ST. PAUL, Minn. – March 16, 2010 – Funding for an important and landowner-friendly habitat conservation program was line-item vetoed this week by Governor Tim Pawlenty in the state’s bonding bill, a move Ducks Unlimited says may jeopardize millions in matching federal funds.
“The veto of $25 million for the Reinvest in Minnesota (RIM) conservation easement program is a real lost opportunity for Minnesota. The loss of state bonding funds and potentially $35 million of federal conservation dollars will result in 18,000 to 20,000 acres of habitat not getting restored and protected for wildlife, clean water, flood storage and economic growth,” said Ryan Heiniger, DU director of conservation programs in Minnesota. “We appreciate the Legislature’s work to prioritize this program, and we are optimistic future bonding bills will once again provide this traditional source of funding for RIM.”
Ducks Unlimited is the world’s largest non-profit organization dedicated to conserving North America’s continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 13 million acres, thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever.