Today Mark Tercek, president and CEO of The Nature Conservancy, sent letters to leaders of the Appropriations Committees in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate to thank them for their leadership in securing passage of the Omnibus Appropriations Bill for 2012. The bill includes components that The Nature Conservancy believes will keep the nation’s environmental and conservation programs intact and funded at workable levels.
The letter of thanks to Appropriations Committee leaders in the House of Representatives and Senate was sent to:
The letter of thanks to leaders of the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee leaders in the House of Representatives and Senate was sent to:
Statement from Robert Bendick, Director of U.S. Government Relations for The Nature Conservancy, on FY 2012 Appropriations Legislation
The U.S. Congress today voted on the Fiscal Year 2012 Appropriations legislation – the final omnibus spending bill for FY12 – which contains funding for federal agencies including Defense, Energy and Water, and Interior/Environment among others. The $1 trillion bill will fund the federal government until September 30, 2012.
The Nature Conservancy appreciates that Congress has agreed on appropriations bills for FY 2012—this allows for more effective operation of government programs than the use of continuing resolutions to fund government services. This final Fiscal 2012 budget is an improvement for conservation programs over earlier versions. We particularly want to recognize the work of Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee Chair, Jack Reed and Ranking Member, Lisa Murkowski, and House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee Chair, Representative Mike Simpson, and Ranking Member Representative Jim Moran for their effective leadership in avoiding additional disproportionate cuts to many conservation activities.
We are especially pleased with increases over FY 2011 for two important programs – the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program (CFLRP). While there were still significant cuts made to some valuable programs such as the Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund, the budget that has been adopted represents workable funding for most conservation and environmental programs.
The Conservancy opposes the inclusion of anti-environmental riders on must-pass appropriations measures, so we are thankful that most such riders were removed from the final legislation. We are evaluating the report language to determine which riders remain in the final package and their impacts on the protection of the nation’s land, air and water.
We understand that these are very difficult times, but we believe that the final budget for 2012 reveals that a majority of the Congress has again recognized the importance of conservation investment to America’s future.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.
The Nature Conservancy