I was directed to this piece of refreshing news from our good friend Christine C and I believe you’d also be happy to read it.
George Miller’s House Member Office (D-CA-07) posted a Press Release on January 27, 2010 | 1:34 pm (re-posted on GovNe.ws)
Rep. Miller’s Great Apes Legislation subject of Congressional Hearing
Obama Administration strongly supports Miller Bill
Wildlife groups call the bill “critical” to saving great apes from extinction
WASHINGTON, DC – The Obama Administration and several wildlife conservation groups today urged Congress to pass U.S. Rep. George Miller’s (D- Martinez) legislation to reauthorize federal aid to help conserve great ape populations around the world.
Miller introduced the Great Ape Conservation Reauthorization Amendments Act of 2010, H.R. 4416, in early January to reauthorize federal funding for international conservation efforts of gorillas, chimpanzees, orangutans, bonobos, and other great apes. Miller’s bill was the subject of a hearing today before the House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Insular Affairs, Oceans and Wildlife.
“Great apes are our closest non-human relatives on the planet, but the threats they face from people are all too real,” Miller said. “We have seen the devastation of wild primate populations throughout Africa and Asia. Since the authorization of my great ape bill ten years ago, our relatively small federal investment has been matched by significant local and private funding, boosting efforts to save gorillas and other great apes. We must reauthorize the program to enable these successful programs to flourish.”
“The Great Ape Conservation Act provides an excellent example of how to produce focused and efficient means to support the conservation of species that are ecologically important and aesthetically invaluable to the American public and people around the world,” said Jane Lyder, the Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Department of the Interior in her testimony before the Congressional panel. “The Administration strongly supports H.R. 4416.”
Regarding the Great Ape Conservation Act, Sally Jewell Coxe, the President of the Bonobo Conservation Initiative said in her testimony: “I can’t imagine what we would have done without it or what the prospects would be today for bonobos and the other great apes had it not been for the critical, catalytic, and timely support GACA has provided … Without intensified efforts to protect them, great apes including bonobos may be extinct in the wild in a generation. The Great Ape Conservation Act is critical to prevent this tragedy. ”
Miller authored the original legislation in 2000 to provide federal funding through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) for international great ape habitat conservation efforts, primarily in Africa and Asia.
The FWS Great Ape Conservation Fund has provided millions of dollars in federal matching grants to protect rare and threatened primates – including gorillas, chimpanzees, orangutans, bonobos, and other great apes. In 2009, the FWS awarded funds to 59 projects, many in African and Asian nations. Over $4.2 million was granted by the FWS, leveraging and additional $4.9 million from other organizations.
Miller is a long-time animal rights and conservation advocate and a leader in Congress on education, labor, the economy, and the environment. Miller is also the author of the Protect America’s Wildlife Act (PAW Act), legislation to protect wolves and other wildlife from the illegal and inhumane practice of airborne hunting.
More information about the Great Ape Conservation Fund can be found at: http://www.fws.gov/international/DIC/species/great_apes/great_apes.html