Thursday, November 09, 2006

Sad News for NWR's

Here in NJ, we're lucky to have several great National Wildlife Refuges including the famous Edwin B. Forsythe Refuge, Wallkill, Supawna Meadows, Cape May, and the Great Swamp (where I learned to bird). All of these refuges offer wonderful wildlife viewing opportunities, hiking, hunting, and other outdoor activities. Unfortunately, our government doesn't see it that way. According to this article, staffing at some of these refuges is being cut back to minimal amounts due to federal downsizing. They are understaffed to the point of being almost inoperable.

After doing some research, I found that these budget cuts are not limited to NJ. Here are articles about budget cuts at NWR's across the country:

Savannah NWR in Georgia (where I just visited this summer)
Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge in Florida
Ding Darling in Florida
Alligator River in North Carolina
Pelican Island (the first NWR), Archie Carr and Hobe Sound in Florida

It seems that a 10 % across-the-board cutback in funding for the National Wildlife Refuge System that was announced on November 1 is trickling down to these refuges. It's a shame that one of the great treasures of our nation, the National Wildlife Refuge System, is being affected by this. I think Grady Horcutt, a former refuge managers said it best. “Redirecting a tiny fraction of what audits show is wasted or stolen in Iraq would allow for full funding of all refuge system needs,” added Hocutt, noting that the U.S. is spending an estimated $177 million per day in Iraq. “If Teddy Roosevelt knew what was happening to his legacy, he would be spinning in his grave.”

5 comments:

Beth said...

That's just sad.

Laura Erickson said...

I just linked to this important post on my own blog. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Some of the millions of dollars wasted on political campaigns could go to help purchase more land and fund valuable programs like the NWR system. Or maybe the NWR system should not be run by the government and instead by an organization such as The Nature Conservancy...
Always seems like there is more bad news than good when it involves our natural world...

Susan Gets Native said...

Oh, for goodness sake. I just hate the government sometimes.

Patrick Belardo said...

Laura,
Thanks for spreading the word.

Birdfreak,
That's an interesting proposal about TNC. Where would they get their money though?

Susan,
Me too!!!