PRESIDENT SIGNS INHOFE BILL TO REAUTHORIZE NORTH AMERICAN WETLANDS CONSERVATION ACT

October 11, 2006

“The NAWCA program serves as a model of cooperative conservation with broad support that further improves our nation’s environment.”

WASHINGTON, DC – Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, today hailed the President’s signing of the bill to reauthorize the S. 3617, the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA). The NAWCA program is a valuable non-regulatory matching grants program that leverages federal dollars with state and private dollars to conserve wetlands habitat for migratory birds and other fish and wildlife. The President signed the bill into law on Wednesday, October 11, 2006. The Inhofe sponsored bill passed the EPW Committee on September 13, 2006 and passed by unanimous consent in the Senate on September 30, 2006.

“The NAWCA program serves as an exemplary model of cooperative conservation that further improves our nation’s environment,” Senator Inhofe said. “The program has enjoyed tremendous success since its conception in 1989 and is supported by several conservation and recreational organizations. Because of NACWA, numerous cooperative partnerships have developed between public and private resources. I believe the NAWCA program serves as an exemplary model of cooperative conservation that further improves our nation’s environment.”
The Act was passed, in part, to support activities under the North American Waterfowl Management Plan, an international agreement that provides a strategy for the long-term protection of wetlands and associated uplands habitats needed by waterfowl and other migratory birds in North America. In December 2002, Congress reauthorized the Act and expanded its scope to include the conservation of all habitats and birds associated with wetlands ecosystems. Congress also increased the appropriation authorization to $55 million for Fiscal Year (FY) 2003, with $5 million increases to occur annually until FY 2007, when the appropriation cap will be $75 million.

From September 1990 through June 2006, more than 3,150 partners have been involved in 1,556 Standard and Small Grants Programs’ projects combined. More than $742 million in Act grants has leveraged some $1.5 billion in matching funds and $809.5 million in non-matching funds to affect approximately 23 million acres of wetlands and associated uplands across the continent.

Broad support for NAWCA reauthorization includes: American Fisheries Society *American Rivers * American Sportfishing Association * Archery Trade Association * Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies * B.A.S.S/ESPN Outdoors * Bear Trust International * Boone and Crockett Club * Bowhunting Preservation Alliance * California Outdoor Heritage Alliance * California Waterfowl Association * Campfire Club of America * Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation * Conservation Force* Dallas Safari Club * Ducks Unlimited * Izaak Walton League of America * National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses * National Marine Manufactures Association * National Rifle Association * National Shooting Sports Foundation * National Wild Turkey Federation * North American Bear Foundation * North American Grouse Partnership * Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association * Pheasants Forever * Pope and Young Club * Quail Forever * Quality Deer Management Association * Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation * Ruffed Grouse Society * Safari Club International *Sand County Foundation * The Trust For Public Land * Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership * Texas Wildlife Association * Trout Unlimited * United States Sportsmen’s Alliance * Whitetails Unlimited * Wildlife Forever * Wildlife Habitat Council * Wildlife Management Institute *