Presentation on theme: "The National Wildlife Refuges in Maryland face a $50.6 million budget shortfall Maryland is home to five national wildlife refuges, which provide habitat."— Presentation transcript:
The National Wildlife Refuges in Maryland face a $50.6 million budget shortfall Maryland is home to five national wildlife refuges, which provide habitat for hundreds of migratory bird species for breeding, migration and wintering periods. Refuges in Maryland support a wide diversity of wildlife in forest, meadow, wetland and other habitats throughout the state. Approximately 450,000 refuge visitors enjoy hiking, bird watching, environmental education, and other recreational opportunities on Maryland refuges each year. The Refuge System in Maryland has identified: $50.6 million and 9 staff positions in unmet high priority needs. This shortfall prevents the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from adequately managing and restoring wildlife habitat, safely maintaining facilities and providing quality recreational programs. Unfortunately, the Refuge System budget has remained relatively flat for the last two years. Due to rising costs, a flat budget erodes each refuge’s base funding, preventing vital positions from being filled and projects from being completed. The Refuge System in Maryland needs a $258,000 increase each year just to retain current services. Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, Maryland Patuxent Research Refuge, the only refuge established to support wildlife research, needs funding for the monitoring and control of invasive species. Currently, no baseline data exists for invasives on the refuge. Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge and other refuges in the Chesapeake Marshlands National Wildlife Refuge Complex need funding for 8 staff positions, including biologist and outdoor recreation planner positions. Staff is needed to provide services for the 213,000 annual visitors. National Wildlife Refuges: Maryland Funding Crisis
National Wildlife Refuge Funding Crisis About C.A.R.E CARE is a unique coalition of 21 conservation, scientific, sporting, and recreation organizations with more than 5 million members across the United States. CARE has been working since 1995 to help the National Wildlife Refuge System fight a serious funding crisis. American Birding Association American Fisheries Society American Sportfishing Association Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation Defenders of Wildlife Ducks Unlimited International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Izaak Walton League of America National Association of Service and Conservation Corps National Audubon Society National Rifle Association of America National Wildlife Federation National Wildlife Refuge Association Safari Club International The Wilderness Society The Wildlife Society Trout Unlimited U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance Assateague Coastal Trust Wildlife Forever Wildlife Management Institute 1010 Wisconsin Avenue, NW, Suite 200 Washington, DC Phone: Fax: Web: CareHome.html CARE recommends a $700 million annual operations and maintenance budget for the Refuge System The National Wildlife Refuge System faces a crippling $3 billion operations and maintenance budget shortfall, which continues to grow. An annual increase of $300 million will prevent the Refuge System from spiraling into more debt and allow the Fish and Wildlife Service to begin restoring habitat, maintaining facilities and expanding public use opportunities that have languished due to lack of funds. Faced with a flattened budget and increased costs, in just three years 74% of the refuges in the northeast will be bankrupt, according to a Fish and Wildlife Service analysis. Other regions are facing similar problems. Able to absorb some budget pressure over the years, refuges have reached a threshold forcing the Fish and Wildlife Service to de-staff entire refuges, and cut visitor services and habitat management at scores of refuges. Investing in refuges is good for communities and for wildlife National Wildlife Refuges are economic engines in many rural areas. According to a recently released economic analysis, Banking on Nature, by the Fish and Wildlife Service: Recreational visits to national wildlife refuges generate substantial economic activity. In FY 2004, more than 36.7 million people visited refuges for recreation. Their spending generated $1.37 billion of sales in regional economies. As this spending flowed through the economy, nearly 24,000 people were employed and $453.9 million in employment income was generated. At Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, for every $1 spent on the refuge’s budget, almost $3 are generated in recreational expenditures to the local economy. Almost one half million dollars of local tax revenues are generated through recreational expenditures.