BOZEMAN - If Congress complies with the conservation community’s recommendations for 2011, forest restoration and road remediation in Montana could soon represent a stronger economic engine for the state.
WASHINGTON – After eight years coming up on the short end of Halloween-like pranks, the Interior Department and Forest Service are getting a treat this year – a $4.6 billion funding increase for 2010. The 16.8-percent increase passed by both the U.S. House and Senate today will provide a much needed boost for a wide range of initiatives including wildfire suppression, climate change research and the National Wildlife Refuge System.
Washington, D.C. was abuzz this month with ranchers, lawyers, land owners and sportsman to advocate for full and dedicated funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
“Walking the marble halls of Congress was quite a change of pace from my usual day to day conservation work in western North Carolina,” recalls Kieran Roe of the North Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy who brought his immense energy and passion for protecting land with him all the way to Senator Burr’s (R-NC) office.
Wildlife, wildfire suppression, climate change research and other natural resource programs get a much-needed boost in funding in the 2010 Interior Appropriations bill. The 16.8 percent increase is a welcome change after eight years of inadequate funding that had led to the shutdown of some National Wildlife Refuges and research programs, as well as shortfalls in funding for firefighting on public lands.
As the hot muggy days of summer descend upon our great nation’s capital, I find my mind wandering back to a little cabin in the woods of Maine. The place was nothing fancy; it was a real sweep-the-leaves-off-out-from-the corners kind of deal. But I’d be hard pressed to find better summertime memories than running wild under the cool pine trees and the way the chilly lake took my breath away every time I went crashing into its waters.