UPDATE: House Passes H.R. 3979, Keep America’s Refuges Operational Act

KARO Act hearing. Credit: Kristen Berry

UPDATE 12/19/2017 – The House has passed KARO and the bill now moves on to the Senate. Thank you for your support!

The House Natural Resources Committee will consider H.R. 3979, the Keep America’s Refuges Operational Act, on November 29 and 30th in a full committee mark-up.  The bill, sponsored by Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), would amend the Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956 to reauthorize the volunteer services, community partnership and refuge education programs of the National Wildlife Refuge System.

Refuges could not continue to operate without the contribution of dedicated volunteers. Last year alone, roughly 40,000 volunteers donated 1.4 million hours to maintain refuges and preserve critical habitats. Volunteers work side-by-side with refuge staff to conduct fish and wildlife population surveys, fight invasive species, lead tours and educational activities, maintain trails, and operate visitor centers. 20% of the total service work on refuges can be attributed to the dedication of volunteers. Caroline Brouwer, NWRA’s Director of Government Affairs, testified at the hearing that the Refuge System only receives $484 million annually when in fact full funding would be at least $900 million.

AFS supports the legislation and joined with other conservation organizations to request passage of the bill out of committee.  (Link to joint letter.) (Link to new letter.)


House Natural Resources – Full Committee Markup
Wednesday, November 29, 2017 4:00 PM

Thursday, November 30, 2017 10:00 AM

1324 Longworth House Office Building Washington D.C. 20515