Jay DeLong (
Thu, 25 Jan 2001 09:46:25 -0800

Text Of Letter To President Bush
January 22, 2001

Dear Mr. President:
As you prepare your Administration's agenda for 2001, we want to call to
your attention a piece of conservation legislation that exemplifies the
principles you articulated regarding investment in state-based conservation
initiatives including full funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund
(LWCF). The Conservation and Reinvestment Act, known as CARA, has proven to
be the most substantial environmental legislation to come before Congress
in decades. As passed by the House of Representatives, CARA would provide
permanent funding for some of our most important (and often neglected)
conservation and recreation programs, including coastal impact assistance,
coastal restoration, full funding of the LWCF and increasing the federal
investment in state wildlife programs. A summary of H.R. 701 from the 106th
Congress is attached for your review.

The passage of CARA was made possible only by a uniquely broad bipartisan
coalition both inside and outside of the Congress. While the bill had
opposition from both liberal and conservative activists, it overwhelmingly
passed the House by a vote of 315-102. This super-majority coalition
included a majority of both Republicans and Democrats, and was backed by
the vigorous support of more than 6,000 conservation and recreation
organizations, all 50 states and the nation's counties and mayors.
Because Senate action was not completed, several components of CARA were
only partially addressed on a temporary basis as part of the FY 2001
appropriations process. These one-year provisions have only heightened the
overall desire to enact a comprehensive bill.

Mr. President, we firmly believe that your Administration, the Congress and
the American people would be well served to have a common-sense
environmental bill as a key component of your first agenda. With your
active support, we both believe CARA can be enacted early in the 107th
Congress. We stand ready to work with you, and would be pleased to meet
with whomever you designate to discuss any substantive or procedural issues
you may have.

We appreciate your consideration of our offer, and look forward to working
with you to move our nation's conservation legacy forward.


/s/ /s/
Don Young, M.C. John Dingell, M.C.

CARA Proponents Seek To Enlist Bush Support For Plan
The sponsors of a sweeping land conservation bill urged President Bush
Monday to make the bipartisan Conservation and Reinvestment Act a top
priority for his first 100 days. "We firmly believe that your
administration, the Congress and the American people would be well served
to have a common-sense
environmental bill as a key component of your first agenda," wrote
Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Young and Energy and Commerce
ranking member John Dingell, D-Mich., in a letter to the White House. Last
year, Young and Dingell moved the bill through the House after rallying
more than 300 House members to endorse it. More than 60 senators and all 50
governors - including Bush - supported the bill, but it was blocked in the
Senate by a group of conservatives. The measure would earmark $3 billion in
funding for key environmental programs, land conservation and other
spending projects.

Now Young and Dingell hope to save CARA from extinction by persuading Bush
to endorse the bill publicly. During the presidential campaign, Bush
praised the bill generally and singled out several provisions. For example,
he regularly called on Congress to fully fund the Land and Water
Conservation Fund, a federal environmental program paid for with royalties
from offshore oil drilling. Supporters of CARA believe their prospects have
improved in the Senate this year because Senate Democrats are now allowed
to call up the legislation for a vote. Also, the bill's leading opponent,
Sen. Slade Gorton, R-Wash., lost his re-
election campaign. Young and Dingell plan to reintroduce the bill as H.R.
701 - the same number as last year's measure - when that bill number
becomes available in mid-February. - by Brody Mullins
Naomi Edelson
International Assn. of Fish and Wildlife Agencies
444 N. Capitol St., NW
Suite 544
Washington DC 20001
tel: (202) 624-7890
fax: (202) 624-7891
IAFWA Website:
Check out the Teaming with Wildlife web site:

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