Juniata Valley Audubon strongly urges Rep. Bill Shuster to oppose HR 3009, the National Wildlife Refuge Review Act of 2011. HR 3009 would effectively halt the growth of the refuge system, which is critical to wildlife conservation and enjoys broad support from American people.
National Wildlife Refuges have been created by both the president and Congress since 1903, but HR 3009 would make it impossible for the president to establish new refuges. This misguided legislation is an affront to the local communities that benefit from these refuges and partake in the public process to create them.
The executive branch - including every president since Theodore Roosevelt - has established 90 percent of all refuges.
The creation of refuges has always been bipartisan, with nearly the same number created by Republican and Democratic administrations, including the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument added by President George W. Bush in 2009.
Further, Congress, with only one dissenting vote, mandated that the refuge system should be strategically grown in the 1997 Refuge Improvement Act. This new bill directly undermines the intent of Congress.
We ask Shuster to oppose HR 3009, which the House Natural Resources Committee is set to vote on this month.