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NFC: rivers funding
> PLEASE SIGN ON IN SUPPORT BY WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2000!
> Dear FY'01 River Budget Supporter:
> Although FY'01 has not yet begun, it is already time to begin looking
> ahead to funding priorities for river conservation for FY'02. Presented
> here is an overview of American Rivers' River Budget: National
> for Local River Conservation in FY'02, which identifies key federal
> programs supporting river conservation and restoration for the next
> fiscal year. (The full DRAFT document will soon be on our website at
> www.americanrivers.org) During the past five years, the River Budget
> helped protect and restore rivers by directing federal dollars toward
> federal programs that significantly affect river health.
> The strength and success of the River Budget is primarily because of
> More than 455 groups signed on in support last year. This is three
> the number from the previous year. Our goal for 2000 is to double this
> number yet again. A large, unified voice is the most effective way to
> communicate to Congress and the Administration the importance of river
> issues during the budget process.
> Please read the enclosed overview (the full DRAFT document online at
> www.americanrivers.org as of September 5) and contact me if you would
> like to support the River Budget for FY'02. You can sign on by phone,
> email, or fax. Please note that the overview and online version of the
> River Budget for FY'02 are in DRAFT FORM. Most federal appropriations
> FY'01, as well as a few final funding recommendations for FY'02, have
> been finalized and are subject to some change.
> To sign on in support, please contact me with your organizational
> information NO LATER THAN SEPTEMBER 27, 2000 to be listed in the
> version of the River Budget for FY'02. You can sign on by phone at
> 202-347-7550 x 3040, by fax at 202-347-9240, or by email at
> smcdowell at amrivers_org <mailto:smcdowell at amrivers_org>. All groups that
> sign on after September 27 will be listed on the Web page and on an
> addendum sheet. I look forward to hearing from you.
> Suzy McDowell
> Associate Director of Outreach
> RIVER BUDGET FOR FY'02 DRAFT OVERVIEW:
> Agriculture-Rural Development-Related Agencies -- ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY
> INCENTIVES PROGRAM (EQIP)
> Overview: EQIP is a voluntary conservation program designed to help
> farmers and ranchers facing threats to soil, water, and other natural
> resources develop successful resource conservation practices.
> Recommendation: Congress should support $400,000,000 for EQIP.
> Agriculture-Rural Development-Related Agencies -- WILDLIFE HABITAT
> INCENTIVES PROGRAM (WHIP)
> Overview: WHIP offers landowners technical and financial assistance to
> voluntarily improve fish and wildlife habitat on eligible lands,
> improve the quality of life for participants and boost local economies.
> Recommendation: Due to its popularity, WHIP exhausted the $50 million
> appropriated for 1997-2002 in two years. Congress should appropriate
> million for WHIP.
> Agriculture-Rural Development-Related Agencies - WETLANDS RESERVE
> Overview: Wetlands are a critical component of many ecosystems,
> myriad benefits for people and wildlife. Through the Wetlands Reserve
> Program (WRP), NRCS provides volunteer landowners with technical and
> financial assistance to restore and protect wetlands.
> Recommendation: By the end of 2000, WRP will have enrolled 935,000
> leaving just 40,000 more acres before the program hits a ceiling of
> 975,000 acres by 2002. Congress should eliminate the program's total
> acreage cap and allow WRP to enroll 250,000 acres annually.
> Agriculture-Rural Development-Related Agencies - CONSERVATION RESERVE
> Overview: One of the federal government's largest and most effective
> environmental improvement programs, the Conservation Reserve Program
> partners the USDA with farmers and ranchers to help protect millions of
> acres of the nation's agricultural lands from erosion while increasing
> wildlife habitat and protecting water quality.
> Recommendation: Through October 2000, CRP will have enrolled
> approximately 33.5 million acres. Congress should expand the program's
> acreage limit to 40 million acres.
> Commerce, Justice, State, and the Judiciary - COMMUNITY-BASED
> Overview: The Community-Based Restoration Program, run by the National
> Marine Fisheries Service, reaches out to local constituencies to
> estuaries and coastal habitats. To date, the program has funded 84
> projects, promoting fishery habitat restoration in coastal areas with a
> grassroots, bottom-up approach.
> Recommendation: Congress should provide the Community-Based Restoration
> Program with $4 million.
> Commerce, Justice, State, and the Judiciary - PACIFIC COASTAL SALMON
> RECOVERY FUND
> Overview: The Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund is an important
> program aimed at helping restore endangered and threatened runs of wild
> steelhead and salmon. This program provides much-needed assistance to
> state, local, and tribal governments in Washington, Alaska, California,
> and Oregon for salmon recovery projects.
> Recommendation: Congress should appropriate $200 million for the
> Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund.
> Energy and Water Development - NORTHWEST COASTAL ESTUARY PROGRAM
> Overview: The Northwest Coastal Estuary Program, run by the Army Corps
> Engineers, is a stakeholder driven program that helps enhance fish and
> wildlife habitat on the Lower Columbia River and Tillamook Bay.
> Adequately funded, the program will restore more than 16,000 acres of
> critical fish and wildlife habitat, augment existing monitoring
> and help citizens protect resources.
> Recommendation: Congress should appropriate $35 million for the
> Coastal Estuary Program.
> Energy and Water Development - OHIO RIVER ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION PROGRAM
> Overview: The Ohio River Ecosystem Restoration program partners the
> and other federal agencies with non-federal entities to create and
> protect side channels, islands, sandbars, gravel spawning substrate,
> bottomland hardwoods, and floodplain wetlands to aid fish and wildlife
> Recommendation: Congress should appropriate $10 million for Ohio River
> Ecosystem Restoration.
> Energy and Water Development -- ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAM (EMP)
> Overview: EMP is the primary habitat restoration/monitoring program on
> the Upper Mississippi. When current projects are completed, it will
> protected more than 96,000 acres of habitat.
> Recommendation: Congress and the Administration should support $25
> million for EMP.
> Energy and Water Development -- SECTION 1135, SECTION 206, CHALLENGE 21
> Overview: -- The Corps increasingly has engaged in the restoration of
> river systems degraded by existing Corps projects. The Section 1135
> program modifies existing dams and flood control projects to increase
> habitat for fish and wildlife without interrupting a project's original
> purpose. The Section 206 program restores aquatic habitat regardless of
> past activities by the Corps. The Challenge 21 Initiative helps
> frequently flooded homes and restore riparian habitat.
> Recommendation: Both Section 1135 and Section 206 should be fully
> at $25 million each. Challenge 21 should be funded at $30 million.
> Energy and Water Development -- MISSOURI RIVER FISH AND WILDLIFE
> Overview: The Missouri River Fish and Wildlife Mitigation Project helps
> reverse the impacts of lower river channelization and bank
> through land acquisition from willing sellers.
> Recommendation: Congress should appropriate $20 million for the
> River Fish and Wildlife Mitigation Project to increase habitat
> restoration and bring communities significant economic and quality of
> life benefits.
> Energy and Water Development -- LOW IMPACT HYDROPOWER CERTIFICATION
> Overview: The Low Impact Hydropower Certification Program helps
> and power generators evaluate their options for creating and purchasing
> power. The goals of the program are to reduce the environmental impacts
> of hydropower generation and create a credible and accepted standard
> customer evaluation of hydropower.
> Recommendation: Congress should appropriate $100,000 for the Low Impact
> Hydropower Certification Program.
> Interior and Related Agencies -- LAND AND WATER CONSERVATION FUND
> Overview: LWCF, a key tool in protecting open spaces, provides much
> needed dollars for purchasing ecologically important lands from willing
> sellers. Using LWCF dollars, the federal government has acquired more
> than 3.4 million acres. An appropriations shortfall by Congress has
> caused a backlog of $10-12 billion in unfulfilled projects.
> Recommendation: Congress should fully fund LWCF at $900 million.
> Department of Interior and Related Agencies - STREAM GAGING NETWORK
> Overview: Information provided by the nation's stream gaging network is
> essential for habitat preservation, water quality, recreation,
> agriculture, industry, water supply, navigation, and flood hazard
> Recommendation: Congress should provide USGS with $40.5 million to
> the stream gaging network to account for flows out of major river
> support water quality monitoring, document flows for treaties and
> compacts, forecast floods, study long-term changes in flow conditions,
> and more.
> Department of Interior and Related Agencies - COASTAL PROGRAM
> Overview: The Fish and Wildlife Service's (FWS) Coastal Program is a
> highly effective partnership that brings together FWS experts, land
> trusts, biologists, and other conservation partners to protect and
> restore valuable fish and wildlife habitat in coastal regions.
> Recommendation: To better protect valuable coastal habitats, Congress
> should appropriate $10 million for the Coastal Program.
> Department of Interior and Related Agencies - IRRIGATION MITIGATION AND
> RESTORATION PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM
> Overview: The Irrigation Mitigation and Restoration Partnership helps
> local governments in OR, WA, MT, ID, and CA construct fish screens and
> related features to reduce irrigation-related fish deaths and help
> farmers remain productive.
> Recommendation: Congress should appropriate $25 million for the
> Irrigation Mitigation and Restoration Partnership.
> Department of Interior and Related Agencies -- PARTNERS FOR FISH AND
> Overview: With two-thirds of US land privately owned, private
> play a key role in maintaining diverse ecosystems and wildlife.
> for Fish and Wildlife is a voluntary land stewardship program aimed at
> restoring and protecting important fish and wildlife habitat.
> Recommendation: Congress should appropriate $35 million for Partners
> Interior Department and Related Agencies -- RIVERS, TRAILS, AND
> CONSERVATION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (RTCA)
> Overview: RTCA provides valuable benefits to communities across the
> country in the form of assistance for park, open space, trail, and
> watershed planning.
> Recommendation: Congress should appropriate $12 million for RTCA so
> the program can address the existing backlog of projects and help
> communities better manage their recreational and natural resources.
> Interior Department and Related Agencies -- WILD AND SCENIC RIVERS
> Overview: The Wild and Scenic Rivers Act protects free-flowing rivers
> prohibiting dams, limiting inappropriate streamside development,
> growth, and maintaining essential non-utilitarian values for designated
> Recommendation - Bureau of Land Management (BLM): Congress should
> BLM with $2.0 million for WSR studies and $3.5 million for BLM
> of designated rivers.
> Recommendation - Forest Service: The Forest Service should increase and
> prioritize spending throughout the agency for management of WSR and
> completing studies of candidate rivers.
> Recommendation - National Park Service (NPS): The NPS should receive
> million for wild and scenic river work.
> VA-HUD-Independent Agencies -- TOTAL MAXIMUM DAILY LOADS (TMDL)
> Overview: One of the most powerful tools to reduce water pollution from
> all sources is the Clean Water Act's (CWA) TMDL provision, which
> states to identify waters that do not meet or are not expected to meet
> state water quality standards and develop and implement a plan - a TMDL
> to correct the water quality violations.
> Recommendation: According to EPA, there are on average 300 impaired
> bodies in each state in need of a TMDL, and this is a very conservative
> estimate. To meet this need, Congress appropriate $400 million for
> Program Management Grants for TMDL development and implementation.
> VA-HUD-Independent Agencies -- NONPOINT SOURCE MANAGEMENT PROGRAM
> Overview: Nonpoint source pollution degrades more water bodies than any
> other source of pollution. EPA's Nonpoint Source Management Program
> states, territories, and Indian Tribes reduce the threat of polluted
> Recommendation: Congress should appropriate $250 million for EPA's
> Nonpoint Source Management Program.
> VA-HUD-Independent Agencies -- CHESAPEAKE BAY PROGRAM
> Overview: The ecological integrity and productivity of the Chesapeake
> watershed have been severely compromised by development, agriculture,
> over-harvesting of resources, and more than 2,500 small dams and other
> obstructions that block migratory fish from their historic spawning
> habitats. The Chesapeake Bay Program focuses on restoring tributaries,
> underwater Bay grasses, and fish passage and on reducing agricultural
> runoff pollution and toxics.
> Recommendation: Congress should provide the Chesapeake Bay Program with
> $30 million.
> VA-HUD-Independent Agencies -- PROJECT IMPACT
> Overview: According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, flood
> damages average more than $4 billion a year. Project Impact helps
> communities dramatically reduce disruption and loss caused by floods
> other natural disasters by restoring and protecting healthy, more
> Recommendation: Congress should appropriate $50 million to expand
> Impact to safeguard people and the environment.
> HYDROPOWER RELICENSING
> Energy and Water Development; Interior-Related Agencies;
> Overview: Dams can benefit society, but they also deplete fisheries,
> degrade river ecosystems, and diminish recreational opportunities. When
> deciding whether to issue a 30-50 year hydropower license, FERC, with
> involvement from key resource agencies, must give equal consideration
> power and to protection of fish and wildlife, recreational
> and other aspects of environmental quality. Thus, the relicensing
> offers a unique opportunity to improve the conditions of rivers.
> Recommendation -FERC: Congress should appropriate $46 million to ensure
> adequate resources to handle the significant increase in relicensing
> Recommendation -Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS): Congress should
> appropriate $2.35 million for to enable the FWS to provide technical
> evaluations of the impacts of hydroelectric projects on fish and
> resources and recommends actions to protect and enhance those
> Recommendation -Forest Service: Congress should appropriate $10 million
> to enable the Forest Service to effectively assess impacts
> projects on Forest Service land that are up for renewal.
> Recommendation -National Park Service (NPS): The NPS should receive
> million for its involvement in hydropower relicensing.
> Recommendation -Bureau of Land Management (BLM): The BLM's mission is
> manage, develop, and protect water and related resources in an
> environmentally and economically sound manner. Congress should
> appropriate $1.125 million for the BLM's work on hydropower
> Recommendation -Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA): Congress should
> appropriate $2 million for BIA involvement in hydropower relicensing.
> Recommendation -- National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS): Congress
> should increase NMFS funding by $2 million over FY'01 to enable the
> to meet its statutory obligations for the many projects coming up for
> relicensing in coastal waters.
> Interior and Related Agency -- NATIONAL FISH AND WILDLIFE FOUNDATION
> Overview: NFWF, a private non-profit organization, provides challenge
> grants for on-the-ground conservation projects and creates partnerships
> among federal, state, and local governments, corporations, private
> foundations, individuals, and non-profit organizations to identify
> problems and potential solutions.
> Recommendation: Congress should fully fund the NFWF at $25 million to
> enable NFWF to meet the significant demand for one-the-ground
> conservation projects and partnership development.
> Suzy McDowell
> Associate Director for Outreach
> American Rivers
> 1025 Vermont Ave, NW, #720
> Washington, DC 20005
> 202-347-7550 x3040
> smcdowell at amrivers_org
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