Search Form
First, enter a politician or zip code
Now, choose a category

Public Statements

New England Senators Call for Federal Funding to Support Conte Refuge and Connecticut River Watershed

Today, U.S. Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) called on the U.S. Department of the Interior to provide federal funding to support the protection of the diverse plant, fish, and wildlife species in the Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge. In a letter to Secretary Sally Jewell of the Department of the Interior, the senators urged the Department to continue funding the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and to prioritize the Conte Refuge -- which is of great environmental and recreational importance but is in need of more than $14 million for necessary upkeep and improvement projects.

The Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge spans more than 36,000 acres throughout the Connecticut River watershed in Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Massachusetts.

"As elected representatives of the four states encompassing the boundaries of the Connecticut River Watershed and the Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge, we write to urge you to provide sufficient funding in your FY17 budget to support the Refuge. The current need for the Refuge is acute: Fish and Wildlife Service staff and the non-governmental partner groups composing the Friends of Conte have identified over $14 million in projects as current and available priority opportunities within the Refuge," wrote the senators. "These land trusts have added a combined total of more than 350,000 acres to the conservation estate basin-wide, providing recreational opportunities to the more than 2.3 million people who live in the basin and another 70 million who live within a day's drive of these properties. While we continue to work to reauthorize and for full funding for LWCF, we hope you will continue to put forward adequate funding for the Conte Refuge."

The full text of the letter is below:

The Honorable Sally Jewell

Secretary

Department of the Interior

1849 C Street NW

Washington DC 20240

Dear Secretary Jewell:

As elected representatives of the four states encompassing the boundaries of the Connecticut River Watershed and the Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge, we write to urge you to provide sufficient funding in your FY17 budget to support the Refuge.

We thank you for including $2 million in the President's FY 16 budget in Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) last fiscal year. While we continue to advocate to our colleagues on the appropriations committee, Conte Refuge has not ranked high enough on the project list to receive funding for FY16. We hope you will consider moving the Refuge higher on the list of priority projects for LWCF funding. The current need for the Refuge is acute: Fish and Wildlife Service staff and the non-governmental partner groups composing the Friends of Conte have identified over $14 million in projects as current and available priority opportunities within the Refuge.

Because of the many local, state, and federal partnerships in this watershed, the Conte Refuge presents a unique opportunity to leverage additional non-Federal funding. Additionally, members of the land trust community from throughout the basin routinely assist the Refuge in identifying properties and working with landowners towards federal ownership, lowering staff time and costs to the Service. These land trusts also have added a combined total of more than 350,000 acres to the conservation estate basin-wide, providing recreational opportunities to the more than 2.3 million people who live in the basin and another 70 million who live within a day's drive of these properties.

While we continue to work to reauthorize and for full funding for LWCF, we hope you will continue to put forward adequate funding for the Conte Refuge. We look forward to working with you during the final steps of the FY16 and through the FY17 appropriations process.


Source:
Skip to top

Help us stay free for all your Fellow Americans

Just $5 from everyone reading this would do it.

Thank You!

You are about to be redirected to a secure checkout page.

Please note:

The total order amount will read $0.01. This is a card processor fee. Please know that a recurring donation of the amount and frequency that you selected will be processed and initiated tomorrow. You may see a one-time charge of $0.01 on your statement.

Continue to secure page »

Back to top