Refuges get $24 million Increase for FY04

October 30, 2003

From: ehirsche@refugenet.org  (Evan Hirsche)

Dear Refuge Friends,

I'm pleased to report that the House and Senate have approved a $23.9 million increase for FY04 Refuge System operations and maintenance (O&M). Your calls, emails and letters have made a tremendous difference as the two houses worked to achieve a compromise. The increase brings the annual Refuge System O&M budget to approximately $391 million, up from last yearıs level of $367 million.

As you know, the House had approved $10 million more than the Senate; the final number is just $3 million below the House recommendation. Considering the tight budget this year, an increase of this magnitude represents a great victory. The President had requested a $25 million increase.

What you can do:

1) If you asked your House and Senate members to support an increase, please email, write or call to inform them of the final number and thank them for their support. It's very important to thank them for taking action on behalf of the Refuge System.

To locate contact information for your members, visit either www.senate.gov  or www.house.gov

2) Please also emails, call or send letters expressing your appreciation to the following Interior Appropriations Subcommittee Chairs and Ranking Members. It's extremely important that they hear positive feedback from interested citizens:

Senate:

Senator Conrad Burns Chairman, Subcommittee on Interior Appropriations 187 Dirksen Senate Office Bldg. U.S. Senate Washington, DC 20510 202-224-2644 Web Form: burns.senate.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=Home.Contact

Senator Byron Dorgan Ranking Member, Subcommittee on Interior Appropriations 713 Hart Senate Office Bldg. U.S. Senate Washington, DC 20510 202-224-2551 E-mail: senator@dorgan.senate.gov

House:

The Honorable Charles Taylor Chairman, Subcommittee on Interior Appropriations 231 Cannon House Office Building U.S. House of Representatives Washington, DC 20515-3311 202-225-6401 Web Form: http://www.house.gov/charlestaylor/email.htm

The Honorable Norman Dicks Ranking Member, Subcommittee on Interior Appropriations 2467 Rayburn House Office Bldg. U.S. House of Representatives Washington, D.C. 20515 202-225-5916 (does not accept emails from non-constituents)

Once again, thanks for all your efforts and please call or email with any questions: ehirsche@refugenet.org  or 202-333-9075.