Oct 28, 2011

Semipostal Stamp for the National Wildlife Refuge System

Rep. Gregorio SablanCongressman Gregorio Sablan of the Northern Mariana Islands reported on his website that the House Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans, and Insular Affairs held a hearing recently on the Wildlife Refuge System Conservation Semipostal Stamp Act of 2011.

The bill, H.R. 2236, received the support of the Obama Administration and from committee members on both sides of the aisle. Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan introduced the measure in June and has gathered 48 co-sponsors…

Sablan in his own introductory remarks as Ranking Member of the Subcommittee explained how his bill works. “The Wildlife Refuge System Conservation Semipostal Stamp Act uses a proven system of raising private funding for worthy public causes.”

“The Breast Cancer Research semipostal stamp, for instance, has raised about $75 million since1998. And a new Save Vanishing Species semipostal just went on sale on September 20th. The public bought 1.6 million in September alone, raising $176,000 for international wildlife conservation.”

“My bill will do the same for America’s National Wildlife Refuge System,” said Sablan.

“In my own district, proceeds from the sale of the Wildlife Refuge stamp could pay some of the $380,000 needed for the staff, visitor services, education, and volunteer programs in the Mariana Trench National Wildlife Refuge and the Mariana Arc of Fire National Wildlife Refuge. Both are part of the Mariana Trench Marine National Monument that President Bush created by Executive Order in 2009.

“I believe that America’s Wildlife Refuge System has proven to be a great investment for our country. Refuges generate $1.7 billion in sales for local communities annually and create nearly 27,000 jobs.”

Also testifying at today’s hearing was James W. Kurth, Acting Assistant Director of the National Wildlife Refuge System. Kurth expressed the support of the Executive Branch for Sablan’s bill and in response to questioning said he expected the measure would raise about $10 million over a two-year period for the Refuge System.

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