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Oversight Hearing on "Buying More Land When We Can't Maintain What We Already Own: The National Wildlife Refuge System's Operations and Maintenance Backlog Story!"
Thursday, May 26, 2011 1:00 PM
Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs
1334 Longworth House Office Building


SUBCOMMITTEE ON FISHERIES, WILDLIFE, OCEANS AND INSULAR AFFAIRS
1334 Longworth House Office Building
Thursday, May 26, 2011
1:00 p.m.

OVERSIGHT HEARING ON:

  • "Buying More Land When We Can't Maintain What We Already Own: The National Wildlife Refuge System's Operations and Maintenance Backlog Story"

OPENING STATMENT:

The Honorable John Fleming
Chairman

WITNESSES AND TESTIMONY:

Panel I

James W. Kurth
Acting Assistant Director, National Wildlife Refuge
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Jamie Rappaport Clark
Executive Vice President
Defenders of Wildlife
(Truth in Testimony Form)

Dan Forster
Director
Wildlife Resources Division
Georgia Department of Natural Resources

Susan Recce
Director, Division of Conservation, Wildlife and Natural Resources
Institute for Legislative Action
National Rifle Association
(Truth in Testimony Form)

The Honorable William P. Horn
Counsel
U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance
(Truth in Testimony Form)

BACKGROUND:

Over the past fifteen years, the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has acquired, through fee title and conservation easements, 592,529 acres of private lands at a cost of $701.6 million to U.S. taxpayers. Due to expenses associated with operating and maintaining the refuges, FWS’ operations and maintenance backlog has grown to $3.35 billion within 553 refuges - over seven times what it was only fifteen years ago. Preservation and operation of the refuges have suffered as a result of the ballooning backlog, resulting in a logjam of deferred maintenance projects.

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