STOP THE CLOSURE OF NATIONAL FISH HATCHERIES

The federal government is planning to eliminate funding to nine Federal fish hatcheries in GA, TN, KY, UT, MO, ND, and AR, which will result in their closure. The closure of these hatcheries will have a lasting impact on local, State, and federal economies. These facilities also provide enormous ecological and social contributions to local and state communities. Nearly 7 million fish are stocked in waters across the country from only six of these hatcheries. The economic impact is tremendous - over 3,000 jobs created and a total economic output of nearly 300 million dollars is generated by privately owned businesses selling food, lodging and supplies to trout fishermen. For every dollar spent on these fishery programs a return of $67 dollars is generated in the private sector, and for each tax dollar spent producing trout, $2.34 is returned to Washington in federal tax dollars generated from private business.

It is ironic that the Fish and Wildlife Service is celebrating the 140th year of their fisheries program; the oldest program in the agency. They are celebrating this historic event by cutting the entire fisheries program by 12.4 million dollars. They are getting a 47.9 million dollar increase in their overall budget, but have chosen to spend that money on other programs and new programs, and scrap a program that brings revenue into the federal budget at a 2.3 to 1 ratio and supports over 3,000 jobs in the private sector!!!   DON'T LET THIS HAPPEN; STAND UP AND BE HEARD!

 

We the undersigned are asking you to restore the 6.3 million dollars in base funding to the National Fish Hatchery Operations in the USFWS 2012 budget. Loss of this funding would result in the closure of hatchery facilities. The nine hatcheries that would face closure in 2012 are Neosho NFH (MO), Greers Ferry NFH and Norfork NFH (AR), Chattahoochee Forest NFH (GA), Wolf Creek NFH (KY), Dale Hollow and Erwin NFH (TN), Garrison Dam NFH (ND) and Jones Hole NFH (UT). In 2009, these facilities produced over 12,000,000 fish and almost 16,000,000 eyed eggs, which supported 3,500 jobs and almost $325 million in total economic benefit to local and state economies from USFWS operated mitigation facilities. A study done in 2010 showed that almost $20 million in federal, state and local tax revenues were generated annually by six of these hatcheries. This represents a return to the federal treasury of 2.3 times more than the cost of operating these hatcheries. Continuing to operate these hatcheries will not only help local communities and sustain a diverse aquatic recourse; it makes good business sense. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife leadership in Washington should be replaced with men and women who care about our nation's natural resources and the benefits provided to the American people. We appreciate your thoughtful consideration of this request.

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