WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) has been appointed to the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission. The Commission, currently chaired by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and includes members of Congress and cabinet secretaries, was established in 1929 by the passage of the Migratory Bird Conservation Act. It was created and authorized to consider and approve areas of land and/or water recommended by the Secretary of the Interior for purchase or rental by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, as well as establish new waterfowl refuges.
Senator Heinrich met with A. Eric Alvarez, the current Secretary to the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission, yesterday in his Washington, D.C. office.
"I am honored to join the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission," said Sen. Heinrich. "New Mexico's wetlands and precious water resources aren't only critical for the state's tourism, sporting, and recreational sectors, but they're also imperative for sustaining healthy wildlife populations that support the traditional way of life in New Mexico. I look forward to working with this bipartisan group to ensure we protect and conserve migratory birds and their habitats."
The Migratory Bird Conservation Commission convenes three times per year during the months of March, June, and September, or as needed. Since the Commission's establishment, more than 5.6 million acres have been acquired by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service by fee purchase, easement, or lease with monies from the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund. There are four major sources of money for the Fund: sale of Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamps, commonly known as Duck Stamps; import duties collected on arms and ammunition; receipts from the sale of refuge admission permits as provided for by the Emergency Wetlands Resources Act of 1986; and receipts from the sale of products from rights-of-way across national wildlife refuges, disposals of refuge land, and reverted Federal Aid funds.
In addition to Senator Heinrich, Migratory Bird Conservation Commission members include:
- Chair - Sally Jewell, U.S. Secretary of the Interior
- Thad Cochran, Senator from Mississippi
- Robert J. Wittman, Representative from Virginia
- Mike Thompson, Representative from California
- Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture
- Gina McCarthy, Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency
- Secretary - A. Eric Alvarez, Chief, Division of Realty, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
For more about the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission, visit http://www.fws.gov/refuges/realty/mbcc.html.