WILDLIFE REFUGES UNDER ATTACK IN THE HOUSE!
Background: The Executive branch has created ninety percent of all national wildlife refuges, including EVERY President since Teddy Roosevelt who created the first one at Pelican Island in Florida on March 14, 1903. But some in Congress plan to take this authority away and put a halt to the creation of all new national wildlife refuges although Congress itself mandated that the Refuge System should be strategically grown in the 1997 Refuge Improvement Act.
Please Oppose HR 368 and protect the Refuge System by contacting your representative using the following letter as a template. You may copy and paste it into an email to your Kansas representatives.
I stand with the National Wildlife Refuge Association in urging you to vote NO on H.R. 638, the National Wildlife Refuge Review Act of 2013, a bill to remove Executive Branch authority to create national wildlife refuges; effectively halting the growth of the Refuge System. Since 1903, national wildlife refuges have been created both by the executive branch and Congress, but a bill sponsored by Representative John Fleming of Louisiana would change all that. H.R. 638 would make it impossible for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to establish new refuges administratively even though they must go through a rigorous public process to do so. This is an affront to the local communities that partake in the public process and will effectively eliminate the creation new national wildlife refuges, as the vast majority of refuges have been created executively. If the Executive Branch didn’t have the authority to create refuges – we wouldn’t have a National Wildlife Refuge System. Period. The Executive branch – including EVERY President since Theodore Roosevelt – has established 90% of all refuges. The creation of refuges has been bipartisan with nearly the same number created by Republican and Democratic Administrations. Further, Congress, in overwhelming majority with only one dissenting vote, mandated that the Refuge System should be strategically grown in the 1997 Refuge Improvement Act. This new bill goes directly against the intent of Congress in the Improvement Act. The FWS must go through a rigorous public process before any refuge is established. And while the executive branch can create a new refuge, ONLY Congress holds the purse strings when it comes to any acquisition of lands or management dollars – Congress already holds oversight power on land acquisition; this legislation is unnecessary. Please oppose H.R. 638, which the House Natural Resources Committee is set to vote on this Wednesday July 24th.
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