Public Lands, Water and Wildlife Package Will Help Protect America’s Natural Resources
From the mountain lions in the Organ Mountains of New Mexico, to lake sturgeon in the Great Lakes, to the barred owl of the Alabama Black Belt Heritage Area–a package of public lands, water and wildlife bills currently up for consideration will protect many of our nation’s iconic wildlife.
With just a few weeks left before the end of the 111th Congress, a wide range of conservation advocates have called on Congress to pass a package of Public Lands, Water and Wildlife bills that would protect, preserve or restore our terrestrial and aquatic resources and the various species dependent upon them.
These bills would:
- Protect species like Pacific salmon, southern sea otters, and neotropical migratory birds.
- Expand and protect wilderness areas like national parks and wild and scenic rivers.
- Authorize EPA led restoration programs in our nation’s Great Waters including the Chesapeake Bay, Great Lakes and Puget Sound.
Why should Congress pass this Public Lands, Water and Wildlife legislation?
Safeguarding these resources is important for maintaining America’s global leadership in conservation and our way of life. It is also essential for protection from natural disasters and climate change. Congress has long understood the importance of protecting these resources.
It also benefits our economy:
- Outdoor recreation contributes $730 billion annually to the American economy, supporting 6.5 million jobs.
- National parks alone are huge economic engines in their respective regions, supporting $13.3 billion in local, private-sector economic activity and 267,000 private-sector jobs. A recent study also found that every federal dollar invested in national parks generates at least $4 of economic value.
- National waterways and aquatic ecosystems are also hugely important to our economy, supporting commercial and recreational fishing, as well as vulnerable wildlife. With nearly 40 million anglers in the United States, recreational fishing alone generated $125 billion in overall economic output in 2006.
With such a short period of time before the end of this Congress, it is imperative that you let members of Congress know that they must pass a Public Lands, Water and Wildlife Package without delay.