Congressman John Fleming, M.D. issued the following statement after introducing H.R. 3009 -- "The National Wildlife Refuge Review Act of 2011." This bill advances Congressman Fleming's commitment to reign in excessive federal spending and land-grab appetite. The National Wildlife Refuge Review Act designates Congress as the sole authority responsible for authorizing the creation of new federal wildlife refuges. Presently, a loophole in current law allows the Department of Interior to designate new national wildlife refuges outside of the Congressional review process, potentially saddling taxpayers with considerable land acquisition and management costs over the life of a refuge. The National Wildlife Refuge Review Act will ensure that the costs and benefits of all new federal wildlife refuges are fully reviewed in an open and transparent manner by revoking any administration's ability to create new refuges without congressional approval.
"As our federal debt creeps towards $15 trillion, The National Wildlife Refuge Review Act is an important step towards reinstating Congressional authority over the national wildlife refuge designation process. This legislation will effectively end the practice of the Administration designating national wildlife refuges, which creates significant taxpayer liabilities. There is no reason why the process for creating wildlife refuges should be any different from the established process used for designating national parks and forests, wilderness areas, wild and scenic rivers, and other federally protected areas," said Congressman Fleming.
Congressman Fleming added, "This is another important step to bringing our nation back to financial sanity. When American families are cutting their budgets, there is no reason why the federal government can't do the same."
Dr. John Fleming is Chairman of the Natural Resources Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs and is a member of the House Armed Services Committee. He is a physician and small business owner and represents the 4th Congressional District of Louisiana.