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E-M:/ [Fwd: SIGN-ON LETTER: Sign to Support Resources 2000 LWCF Bills]



25+ groups in Michigan are already signed onto this letter, but we need
more.  Resources 2000 brings $52 million to Michigan for native fish and
wildlife protection, conservation and restoration (about $20 million
more than competing bills).  Also grants are available for open space
and farmland preservation, key provisions helping to stop sprawl.

Get back to me with any questions,
John Sanders
GREEN
(608) 294 6871

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June 22, 1999

Folks, 

In the next month we expect Congress to begin consideration of 
legislation that will permanently and fully fund the Land and Water 
Conservation Fund.  There are several bills that have been introduced 
that would achieve this goal.  However some of these bills have 
provisions that are objectionable to many within the conservation and 
the environmental communities.  

For example, a bill (H.R. 701) sponsored by our long time friend 
Representative Don Young (R-AK) would fund the LWCF, but would also 
place tough restrictions on how and where the funds could be spent. 
Young's bill would create incentives for states to end offshore oil 
drilling moratoria and allow the use of funds for additional coastal 
development.  A Senate bill introduced by Senator Mary Landrieu (D- LA) 
contains these same bad provisions.  Both of these bills are using the 
laudable goal of a fully funded Land and Water Conservation Fund to 
hide their attempts to use oil royalty monies to further develop our 
coastlines and to restrict the federal protection of wildlife habitat. 

We have also heard that potential LWCF legislation might contain a "no 
net gain" of federal lands provision.  This would mean that before 
funds could be spent on purchasing important parcels of land, the 
federal government would have to identify an equal amount of land to be 
sold or handed over to the states or private interests.  This proposal 
is just totally nuts!!  If enacted, it would dramatically threaten 
efforts to protect wildlife and wildlands.  

Thankfully there is LWCF legislation that does not contain harmful 
language.  California Representative George Miller and Senator Barbara 
Boxer have introduced legislation (H.R. 798 and S. 446) known as 
Resources 2000 that not only fully and permanently funds the Land and 
Water Conservation Fund, but also provides millions more for additional 
conservation programs.  Their bills contain funds for endangered 
species protection, farmland and open space protections, marine 
wildlife protection, and federal lands restoration.  And both bills 
would ensure funds are diverted to the states for the protection of 
non-game wildlife.  

We must support legislation that would fully fund the Land and Water 
Conservation Fund without onerous restrictions that jeopardize 
conservation.  In other words:  Resources 2000.  In the next few weeks 
Representative Young will be turning to Representative Miller for 
support to move some sort of LWCF legislation.  Please voice your 
support for Resources 2000 and send a message to Young and his cronies 
that you cannot accept his arbitrary restrictions on LWCF and that you 
do not support additional development of our coastlines.  

Please support the best piece of LWCF conservation legislation by 
signing the attached letter by June 30th.  

Thanks,

Roger Featherstone
GREEN Director


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
GREEN is a project of Defenders of Wildlife designed to serve 
grassroots wildlife and wildlands advocates.  GREEN policy positions do 
not necessarily represent those of Defenders of Wildlife. 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

WHAT YOU CAN DO

1) Sign your organization on to the following letter that will be sent 
to Congress next week.  Send your name (or a contact name to place on 
the letter), organization, and address to gclouser@defenders.org.  

2) After signing on, use the text of the letter as a sample to send to 
your Congressional delegation.   Be sure to send the letter to your 
Congress member and both of your Senators.

3)  If you do not have a group, or cannot get your group to sign the 
letter by the deadline, use the letter as a sample for your own letter.  
Be sure to send the letter to your Congress member and both of your 
Senators.

Deadline for this letter is Wednesday June 30th.  

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
SIGN ON LETTER TO CONGRESS

June  X, 1999

Senator X
U.S. Senate or 
Washington, DC 20510

or

The Honorable X
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

Dear XX:

We are writing to you today to urge you to cosponsor (H.R. 798 or S. 
446), also known as the Resources 2000 Act.  Almost 40 years ago 
Congress created the Land and Water Conservation Fund to protect 
"irreplaceable lands of natural beauty and unique recreational value" 
for future generations.  But for the past two decades Congress has left 
this promise unfulfilled.  The Land and Water Conservation Fund has 
consistently been robbed to pay for non-conservation programs.  
Consequently, many areas of natural beauty and ecological importance 
have been denied the permanent protections they deserve.   

Last November voters from California to New Jersey approved more than 
150 state and local ballot measures to protect, conserve, and improve 
parks, open space, farmlands, historic resources, watersheds, 
greenways, wildlife habitats, and other environmental enhancements.  
Today we are experiencing the first budget surplus in 29 years.  Now is 
the time to fulfill the promise made almost 40 years ago.  We must 
establish a fully- and permanently-funded Land and Water Conservation 
Fund and dedicated funding for programs protecting our nation's 
wildlands, farmlands, historic sites, endangered species and other 
wildlife.  

The Resources 2000 Act will do just that.  Introduced by (Senator 
Barbara Boxer or Congressman George Miller), this bill enhances the 
protection of our public lands, empowers states, local governments and 
non-profit organizations to protect local open spaces, provides outdoor 
recreational opportunities, preserves our national heritage of farmland 
and historic places, creates incentives for private landowners to 
protect endangered species, and ensures permanent protection of 
wildlife and marine resources.

We strongly support the Resources 2000 Act over other alternatives 
currently before Congress.  (Congressman Don Young or Senator Mary 
Landrieu) introduced an alternative bill (H.R. 701 or S. 25), which 
takes a step in the right direction but contains objectionable 
provisions that detracts from any positive potential.  His/Her bill 
would devote considerable amounts of money to "coastal impact 
assistance," which would largely benefit only a few coastal states and 
create incentives for new offshore oil drilling.  In addition, this 
money could be spent on further developing coastlines rather than 
restoring coasts from the impacts of offshore drilling.  (H.R. 701 or 
S. 25) also places onerous restrictions on the disbursement of LWCF 
funds.  It would require 2/3 of LWCF monies be spent east of the 100th 
meridian and require separate Congressional approval for expenditures 
of $1 million or more ($5 million in the Senate bill).  This 
unnecessarily complicates and delays important acquisitions that may 
already take more than two years to complete.  While (S. 25 and H.R. 
701) does provide significant monies to the states for wildlife 
conservation, it does not require states to implement comprehensive 
conservation plans to ensure the funds are used to address the unmet 
needs of our nation's wildlife, including non-game species.  Finally, 
(S. 25 nor H.R. 701) fails to provide funding for farmland, ocean 
wildlife, historic preservation, or endangered species protections. 

The Resources 2000 Act clearly benefits more states with more funds 
necessary for open space and wildlife habitat protections.  It 
distributes funds to states and local governments, non-profit 
organizations and private citizens through general and competitive 
grants.  Not only are the LWCF funding levels higher in the Resources 
2000 Act, but there are no arbitrary restrictions placed on where and 
how funds could be used.  The Resources 2000 Act contains absolutely no 
incentives for states to end current offshore oil drilling moratoria, 
and monies given to state wildlife agencies would be used to develop 
and implement comprehensive conservation plans to ensure the needs of 
non-game species are met.  

Once you take a close look at each of these bills, we are confident you 
will agree the Resources 2000 Act best fulfills the promise made 40 
years ago to protect America's natural heritage. We applaud the efforts 
of (Boxer or Miller ) to fulfill the legacy of the Land and Water 
Conservation Fund without creating incentives to further despoil the 
environment.  Resources 2000 presents a rare opportunity to create a 
conservation legacy for the next millennium.  We urge you to cosponsor 
this landmark legislation.

Respectfully, 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Roger Featherstone, GREEN Director
PO Box 40046, Albuquerque, NM 87196-0046
(505) 255-5966 x102  fax, (505) 255-5953 rfeather@defenders.org
http://www.defenders.org/grnhome.html
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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