Congressional Wildlife Refuge Caucus


The Congressional Wildlife Refuge Caucus (CWRC) is a large bi-partisan Congressional Member Organization in the U.S. House of Representatives formed to support the National Wildlife Refuge System through legislation, funding, and education.

History Edit

CWRC Membership Map 2008

The Congressional Wildlife Refuge Caucus was established in September 2006 by Congressmen Ron Kind (D-WI) and Jim Saxton (R-NJ) along with vice co-chairs Michael Castle (R-DE) and Mike Thompson (D-CA) with a call to manage the National Wildlife Refuge System in the tradition of President Theodore Roosevelt, who established the first National Wildlife Refuge in 1903 [1]. The formation of the CWRC was largely a response to budget shortfalls that resulted in multi-billion dollar maintenance backlogs and staff shortages that, many agreed, was preventing the Refuge System from fulfilling its basic mission.

Guiding Principles Edit

Mission Edit

The mission of the Congressional Wildlife Refuge Caucus is to fortify, protect and preserve the National Wildlife Refuge System by supporting adequate Refuge funding, working for the strategic growth of the Refuge System through easements and targeted land acquisition and by promoting legislation to improve the Refuge System. The CWRC also aims to educate members of Congress about the increasing number of challenges facing the System through briefings and other forms of outreach.

Purpose Edit

The purpose of the CWRC is to:

  • Raise awareness of our refuge system
  • Create a voice for refuges in Congress
  • Support adequate Refuge System budgets
  • Support the six priority activities outlined in the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act (hunting, fishing, wildlife photography, wildlife observation, environmental education and interpretation)
  • Supporting the strategic growth of the Refuge System

Caucus Activity Edit

Legislation Edit

The Congressional Wildlife Refuge Caucus co-chairs have introduced the Refuge Ecology Protection, Assistance & Immediate Response (REPAIR) Act, a bill aimed at reducing harmful non-native (invasive) species on land in and adjacent to National Wildlife Refuges. The REPAIR Act is intended to provide a cost-effective approach to maximize invasive species eradication efforts by establishing a grant program and codifying in law the highly successful Volunteer Invasives Monitoring Program (VIMP).

House Action Edit

The Caucus also submits letters to federal appropriators and administration officials calling for specific dollar amounts in Refuge System appropriations that help drive the Refuge funding discussion in Congress. The co-chairs also author op-ed pieces magazines and newspapers to educate the public on the challenges facing the Refuge System. Caucus members also play an active role in committee hearings concerning the National Wildlife Refuge System, primarily in the House Natural Resources Committee, to collect testimony from managers and experts on legislation concerning the Refuge System.

Members Edit

Leadership Edit

The CWRC is currently led by Rep. Rob Wittman (R-VA), Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI), Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), and Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA). Past co-chairs include Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) and Rep. Michael Castle (R-DE).

The CWRC launched with 100 founding members and had grown to 139 members representing 41 States and 182 Wildlife Refuges as of November, 2009 [2].

Current and Former Congressional Wildlife Refuge Members Edit

(in alphabetical order)

Member State Date Joined
Rep. Neil Abercrombie HI March 15, 2007
Rep. Rodney Alexander LA March 5, 2009
Rep. Rob Andrews NJ December 6, 2006
Rep. Michael Arcuri NY March 15, 2007
Rep. Michele Bachmann MN April 30, 2008
Rep. Spencer Bachus AL June 26, 2006
Rep. Brian Baird WA July 29, 2006
Rep. Tammy Baldwin WI June 14, 2006
Rep. Tim Bishop NY August 1, 2006
Rep. Marsha Blackburn TN September 8, 2006
Rep. Earl Blumenauer OR December 5, 2006
Rep. Jo Bonner AL March 15, 2007
Rep. John Boozman AR March 15, 2007
Rep. Madeleine Bordallo GU January 15, 2008
Rep. Dan Boren OK September 7, 2006
Rep. Leonard Boswell IA September 12, 2006
Rep. Rick Boucher VA September 5, 2006
Rep. Allen Boyd FL September 18, 2006
Rep. Bruce Braley IA January 22, 2007
Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite FL July 14, 2006
Rep. David Camp MI January 31, 2007
Rep. Lois Capps CA March 15, 2007
Rep. Michael Capuano MA September 12, 2006
Rep. Dennis Cardoza CA August 31, 2006
Rep. Matt Cartwright PA 2013
Rep. Bill Cassidy LA August 6, 2009
Rep. Mike Castle DE March 14, 2006
Rep. Ben Chandler KY August 29, 2006
Rep. Wm. Lacy Clay MO August 2, 2006
Rep. Howard Coble NC July 13, 2006
Rep. Gerry Connolly VA July 26, 2010
Rep. John Conyers MI January 12, 2007
Rep. Tom Cotton AR 2013
Rep. Lincoln Davis TN August 29, 2006
Rep. Susan Davis CA January 31, 2007
Rep. Peter DeFazio OR July 27, 2006
Rep. Norm Dicks WA July 31, 2006
Rep. Debbie Dingell MI 2013
Rep. John Dingell MI May 22, 2006
Rep. Lloyd Doggett TX April 26, 2006
Rep. Mike Doyle PA January 12, 2007
Rep. Vernon Ehlers MI August 7, 2006
Rep. Keith Ellison MN July 24, 2008
Rep. Anna Eshoo CA July 28, 2006
Rep. Sam Farr CA July 28, 2006
Rep. Bob Filner CA September 11, 2006
Rep. Randy Forbes VA February 18, 2007
Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen NJ October 18, 2006
Rep. Scott Garrett NJ September 26, 2006
Rep. Jim Gerlach PA July 11, 2006
Rep. Bart Gordon TN August 10, 2006
Rep. Gene Green TX February 19, 2007
Rep. Raul Grijalva AZ May 10, 2006
Rep. Phil Hare IL November 15, 2007
Rep. Alcee Hastings FL July 11, 2006
Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin SD December 11, 2006
Rep. Brian Higgins NY August 22, 2006
Rep. Baron Hill IN June 9, 2009
Rep. Maurice Hinchey NY September 12, 2006
Rep. Mazie Hirono HI August 6, 2007
Rep. Tim Holden PA September 6, 2006
Rep. Rush Holt NJ June 6, 2006
Rep. Michael Honda CA September 19, 2006
Rep. Steve Israel NY August 4, 2006
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee TX July 31, 2006
Rep. Walter Jones NC July 28, 2006
Rep. Paul Kanjorski PA September 9, 2006
Rep. Patrick Kennedy RI April 2, 2008
Rep. Dale Kildee MI May 2, 2006
Rep. Ron Kind WI March 10, 2006
Rep. John Kline MN July 25, 2006
Rep. Dennis Kucinich OH January 12, 2007
Rep. Leonard Lance NJ March 3, 2009
Rep. Rick Larsen WA October 18, 2006
Rep. John Larson CT July 31, 2006
Rep. Barbara Lee CA January 31, 2007
Rep. Dan Lipinski IL January 9, 2007
Rep. Frank LoBiondo NJ May 4, 2006
Rep. Zoe Lofgren CA September 18, 2006
Rep. Ben Ray Luján NM October 3, 2009
Rep. Stephen Lynch MA August 3, 2006
Rep. Carolyn Maloney NY August 23, 2006
Rep. Donald Manzullo IL September 9, 2006
Rep. Edward Markey MA August 22, 2006
Rep. Jim Marshall GA July 25, 2006
Rep. Doris Matsui CA August 29, 2006
Rep. Betty McCollum MN August 31, 2006
Rep. Thaddeus McCotter MI February 16, 2007
Rep. Jim McDermott WA July 31, 2006
Rep. Michael Michaud ME May 16, 2006
Rep. Brad Miller NC September 25, 2006
Rep. George Miller CA May 17, 2006
Rep. Alan Mollohan WV July 28, 2006
Rep. Dennis Moore KS July 26, 2006
Rep. Jim Moran VA August 28, 2006
Rep. Patrick Murphy PA June 22, 2008
Rep. Grace Napolitano CA September 22, 2006
Rep. James Oberstar MN August 10, 2006
Rep. John W. Olver MA February 18, 2007
Rep. Solomon Ortiz TX August 28, 2006
Rep. Frank Pallone NJ May 31, 2006
Rep. Bill Pascrell NJ September 15, 2006
Rep. Ron Paul TX September 15, 2006
Rep. Erik Paulsen MN February 18, 2009
Rep. Donald Payne NJ June 7, 2006
Rep. Ed Perlmutter CO March 15, 2007
Rep. Collin Peterson MN November 25, 2007
Rep. Thomas Petri WI July 28, 2006
Rep. Chellie Pingree ME 2013
Rep. Todd Platts PA September 6, 2006
Rep. Earl Pomeroy ND July 28, 2006
Rep. David Price NC September 14, 2006
Rep. Steve Rothman NJ August 31, 2006
Rep. Gregorio Sablan CNMI October 19, 2009
Rep. Linda Sánchez CA 2013
Rep. Loretta Sánchez CA May 1, 2007
Rep. Jan Schakowsky IL May 30, 2007
Rep. Allyson Schwartz PA September 13, 2006
Rep. Jose Serrano NY August 25, 2006
Rep. Joe Sestak PA July 14, 2008
Rep. Carol Shea-Porter NH January 22, 2007
Rep. Adam Smith WA July 20, 2006
Rep. Vic Snyder AR September 6, 2006
Rep. Mark Souder IN October 2, 2006
Rep. John M. Spratt SC September 12, 2006
Rep. Pete Stark CA June 26, 2006
Rep. Cliff Stearns FL September 5, 2006
Rep. John Tanner TN July 20, 2006
Rep. Ellen Tauscher CA October 5, 2006
Rep. Mike Thompson CA March 14, 2006
Rep. John Tierney MA August 25, 2006
Rep. Chris Van Hollen MD January 8, 2007
Rep. Pete Visclosky IN October 18, 2006
Rep. Tim Walz MN June 21, 2008
Rep. Diane Watson CA September 21, 2006
Rep. Henry Waxman CA September 25, 2006
Rep. Peter Welch VT June 12, 2008
Rep. Anthony Weiner NY August 9, 2006
Rep. Robert Wexler FL May 25, 2006
Rep. Joe Wilson SC August 29, 2006
Rep. Rob Wittman VA May 1, 2008
Rep. Frank Wolf VA November 20, 2006
Rep. Lynn Woolsey CA August 16, 2006
Rep. David Wu OR October 18, 2006
Rep. Bill Young FL September 19, 2006

External links Edit

  • Cooperative Alliance for Refuge Enhancement (CARE)
  • National Wildlife Refuge System
  • National Wildlife Refuge Association