WCS Thanks Rep. Michael Grimm for Standing with Wildlife and International Conservation

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 1, 2011) – The Wildlife Conservation Society applauded the bipartisan effort in the House of Representatives to defeat an amendment to the Continuing Resolution funding bill for Fiscal Year 2011, which would have drastically hurt such programs as the Global Environment Facility (GEF) that are critical to economic development, national security and wildlife.

Members of Congress from both parties, including Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY), took the House floor to extol the benefits of international conservation, which is an important aspect of our nation’s trade and national security policies.

“While funding remains threatened, the failure of this toxic amendment in the House is a victory for wildlife around the world, and we have champions on both sides of the aisle like Rep. Grimm to thank,” said John Calvelli, WCS Executive Vice President of Public Affairs. “International conservation funding, such as the U.S. contribution to the GEF, is vitally important for U.S. national security and economic interests. By helping to manage natural resources to stabilize developing regions, international funding prevents problems before costly and dangerous conflicts arise. Providing sustainable livelihoods in developing regions opens up potential trade markets for U.S. goods.”

“Based in New York City, the Bronx Zoo plays a leading role in Wildlife Conservation Society’s efforts to save wildlife worldwide through science, conservation efforts, and education,” said Rep. Grimm. “I joined the WCS and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in opposing an amendment to strip funding from this important effort, as the consequences would be devastating to wildlife preservation and U.S. trade. I was proud to vote against the amendment and in favor of wildlife conservation.”

In the 24 hours leading up to the vote, WCS supporters responded to a Take Action alert by sending more than 13,000 e-mail messages to their representatives in Congress asking them to preserve funding for the GEF. The amendment failed by a final vote of 190-241.

Chip Weiskotten: (202-624-8172; cweiskotten@wcs.org)
Mary Dixon: (347-840-1242; mdixon@wcs.org)

The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide. We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world's largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony. WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth.

Special Note to the Media: If you would like to guide your readers or viewers to a web link where they can make donations in support of helping save wildlife and wild places, please direct them to: www.wcs.org/donation

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