Home > newsroom > Page
National Wildlife Refuge System Understaffed, Poorly Maintained Due to Unsustainable Backlogs, Continual Federal Land Acquisition


WASHINGTON, D.C., May 26, 2011 - Today, the House Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs held a hearing titled “Buying More Land When We Can’t Maintain What We Already Own: The National Wildlife Refuge System’s Operations and Maintenance Backlog Story.” Members heard from the Administration and associated parties on the current state of the System, the affects of the maintenance and operations backlog and the Obama Administration’s efforts to buy more land even though we can’t maintain what we already own.

“Today, the cumulative backlog of the National Wildlife Refuge System is $3.3 billion which includes more than 1,200 invasive species projects; 1,400 national fish hatchery projects; 3,342 ‘mission critical’ projects; 5,994 refuge road projects and more than 12,000 refuge facilities which are in need of immediate repair. As a direct result of this backlog, there are miles of impassable or unsafe roads, millions of refuge acres infested with invasive species, a severe shortage of law enforcement personnel and 326 refuges that are either unstaffed or closed to the public … What we need is a new paradigm or vision for addressing this problem,” said Chairman Fleming (LA-04).

There are currently 12,234 backlog projects worth $3.38 billion, over 25 percent of which are considered “mission critical.” 110 national wildlife refuges are closed to the public, over 11,000 facilities are in need of repair and 216 lack professional staff.

Despite the maintenance and operations backlog, the Obama Administration requested $140 million for land acquisition in the FY 2012 budget, $53.6 million above FY10 appropriated levels. Due to continual federal land acquisition, the agency is incapable of maintaining and managing the land they already own.

###

Printable PDF of this document


Contact: Jill Strait, Spencer Pederson or Crystal Feldman 202-226-9019

Latest News

Proposed Legislation Aims to Ensure Input of Local Communities in Federal Land Management Decisions

Today, the Subcommittee on Federal Lands held a legislative hearing on the discussion draft of “Locally-elected Officials Cooperating with Agencies in Land Management Act (LOCAL Management Act).” The ...... Read more

Environmental Laws Threaten Safety in Borderland Communities

Today, the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations held a hearing on impediments imposed by federal land management regimes in securing the international borders of the United States. Federal lan...... Read more

Federal Land Management Agency’s Duplicative Regulation Acts in Opposition to Its ‘Stated’ Purpose

Today, the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held an oversight hearing on a recent regulation issued by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) regarding methane on federal lands. While the BLM...... Read more

View All News

Calendar

No upcoming scheduled events

View All Events