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Teaming With Wildlife Update
The Senate and House passed and the President will sign (today by electronic pen) a minibus that concludes three of the 12 annual appropriations bills for FY12 (Agriculture, Commerce Justice Science, Transportation-HUD). The bill includes significant cuts to Farmbill Conservation Title Programs (see below). The spending bill also includes an extension to the CR (that expires tonight) until December 16th. Since work as stalled on a second minibus for energy and water programs, it is growing more likely that the remaining spending bills (including Interior) will be bundled into a military spending bill that would serve as a vehicle for an end of the year omnibus. So there is still time to weigh in with your members about State Wildlife Grants. We would like them to support funding levels in the Senate Interior & Environment draft of $61.4M for SWG. Thanks to Missouri for sending letters up to their entire delegation this month.
Competitive State Wildlife Grants (CFDA # 15.634) : The FWS is seeking proposals for the FY12 state competitive grants program. Go to http://www.grants.gov/ for more information. Grant requests can range from $300K-$1M. For more information contact Paul VanRyzin, FWS Grants Specialist, 703-358-1849 or by email at email@example.com. The deadline to apply is January 20, 2012.
Adaptation Policy: Some good news on the adaptation front. Senators Whitehouse (RI) and Baucus (MT) introduced the Safeguarding America’s Future and Environment” Act (“SAFE Act”) that is essentially the streamlined portion of natural resources adaptation language that was part of the Climate Security Act. The bill (S.1881) would require federal natural resource agencies to plan for the projected long-term effects of climate change and encourage states to prepare natural resources adaptation plans. Language in the bill would require that adaptation strategies included in State Wildlife Action Plans be used to inform state adaptation plans. Although there is no revenue stream identified in the bill, if funding were to become available it would be made available through the State Wildlife Grants program.
Adaptation Planning: During November, states are being given the opportunity to review the National Fish, Wildlife, and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy. Go to http://www.wildlifeadaptationstrategy.gov/ to download a copy. Contact Arpita Choudhury (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Devon Ryan (email@example.com) for more information.
Teaming With Wildlife Fly-in
I hope many of you and/or your partners can make the 2012 Teaming With Wildlife Fly-in. The dates this year are February 28-29, 2012. This event provides an important opportunity to let members of Congress in your state know the importance of the State & Tribal Wildlife Grants Program. It is our best opportunity to put a face on your important work. You can register for the Fly-in at www.teaming.com.
Cuts to Farmbill Conservation Programs: AFWA hosted an informative webinar on Wildlife Action Plans and the Farmbill earlier this month. Thanks to everyone who participated. I hope it encourages more states to pursue USDA funding for SWAP implementation. Although unfortunately there will be less funding available for Farmbill conservation title programs in FY12, it is still a significant source to implement SWAPs. Below is a summary of the cuts to conservation programs for FY12.
- Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) cut by $75.5 million, roughly 9 percent, relative to its FY 2012 farm bill-mandated level. This cut will reduce the size of the 2012 CSP sign-up by more than 30 percent.
- Cuts the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) by $350 million, or 20 percent.
- Cuts the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) by roughly $200 million (32 percent)
- Cuts the Grasslands Reserve Program (GRP) by $30 million (25 percent)
- Cuts the Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program (FRPP) by $50 million (25 percent)
- Cuts the Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP) by $35 million (41 percent)
- Eliminates the Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program (VPA-HIP)
I’m on an advisory committee to the Climate Adaptation Knowledge Exchange. If you have not been to this site in some time, check it out. They are looking for more examples of adaptation work by state fish and wildlife agencies and their partners. Here is the link. http://www.cakex.org/
Mark Humpert, Teaming With Wildlife Director firstname.lastname@example.org
Mary Pfaffko, Teaming With Wildlife Associate email@example.com
Liz Skipper, Administrative Assistant firstname.lastname@example.org