Republican News

Republican News

WASHINGTON, D.C.– Congressional supporters of a far-reaching initiative to fund conservation, wildlife, coastal and related programs announced Tuesday evening they had negotiated a package on the Conservation and Reinvestment Act, (CARA), and would seek its enactment by the end of the year. Senators Frank H. Murkowski (R-AK) and Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and Congressmen Don Young (R-AK) and George Miller (D-CA), the Chairmen and Ranking Democratic Members of their respective committees came to agreement on CARA after extensive deliberations. Key elements of the consensus plan include: *∙ A six-year authorization of guaranteed funding, beginning at $1.8 billion and increasing to $3 billion by the fifth year; ∙ Full funding of the federal side of the Land and Water Conservation Fund at $450 million and funding for the state-side LWCF program of $150 million in fiscal year 2001 increasing to full funding of $450 million by the fifth year; ∙ Coastal assistance programs for coastal states, including impact assistance to those States with offshore federal leases, of $610 million rising to $905 million by year five. These programs include funding for coral reef protection as well as coastal stewardship; ∙ Wildlife Management programs initially funded at $170 million, rising to $350 million in the fifth year; ∙ Effective in fiscal year 2002, full funding for Refuge Revenue Sharing and Payments-in-Lieu-of-Taxes (PILT); ∙ Funding for other programs, including Youth Conservation Corps, Historic Preservation, Cooperative Endangered Species Act programs, Forest Legacy programs, and Urban Parks; ∙ A special equalization program to assist States receiving less than one percent of grants to States.& ###