December 5, 2019

Secretary Zinke Announces More Than $1.1 Billion for Sportsmen & Conservation

Press Release from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service:

This year marks $20 billion in hunter and angler conservation funding

Date: March 20, 2018
Contact: Interior_Press@ios.doi.gov

HORICON, Wisc. – Today U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke traveled to Horicon, Wisconsin, where he announced more than $1.1 billion in annual national funding for state wildlife agencies from revenues generated by the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration and Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration (PRDJ) acts. The Secretary presented a ceremonial check to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for $34,966,603 while visiting the Horicon Marsh State Wildlife Area. State-by-state listings of the final Fiscal Year 2018 apportionments of Wildlife Restoration Program fund can be found here and the Sport Fish Restoration Program fund here. Allocations of the funds are authorized by Congress. To date, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has distributed more than $20.2 billion in apportionments for state conservation and recreation projects.

“American sportsmen and women are some of our best conservationists and they contribute billions of dollars toward wildlife conservation and sportsmen access every year through the Pittman-Robertson and Dingell-Johnson Acts,” said Secretary Zinke. “For nearly eighty years, states have been able to fund important conservation initiatives thanks to the more than $20 billion that has generated nationwide. Every time a firearm, fishing pole, hook, bullet, motor boat or boat fuel is sold, part of that cost goes to fund conservation. The best way to increase funding for conservation and sportsmen access is to increase the number of hunters and anglers in our woods and waters. The American conservation model has been replicated all over the world because it works.”

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources manages over 11,000 acres of the Horicon Marsh and almost every habitat project they complete includes PRDJ dollars, including prescribed burning, invasive species treatments, wetland berm maintenance, prairie seeding and restoration, timber stand improvement.

The funds, which are distributed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, support critical state conservation and outdoor recreation projects. They are derived from excise taxes paid by the hunting, shooting, boating and angling industries on firearms, bows and ammunition and sport fishing tackle, some boat engines, and small engine fuel.

Wisconsin boaters generate $1.18 billion of economic impact annually while hunting contributes to $2.5 billion in yearly economic impact. Angling creates over 21,000 jobs while impacting the economy to the tune of $2.3 billion each year.

“These funds are integral to our ability to provide hunting and fishing access, restore habitat and manage species at the state level,” said Daniel L. Meyer, Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. “We greatly value the partnership we have with the Service and the Department of Interior.”

STATE TOTAL – SPORT FISH RESTORATION (FY18) TOTAL – ALL WILDLIFE FUNDS (FY18) TOTAL – ALL FUNDS (FY18)
ALABAMA $6,151,179 $19,360,421 $25,511,600
ALASKA $17,595,874 $33,455,771 $51,051,645
AMERICAN SAMOA $1,173,058 $1,328,563 $2,501,621
ARIZONA $7,154,503 $22,080,003 $29,234,506
ARKANSAS $5,348,981 $13,221,723 $18,570,704
CALIFORNIA $16,513,733 $26,037,993 $42,551,726
COLORADO $9,143,673 $19,872,123 $29,015,796
CONNECTICUT $3,519,175 $5,901,190 $9,420,365
DELAWARE $3,519,175 $4,785,824 $8,304,999
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA $1,173,058 $0 $1,173,058
FLORIDA $12,236,611 $14,351,398 $26,588,009
GEORGIA $8,041,424 $23,213,465 $31,254,889
GUAM $1,173,058 $1,328,563 $2,501,621
HAWAII $3,519,175 $4,785,824 $8,304,999
IDAHO $6,430,284 $15,474,320 $21,904,604
ILLINOIS $6,593,209 $16,335,080 $22,928,289
INDIANA $4,577,731 $13,573,699 $18,151,430
IOWA $4,513,130 $11,515,178 $16,028,308
KANSAS $4,981,927 $14,646,057 $19,627,984
KENTUCKY $5,198,763 $14,127,290 $19,326,053
LOUISIANA $6,908,171 $15,884,383 $22,792,554
MAINE $3,519,175 $8,055,283 $11,574,458
MARYLAND $3,519,175 $7,754,551 $11,273,726
MASSACHUSETTS $3,519,175 $7,986,372 $11,505,547
MICHIGAN $10,692,452 $24,296,525 $34,988,977
MINNESOTA $12,500,370 $23,400,370 $35,900,740
MISSISSIPPI $4,009,209 $12,144,757 $16,153,966
MISSOURI $7,677,750 $21,117,103 $28,794,853
MONTANA $8,648,987 $21,131,270 $29,780,257
N. MARIANA ISLANDS $1,173,058 $1,328,563 $2,501,621
NEBRASKA $4,483,366 $12,833,330 $17,316,696
NEVADA $4,974,601 $13,948,153 $18,922,754
NEW HAMPSHIRE $3,519,175 $4,785,824 $8,304,999
NEW JERSEY $3,519,175 $7,986,372 $11,505,547
NEW MEXICO $6,244,495 $15,787,434 $22,031,929
NEW YORK $7,820,180 $20,862,345 $28,682,525
NORTH CAROLINA $10,344,499 $21,338,737 $31,683,236
NORTH DAKOTA $4,130,618 $11,377,784 $15,508,402
OHIO $6,898,966 $16,457,632 $23,356,598
OKLAHOMA $7,695,368 $19,907,732 $27,603,100
OREGON $7,820,246 $17,690,588 $25,510,834
PENNSYLVANIA $8,571,622 $28,157,633 $36,729,255
PUERTO RICO $3,519,175 $3,452,263 $6,971,438
RHODE ISLAND $3,519,175 $4,785,824 $8,304,999
SOUTH CAROLINA $4,899,188 $10,678,793 $15,577,981
SOUTH DAKOTA $4,490,053 $13,775,104 $18,265,157
TENNESSEE $7,457,271 $22,544,767 $30,002,038
TEXAS $17,595,874 $36,656,319 $54,252,193
UTAH $6,405,939 $14,616,342 $21,022,281
VERMONT $3,519,175 $4,785,824 $8,304,999
VIRGIN ISLANDS $1,173,058 $1,328,563 $2,501,621
VIRGINIA $5,204,846 $14,176,335 $19,381,181
WASHINGTON $7,112,530 $15,120,458 $22,232,988
WEST VIRGINIA $3,519,175 $8,209,596 $11,728,771
WISCONSIN $11,424,513 $23,542,090 $34,966,603
WYOMING $5,329,957 $13,861,148 $19,191,105
       
TOTAL  $351,917,483 $797,160,652 $1,149,078,135

The recipient state wildlife agencies have matched these funds with approximately $6.7 billion throughout the years, primarily through hunting and fishing license revenues.

For more information about the WSFR program visit http://wsfrprograms.fws.gov/.

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Secretary Zinke Partners with ?Congress on Bipartisan Bill to Fix Our National Parks

Press Release from the Department of Interior:

Marks an important component of President Trump’s Infrastructure Framework for Rebuilding America’s Infrastructure

3/7/2018
Last edited 3/7/2018

Date: March 7, 2018
Contacts: Interior_Press@ios.doi.gov

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke joined U.S. Senator s Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Angus King (I-ME) , Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID), Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR) and others to introduce a bipartisan bill to rebuild America’s National Park s. The proposed bill would use up to $18 billion in revenue derived from energy produced on federal lands and waters to establish a special fund within the Treasury specifically for “National Park Restoration”. The bill follows the blueprint laid out in Secretary Zinke and President Trump’s budget proposal, the Public Lands Infrastructure Fund. The Alexander/King bill’s cosponsors are: Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Steve Daines (R-MT), Cory Gardner (R-CO) , and Thom Tillis (R-NC). This bill fulfills one of the priorities laid out in President Trump’s legislative framework for rebuilding America’s infrastructure.

” Infrastructure is an investment, not merely an expense. And every dollar we put in to rebuilding our parks, will help bolster the gateway communities that rely on park visitation for economic vitality. Since the early days of my confirmation, I’ve been talking with members of the House and Senate about how we can use energy revenue to rebuild and revitalize our parks and communities,” said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. “Infrastructure is also about access for all Americans. Not all visitors to our parks have the ability to hike with a 30-pound pack and camp in the wilderness miles away from utilities. In order for families with young kids , elderly grandparents , or persons with disabilities to enjoy the parks, we need to rebuild basic infrastructure like roads, trails, lodges, restrooms and visitors centers. This bill is the largest investment in National Parks in our nation’s history. This is not a republican or democrat issue, this is an American issue, and I think that the bipartisan body of lawmakers who put this bill forward is proof.”

“This legislation will help address the over $11 billion maintenance backlog at our national parks, including the $215 million backlog of projects in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park,” Senator Alexander said. “The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of America’s greatest treasures – and it has a tremendous economic impact in East Tennessee, attracting nearly twice the visitors of any other national park. Addressing the maintenance backlog will help attract even more visitors and create more jobs for Tennesseans. We must continue to work together to find solutions to the many challenges facing our public lands, and this legislation takes an important step toward doing that.”

“Montanans are blessed to have America’s most beautiful national parks right outside our front doors,” said Senator Daines.“These critical economic drivers must be maintained and protected so that our outdoor economy can continue to grow and our parks remain accessible to all Montanans. This bipartisan bill is a commonsense step forward to ensure that the challenges facing our national parks are finally addressed.”

“For more than a century, our national parks have inspired and amazed countless visitors,” said Senator King. “Unfortunately, these parks don’t take care of themselves – they need maintenance to ensure that future generations can experience the same wonder that so many Americans already have. This bill is a practical step to help clear the existing maintenance backlog, and protect these treasured lands for years to come.”

“As someone who loves public lands and our National Parks, I am thrilled to be standing here today with Secretary Zinke, Senator Alexander, Senator King, and Congressman Schrader to propose a solution to fixing the backlog maintenance,” said Congressman Mike Simpson. “Growing up in Yellowstone’s backyard, it is important that we pay it forward to future visitors that deserve the same quality experience as past generations. There are many people who deserve credit for bringing this issue to the forefront and I look forward to working with them to advance legislation that fixes our Parks.”

“Oregonians have a genuine appreciation for the outdoors and our National Parks and recreation areas,” said Representative Schrader. “Our ability to enjoy and appreciate that natural beauty is limited when upkeep on our federal lands isn’t sufficiently funded allowing critical maintenance to fall by the wayside. Not only does that impact our enjoyment of the land, but it poses serious risks to the protection of these areas and hurts our communities that rely on the economic benefit from visitors. Currently, our national parks are in dire need of maintenance with a more than ten billion dollar backlog. Our bill provides an innovative solution by creating the National Park Restoration Fund which will provide mandatory funding from unutilized resources already available to us, to bring that backlog down and ensure our National Park System is well and safely kept for generations to come.”

The National Park Service estimates that its maintenance and repair backlog exceeds $11.6 billion. In 2017, 330 million people visited the 417 NPS sites across the country. The NPS completed over $650 million in maintenance and repair work in FY 2017, but aging facilities, high visitation, and resource constraints have kept the maintenance backlog between $11 billion and $12 billion since 2010.

Some examples of maintenance projects include:

  • ??Everglades National Park (Florida) – Showers, campgrounds and lodges that were destroyed during a hurricane more than a decade ago remain broken. Total Everglades maintenance backlog cost, more than $90 million.
  • Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore (Indiana) – Earlier this month, an observation deck overlooking Lake Michigan crumbled and fell to the ground after years of erosion. Total Indiana Dunes maintenance backlog cost, more than $26 million.
  • Grand Canyon National Park (Arizona) – A pipeline, and the only infrastructure to deliver water to the South Rim Village of 19,634 people daily for drinking, cooking and firefighting, breaks several times a year putting the well-being of the community including park lodges, visitor centers, homes, and Grand Canyon hikers at risk. Total Grand Canyon maintenance backlog cost, more than $329 million.
  • ??Statue of Liberty National Monument (NY/NJ) – $34.45 million is needed to stabilize the Ellis Island Seawall, which protects Ellis Island from erosion of wave action. $3.77 million is also needed to rehabilitate the Fire-Life-Safety System in the Main Immigration Building, where 2.2 million annual visitors start and end their visit to the island. Total Statue of Liberty National Monument maintenance backlog cost, more than $166 million.

While National Parks have enjoyed historic visitation over the past few years, many Americans have never been to a NPS
site and are unfamiliar with what infrastructure they hold. Here’s a quick look at National Park Service infrastructure across the board:

  • More than 5,500 miles of paved roads
  • More than 1,700 bridges and tunnels
  • More than 17,000 miles of trails
  • More than 1,300 campgrounds
  • More than 24,000 buildings including more than 500 visitor centers, 425 park lodges and hotel buildings, 3,870 housing units and more than 3,700 bathrooms
  • More than 1,000 miles of water pipelines
  • More than 1,500 water systems
  • More than 1,800 wastewater systems
  • More than 500 electrical systems
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Committee Begins Effort to Restore Public Lands with Review of Federal Maintenance Backlog

Press Release from the House Committee on Energy and Natural Resources:

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 6, 2018 –

Today, the House Committee on Natural Resources held the first in a series of hearings to address the maintenance backlog of the Department of the Interior (DOI).

Today, DOI manages more than 500 million acres of land in the U.S. and has a total of $16 billion worth of deferred maintenance, with almost half owned by the National Park Service (NPS).

“The deferred maintenance backlog is a top priority for anyone who loves our national parks,” Vice President of Government Relations for the National Park Foundation Jason Rano stated.

Dan Puskar, Executive Director of the Public Lands Alliance, attributed an increase of visitation as a driving factor in the backlog stressing the adverse impacts on visitor experiences.

“Whether it is a deteriorating road or bridge or a crumbling historic structure, neglected built assets on America’s public lands can have a detrimental impact on the experience of visitors,” Puskar said.

“I would like to acknowledge Chairman Bishop’s hard work,” Ranking Member Raul Grijalva stated, in reference to the “National Park Service Centennial Act,” which became law (Public Law 114-289) in the 114th Congress. “This bill created new revenue streams and established new programs to leverage private investment to support our national parks. These are important tools that we should continue to support though they are not enough to buy down deferred maintenance across the entire system.”

Panelists stressed the need for additional dedicated revenue streams and management reforms to effectively tackle the backlog while also fulfilling broader statutory responsibilities of the agencies.

“We know that we cannot rely on appropriated dollars alone,” Deputy Director of the NPS Daniel Smith and Deputy Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Steve Guertin argued. “Most importantly, we are looking at a new proposal to raise funds for this purpose by dedicating a portion of federal energy revenues to address this problem.”

The President’s DOI budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2019 proposed the establishment of a Public Lands Maintenance Fund. The proposal envisions increases in revenue from federal energy leases to provide a dedicated funding source for the NPS and other targeted agencies.

“Today we’re dealing with the problem, next we start dealing with solutions to the problem,” Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) stated.

Click here for additional information on today’s hearing.

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Maine college’s bear study at end of funding

The study allows Unity students to bait and trap bears in central Maine and collar and track them to learn about their range, habitat, reproduction and other factors. The study program has caught 23 bears since 2013 and has worked with state authorities to collar and release two additional bears that were orphans.

Source: Maine college’s bear study at end of funding – News – fosters.com – Dover, NH

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Maine Governor Eating a Bit of Crow

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Hunters, Anglers Fund America’s Conservation Efforts

Press Release from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

MISSOULA, Mont.—New statistics recently released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) show hunters and anglers generated $1.1 billion in 2014. That funding will be distributed to state and territorial fish and wildlife agencies to support America’s conservation and recreation projects.

“‘Hunting Is Conservation‘ is not just a motto or a theme or a mantra. It’s truth,” said David Allen, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation president and CEO. “Sportsmen and women who hunt and fish are the people who generate the funds for on-the-ground conservation and wildlife management efforts from coast to coast.”

The funding is raised through the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration and Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration programs which place excise taxes on the sale of firearms, ammunition, archery equipment, fishing equipment, electric boat motors, and from taxes on the purchase of motorboat fuel.

“These funds are the cornerstone of state-based efforts that are critical to the preservation of America’s wildlife and natural resources,” said Service Director Dan Ashe. “But they are also the fuel for a massive financial engine that benefits outdoor recreationists, hunters, boaters and anglers, equipment manufacturers and retailers, and local and regional economies. Their value cannot be overstated in providing opportunities for the next generation of Americans to get outdoors, experience our wild places and learn the importance of conserving our natural heritage.”

“It is thanks to this significant financial investment made by America’s sportsmen and women and the hunting, shooting sports, angling and boating industries that state and territorial fish and wildlife agencies can deliver science-based conservation on the ground,” said Larry Voyles, Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies president and Arizona Game and Fish Department director. “The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program has made the difference between the survival and abundance of some species and it helps agencies, like mine, manage a vast estate of lands and waters and connect more people to wildlife-related recreation.”

Funding generated by RMEF’s volunteers and members in 2014 furthered the Elk Foundation’s conservation mission by helping complete 253 land and habitat stewardship projects that protected or enhanced 160,180 acres of elk habitat and opened or secured public access to 61,817 acres.

“We are so grateful for our dedicated volunteers and members, as well as sportsmen and women around the country for their passion for land and wildlife conservation,” added Allen.

Go here to see a state-by-state breakdown of the funding distribution.

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Torstenson Family Endowment Benefits Elk, Elk Country and Hunting Heritage

Press Release from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

MISSOULA, Mont.—The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation distributed nearly $1.7 million in Torstenson Family Endowment (TFE) funding in 2014 toward its mission priorities of permanent land protection, habitat stewardship, elk restoration and hunting heritage.

“We are forever grateful to Bob Torstenson and his family for allowing RMEF to establish this endowment,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “The TFE allows us to make an immediate and impactful difference in elk country while also providing multiple avenues for us to help spread Bob’s passion for hunting and the outdoors to the next generation.”

TFE funding helped finalize seven different projects in Idaho, Montana, New Mexico and Pennsylvania that permanently protected 3,808 acres of elk habitat and opened or secured access to 67,622 acres for hunters and others to enjoy. The endowment also provided funding for elk restoration, research and habitat enhancement projects in 13 states. In addition, the TFE provided funds for a wide range of hunting heritage outreach projects reaching thousands of youth and adults in more than 17 states.

Here are a few highlighted TFE-funded projects from 2014:

Virginia Elk Restoration— Completed a multi-year project to restore wild elk to Virginia after the third and final group of 45 wild elk arrived from Kentucky in 2014. They joined an existing herd of approximately 40 elk previously relocated in 2012 and 2013.

RMEF Youth Membership Knives—Provided 8,000 knives and youth memberships to Illinois and Wisconsin for distribution at hunter education classes.

Clearwater Basin Elk Nutrition Study (Year 2)—Study and model development monitoring elk responses to landscape restoration of early seral habitat in north-central Idaho where elk populations have been declining steadily during the past three decades.

Medicine Lodge – Kate Creek & Ayers Canyon Road Access Easement—RMEF teamed up with a private landowner, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, and local sportsmen groups to purchase a road access easement that secures permanent public access to approximately 41,344 acres of public lands in southwest Montana.

North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area Foraging Habitat Enhancement—Use mechanical clearing and seeding to create and enhance 42 acres of forage habitat on Gunsight Mountain and in Bear Wallow Hollow for Tennessee’s growing elk herd, with the goal of reducing elk pressure on adjacent private lands.

Woodring Farm (Vollmer) Acquisition—RMEF teamed up with the Pennsylvania Game Commission to purchase and conserve 81 acres of prime elk habitat located in the heart of the Pennsylvania elk range.

Go here for a complete listing of TFE-funded projects in 2014.

RMEF uses proceeds from the TFE solely to further its core mission programs of permanent land protection, habitat stewardship, elk restoration and hunting heritage.

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Battered Communities

HOW WEALTHY PRIVATE FOUNDATIONS, GRANT-DRIVEN ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS, AND ACTIVIST FEDERAL EMPLOYEES COMBINE TO SYSTEMATICALLY CRIPPLE RURAL ECONOMIES

Across America, while urban areas enjoy an economic boom, rural communities are suffering unprecedented social and economic losses. Their suffering is directly linked to a bewildering array of government actions allegedly protecting the environment. The federal government is being unduly influenced to perform these actions by an equally bewildering array of agenda-driven employees, environmental organizations, and funders in private foundations. All segments of natural resource goods production – water development, farming, ranching, mining, petroleum, timber, fishing, transportation, and manufacturing projects – are being systematically attacked, thwarted, and eradicated. Natural resource production and related jobs are being forced offshore. Town and county tax revenues fall with natural resource goods production losses, aggravating an urban-rural prosperity gap.

This report focuses on the federal government actions and related federal employees, the grant-driven environmental groups that prompt the actions, and the private foundations that design the attacks. It asks the question, “What are the connections between the visible damage in rural areas and the triangle of government employees – environmental groups – private foundations?”

Simply put, who is organizing the destruction of rural American resource producers?

It is well known that numerous former environmental organization executives occupy positions within the present administration. It is less well known that thousands of activist members of advocacy groups are employed by federal agencies in positions that give them opportunity to exercise agenda-driven undue influence over goods-production decisions applied in rural areas.

It is well known that environmental organizations use lawsuits, lobbying and administrative pressure to destroy economic activities they dislike. It is less well known that large networks of environmental organizations coordinate to systematically target specific rural communities for economic dismantling.

It is understood that private foundations provide substantial support to environmental organizations. It is less understood that a number of private foundations have become prescriptive rather than responsive. They design the programs, select the funding recipients and direct grant-driven projects for a substantial number of environmental organizations.

The activist federal employees, the grant-driven environmental groups and the prescriptive private foundations unduly influence public policy. They were not elected. They are totally unaccountable.

This report examines the largest unacknowledged program of social and economic displacement in American history. It ends with a call for Inspector General investigation of undue influence and Congressional investigation of the causes behind Battered Communities.

This report is co-sponsored by the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise, American Land Rights Association, F.I.G.H.T. for Minnesota (Fight Inefficient Government and High Taxes), and the Maine Conservation Rights Institute. Permission to reproduce portions of this report is granted.<<<Read the Full Report>>>

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You Didn’t Really Think the GOP Would Defund Obamacare? Did You?

Or how about funding for immigration? And a whole bunch of other stuff you thought the GOP would “take care of.”

“The $1.01 trillion spending bill unveiled late Tuesday will keep most of the federal government funded through next September — and it’s packed with hundreds of policy instructions, known on Capitol Hill as “riders,” that will upset or excite Democrats, Republicans and various special interest groups.

So, what’s in the bill?”<<<Read More>>>

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Stop Funding These Clowns

StopFunding

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