The Honorable XXXXXXX
US House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Representative XXXXXXX:
Thank you for your support of
the Conservation and Reinvestment Act (HR 701) during the 106th
Congress. Although the bill soared through the House with a more
than two-thirds bi-partisan victory and passed the Senate Energy
and Natural Resources Committee, the bill was never considered on
the Senate floor. Instead, a one-time appropriations measure was
passed as an amendment to the Interior and Related Agencies appropriations
bill, and subsequently the Commerce, Justice and State appropriations
bill. However, neither of these addressed the main purpose of CARA,
which is the need for adequate, long-term and assured funding for
states to use for wildlife conservation and recreation, coastal
and marine conservation, state and local urban parks, and historic
The Conservation and Reinvestment
Act (CARA) has been reintroduced in the 107th Congress
again as HR 701. There are very few changes from the bill that you
supported and helped clear the House by a bi-partisan vote of 315-102
on May 11, 2000.
We (I) ask you to please join
Reps. Young (R-AK), Dingell (D-MI), Tauzin (R-LA), Miller (D-CA),
John (D-LA), Hansen (R-UT), Rahall (D-WV), Saxton (R-NJ) and 60
more of your colleagues in cosponsoring CARA in this Congress and
in working to help it become law this year.
As you know from your support
and involvement last year, this bill reinvests a portion of revenues
from the Federal Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) oil and gas development
for state level wildlife conservation, coastal conservation and
impact assistance, historic preservation, urban parks and the Land
and Water Conservation Fund.
As an (environmental, birding,
other) organization our greatest interest in CARA is in the Wildlife
Conservation and Restoration Fund (Title III), CARA would annually
provide $3.1 billion from OCS receipts of which $350 million would
be dedicated to state fish and wildlife programs through Title III.
The need is great. With over 1000 species on the Federal threatened
and endangered species list, we are mostly operating in an "emergency
room situation". States need funding to reverse alarming declines
in wildlife species before they become endangered. An ounce of prevention
is worth a pound of cure. States also are being overwhelmed by demands
for conservation education and outdoor recreation opportunities.
These funds will save taxpayers money by avoiding the high
costs of recovery efforts as well as assure an economic future for
nature-based tourism and the outdoor recreation industry.
As you will remember, CARA generated
tremendous support from across the nation culminating in an unprecedented
coalition of over 6000 organizations, businesses and elected officials.
This included all 50 governors, all 50 state fish and wildlife agencies,
over 1100 mayors, as well as numerous conservation organizations.
This coalition remains committed to seeing CARA enacted. Additionally,
this support was reflected in over 400 articles and over 30 positive
editorials on CARA.
Again, thank you for your support
last year, and please help us get the real CARA passed this year
by co-sponsoring HR 701.