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Sample Letter Calling for Support of CARA Legislation

The Honorable XXXXXXX
US House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Representative XXXXXXX:

Thank you for your support of the Conservation and Reinvestment Act (HR 701) during the 106th Congress. Although the bill soared through the House with a more than two-thirds bi-partisan victory and passed the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, the bill was never considered on the Senate floor. Instead, a one-time appropriations measure was passed as an amendment to the Interior and Related Agencies appropriations bill, and subsequently the Commerce, Justice and State appropriations bill. However, neither of these addressed the main purpose of CARA, which is the need for adequate, long-term and assured funding for states to use for wildlife conservation and recreation, coastal and marine conservation, state and local urban parks, and historic preservation.

The Conservation and Reinvestment Act (CARA) has been reintroduced in the 107th Congress again as HR 701. There are very few changes from the bill that you supported and helped clear the House by a bi-partisan vote of 315-102 on May 11, 2000.

We (I) ask you to please join Reps. Young (R-AK), Dingell (D-MI), Tauzin (R-LA), Miller (D-CA), John (D-LA), Hansen (R-UT), Rahall (D-WV), Saxton (R-NJ) and 60 more of your colleagues in cosponsoring CARA in this Congress and in working to help it become law this year.

As you know from your support and involvement last year, this bill reinvests a portion of revenues from the Federal Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) oil and gas development for state level wildlife conservation, coastal conservation and impact assistance, historic preservation, urban parks and the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

As an (environmental, birding, other) organization our greatest interest in CARA is in the Wildlife Conservation and Restoration Fund (Title III), CARA would annually provide $3.1 billion from OCS receipts of which $350 million would be dedicated to state fish and wildlife programs through Title III. The need is great. With over 1000 species on the Federal threatened and endangered species list, we are mostly operating in an "emergency room situation". States need funding to reverse alarming declines in wildlife species before they become endangered. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. States also are being overwhelmed by demands for conservation education and outdoor recreation opportunities. These funds will save taxpayer’s money by avoiding the high costs of recovery efforts as well as assure an economic future for nature-based tourism and the outdoor recreation industry.

As you will remember, CARA generated tremendous support from across the nation culminating in an unprecedented coalition of over 6000 organizations, businesses and elected officials. This included all 50 governors, all 50 state fish and wildlife agencies, over 1100 mayors, as well as numerous conservation organizations. This coalition remains committed to seeing CARA enacted. Additionally, this support was reflected in over 400 articles and over 30 positive editorials on CARA.

Again, thank you for your support last year, and please help us get the real CARA passed this year by co-sponsoring HR 701.

Sincerely yours,


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