Texas Alliance for America's Fish and Wildlife
by John Rich
Back in August the club received an e-mail requesting that we join the "Texas Alliance for America's Fish and Wildlife". Various board members have spent time researching this organization since then, in order to make our decision on this request.
This is their own description of the organization:
We are a coalition of diverse organizations, businesses and interests who support dedicated state funding for wildlife conservation, nature education, and outdoor recreation in Texas. We are advocating for Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, introduced bipartisan legislation that would annually dedicate $1.3 billion dollars to wildlife conservation across the US, and would bring more than $63 million dollars per year to Texas. Those funds would be available to agencies, conservation organizations, nature centers, private landowners, etc. through grants to help recover the over 1,300 at-risk fish and wildlife in our state.
Of interest to canoers and kayakers, 10% of these funds will go towards projects that increase public access to wildlife viewing, like canoe trails and associated programs. This is why we are reaching out to outdoor recreation groups like yours, who not only love to spend time in nature, but also care deeply about our state’s wildlife.
Organizations in our alliance can get as involved as they would like – or they can simply receive updates. Ideally, we would love it if folks reach out to their local congress members to ask them to cosponsor this bill (HR 4647). For example, we are grateful if our alliance members increase awareness about the legislation with their membership, like through information in their newsletters.
Please take a moment to watch this wonderful Texas Parks and Wildlife video about Recovering America’s Wildlife Act to learn more.
The funding for this action would come from existing royalties paid to the federal government from energy and mineral production. These oil and gas revenues go into the general fund in the treasury, and would be taken from there. You can review the proposed legislation here: HR 4647.
After several months of deliberation, the Board has decided to allow our club name to be added to the list of supporters of this legislation. We consider this similar to the club's support for other programs like the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, or efforts to clean up Galveston Bay. There is no cost to the club for this, and it does not violate our duties to the IRS as a non-profit organization.
|The author, John Rich