CARA Taps Rare Bipartisan Vein in Congress
Senate Committee Passes the Conservation and Reinvestment Act
7/27/2000 -- -- July 25, 2000. Washington, DC. Trout Unlimited applauded passage of the Conservation and Reinvestment Act of 2000 (CARA) by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee today. The legislation was passed by a margin of 13 to 7 votes and will now move to the full Senate floor for consideration following the August recess in September.
"CARA has tapped a rare bipartisan vein in Congress - especially when it comes to conservation and environmental issues," said Steve Moyer, TU's Vice President of Conservation Programs. "It was spectacular when two-thirds of the Members of the House of Representatives voted to pass CARA, much-less the endorsement of all 50 of America's governors. Now that the Senate committee has passed the legislation, Trout Unlimited just hopes that this bipartisan good fortune carries over to the full senate floor. In particular, TU commends Chairman Frank Murkowski (R-AK) and Ranking minority member Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) for their outstanding leadership in moving the bill through the Committee."
The Conservation and Reinvestment Act of America (CARA) sets aside about half, $2.8 billion, of the revenues from leasing off-shore oil and gas property and redistributes the money for conservation, parks, wildlife, coastal impact and restoration programs. Advocates say it would provide the largest-ever infusion of federal dollars into conservation efforts.
"Thirty-five species of trout and salmon species are listed as threatened or in danger of extinction in America," said Moyer. "As America's fast paced society gets faster and urban sprawl consumes more open space these fish are at a critical point. CARA may not be a silver bullet when it comes to all the threats trout and salmon face, but it offers reliable source of funding to help our volunteer members improve habitat conditions in our rivers and streams."
For Trout Unlimited members, passage of CARA is a top priority because it would provide a substantial infusion of reliable funding to new and existing federal habitat for fish and wildlife conservation programs and provides significant resources to woefully under-funded state and local agencies for habitat protection and restoration.
"The legislation's uncomplicated goals have united millions and offer a strong foundation to improve the state of America's watersheds. However, it still has to pass the Senate floor and get signed into law before Congress recesses in October," cautioned Moyer. "Whether you are an angler, outdoor enthusiast or just concerned about your children's future NOW is the time to contact your elected U.S. Senators and ask them to support CARA."