US Funds for Wildlife Programs Should Not Be Cut


The trees being planted along this farm stream will create a healthy buffer as they grow.

CBF Staff

The following first appeared in the Charleston Gazette Mail.

Thank you, to the Gazette-Mail, for the story about how the federal government is partnering with private landowners to restore trout streams in West Virginia ("Public-private venture restores trout habitat in upper Potomac River Watershed," June 17). Republicans and Democrats alike have supported these types of conservation programs.

Traditionally, Congress has understood federal tax dollars can be used like investments. For every dollar the feds invest, local groups contribute up to $4. Projects funded by this money create jobs.

I have seen firsthand how these programs can clean up a local farm stream and employ local residents. I have been organizing these kinds of conservation projects for a decade with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

Readers should know, however, that the Trump administration's proposed budget would dramatically reduce these federal investments. If accepted by Congress, these cuts would cripple efforts to restore trout and other wildlife in West Virginia.

For instance, the proposed budget would cut funding for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service by more than 14 percent. The brook trout program featured in the article is run out of that office.

And a similar program, the Regional Conservation Partnership Program, managed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, would be eliminated. President Trump also has proposed eliminating all funding for the Chesapeake Bay Program.

President Trump has argued that local governments and communities in West Virginia should pay for these sorts of programs on their own, despite the fact that we all pay federal taxes. But federal dollars for some of these programs already were cut 75 percent in 2015.

It's doubtful local citizens can afford to make up these major cutbacks on their own. Congress will decide the fate of all these programs this summer. We hope wisdom prevails.

Rob Schnabel

Issues in this Post

Conservation   Fisheries   Restoration   Water Quality   West Virginia  


The views and opinions expressed in the media or articles on this site are those of the speakers or authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions held by CBF and the inclusion of such information does not imply endorsement by CBF. CBF is not responsible for the contents of any linked Website, or any link contained in a linked Website, or any changes or updates to such Websites. The inclusion of any link is provided only for information purposes.

The Bay Needs You

The State of the Bay Report makes it clear that the Bay needs our support now more than ever. Your donation helps the Chesapeake Bay Foundation maintain our momentum toward a restored Bay, rivers, and streams for today and generations to come.

Donate Today

Stay Up-to-Date on Bay News

Want to stay up-to-date on all news and happenings in your region and across the Chesapeake watershed? Join our digital community.

Sign Up
This website uses cookies to tailor and enhance your online experience. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. For more information, including details on how to disable cookies, please visit our Privacy Policy. Close