynch (MA),
John Sarbanes (MD), Dutch Ruppersberger (MD), Elijah Cummings (MD), John Delaney (MD),
Michael Michaud (ME), John Dingell (MI), Dan Kildee (MI), Gary Peters (MI),
Collin Peterson (MN), Keith Ellison (MN), Emanuel Cleaver (MO), Mike McIntyre (NC),
Lee Terry (NE), Jeff Fortenberry (NE), Adrian Smith (NE), Carol Shea-Porter (NH),
Ann Kuster (NH), Bill Pascrell Jr. (NJ), Albio Sires (NJ), Chris Smith (NJ),
Jon Runyan (NJ), Steve Pearce (NM), Gregorio Sablan (NM), Dina Titus (NV),
Jerrold Nadler (NY), Carolyn Maloney (NY), Carolyn McCarthy (NY), Paul Tonko (NY),
Michael Grimm (NY), Earl Blumenauer (OR), Jim Gerlach (PA), Allyson Schwartz (PA),
Matt Cartwright (PA), Robert Brady (PA), Jim Langevin (RI), David Cicilline (RI),
Sheila Jackson Lee (TX), Robert C. Scott (VA), Gerald Connolly (VA), Jim McDermott (WA),
Suzan DelBene (WA), Derek Kilmer (WA), Ron Kind (WI) and Gwen Moore (WI).