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E-M:/ "bait & switch" on funds for state land protection



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Enviro-Mich message from "Anne Woiwode" <anne.woiwode@sierraclub.org>
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Enviro-Mich -- I don't have the details about this for Michigan, but clearly
it will have a negative effect -- more green washing -- AW

For Immediate Release: June 21, 2001
Contact: Allen Mattison, 202-675-7903

                President Plays Bait and Switch with Conservation Funds

Bush Administration Uses Land and Water Conservation Fund in Budget-Cut
Shell Game

Birmingham, AL -- While President Bush is claiming his budget fully funds
the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), the Bush Administration is
actually cutting funding for federal land purchases.  Appearing before
cameras at Alabama's Oak Mountain State Park, Bush today trumpets "full
funding" for the LWCF at $900 million, but in fact his budget proposal
would take money from other important conservation programs to fund LWCF,
and would actually decrease funding for the critical federal portion of
LWCF.

"It would be more honest for the President to label his budget what it is
-- a serious cut in the federal commitment to protect our National Parks,
wildlife refuges and other special places for all Americans," said Carl
Pope, Sierra Club Executive Director.  "Robbing popular conservation
programs to claim full funding for LWCF is one more bait and switch by the
Bush administration.  While he's increasing a little in one pot of money,
he's slashing funding for public lands protection elsewhere.  Americans
won't be fooled by his token actions and photo shoots -- they clearly see
the full picture of President Bush's failure to protect the environment."

The Bush budget would provide more money to states to spend from the LWCF,
but only by shortchanging other crucial federal conservation programs,
including the program that funds federal land acquisitions needed to
protect our National Parks, wildlife refuges, and other public lands.
Federal land management agencies are in desperate need of federal dollars
to carry out these critical acquisitions

In addition, the Administration's LWCF proposal plays a budgetary shell
game.  The proposal lumps other important conservation programs into the
LWCF account without adding enough money to fund those programs.

For example, other conservation programs that would be victim to Bush's
shell game include the program to provide wildlife protection grants to
states.  Last year, the Interior Department budget gave $100 million to the
state wildlife protection program.  This year, the Bush budget gives
Interior no money for this wildlife protection program.  Instead, if states
want to fund these wildlife protections, they would have to take the money
from their LWCF grant.

"Last year, Congress reached a historic, balanced and bipartisan
conservation funding agreement, committing $12 billion over 6 years to the
Land and Water Conservation Fund and other valued conservation programs,"
Pope added.  "Now not only does President Bush reject this agreement, but
he puts less money on the table and tries to call it more.  When it comes
to the National Parks and wildlands we leave for our children, Americans
want honesty, not pretty photo-ops that hide budgetary double-counting."
                               ###



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