TESTIMONY OF PAUL R. SCHMIDT,
In addition to the annual art contest for the design of the Stamp, the program features a science and art-based curriculum designed to help teach wetland and wildlife conservation principles, engaging children from kindergarten through high school by pairing science and the arts.The program's goal is to empower and encourage students to become conservation stewards who will work to conserve sustainable populations of migratory birds and many other wetland-dependent plants and animals.
In 2009, nearly 28,000 students across the
H.R. 3537, reauthorizes the program, increases authorization for appropriations to $500,000 per year; removes limitations on the use of funds for administrative expenses and amends the Program's reporting requirements.The Department supports H.R. 3537 as it would enable the Service to more effectively implement the Junior Duck Stamp Program.
H.R. 2213, The Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act
Through bilateral treaties with
Migratory birds help control agricultural pests, pollinate many commercially valuable plants and provide bird-related recreational opportunities for millions of people. Unfortunately, many migratory bird species are declining as a result of habitat loss and degradation, particularly in the Caribbean and
In authorizing the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act in 2000, Congress provided a mechanism for coordinating and funding the conservation of neotropical migratory birds and their habitats throughout Latin America, the Caribbean and
Administered by the Service's Migratory Bird Program, grants are awarded for projects that promote the long-term conservation of migratory birds through partnership. These projects protect and manage bird habitat, conduct research and monitoring, support law enforcement, and provide education and outreach.
Since receiving appropriations in FY 2002, the Service has funded 296 projects, throughout the
The Department supports H.R. 2213 to reauthorize the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act.
H.R. 3433, A Bill To Amend the North American Wetlands Conservation Act
The North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) grants program is an internationally recognized conservation program that supports partnerships to conserve waterfowl and other wetland-associated migratory birds.Since 1990, more than 11,500 partners have been involved in 1,946 NAWCA grant projects. More than $1billion in grants has leveraged more than $2 billion in matching funds to affect approximately 25.5 million acres of wetlands and associated uplands across the continent.
H.R. 3433 would amend NAWCA to allow up to 50 percent of the required "non-federal" match for projects in
The Department supports H.R. 3433 and its proposed change to NAWCA as long as at least 50 percent of the "non-federal match" would still come from
NAWCA grants act as catalysts in bringing together partnerships to support wetland projects and leverage non-federal funding.Grants have brought together partners as diverse as conservation organizations; federal, state and local government agencies; and private industry, and thousands of private landowners.Partners have carried out projects in all 50
Protecting and conserving migratory birds is one of the primary public trusts held by the Service.The three programs being considered today have all greatly improved the Service's ability to meet our mission.The Junior Duck Stamp Program has enabled the Service to educate and encourage young Americans to step up to the plate as conservation stewards.The Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act and the North American Wetlands Conservation Act have greatly enhanced our ability to protect birds and their habitat for future generations.
We greatly appreciate your leadership, Chairwoman Bordallo and Ranking Member Brown, in enhancing and refining our statutory authorities to conduct this important work.We look forward to continuing to work with you to ensure that the diversity and health of the nation's native bird species are sustained.