All of us in western and central Wisconsin are aware of how important the environment and our state’s beautiful natural resources are to our daily lives. I’m proud to have made responsible stewardship of our natural heritage one of the hallmarks of my work in Congress.I have been particularly focused on sportsmen’s issues, protecting the Mississippi River, and advocating for our National Wildlife Refuge System.
- As an avid hunter and fisherman, I’m passionate about protecting the rights of hunters and anglers across the country so that they can pass the sporting tradition along to their children. I believe that families enjoying nature together paves the way for future conservationists. That’s why I was proud to see one the bill’s I’ve authored, the Federal Duck Stamp Act of 2014, become law. This legislation increases funding for wetland conservation.
- The Mississippi River is vital to our economy through tourism, recreation, and commercial transport; to the health of our natural environment; and to our very way of life. That is why I founded and co-chair the Upper Mississippi River Basin Congressional Task Force and championed to ensure that the Mississippi River be designated as a Critical Conservation Area under the Farm Bill’s new Regional Conservation Partnership Program. This designation will provide voluntary assistance to farmers, bolster our farm economy, give conservation groups the tools they need to continue preserving and protecting the river, and help create jobs in the Mississippi River basin communities.
- Home to three national wildlife refuges, western and central Wisconsin benefits from billions of dollars these federal lands generate in economic activity. The Upper Mississippi River National Fish and Wildlife Refuge is visited by over 4 million people each year – more than Yellowstone National Park. National Wildlife Refuge System Yet the National Wildlife Refuge System has been critically underfunded for years, causing debilitating maintenance backlogs and loss of visitor access and services. Seeing this unmet need, I founded the Congressional Wildlife Refuge Caucus in 2006 to bring these issues to light and advocate for increased funding for the system.
- I have been a strong supporter of our National Parks system for years, taking my family backpacking in a different park each summer. Truly one of our nation’s greatest treasures, the National Parks have proven to be sound investments for communities, jobs, and future generations. Research shows that every dollar invested in National Parks generates ten dollars in direct economic impact. In 2013 alone, National Park visitors contributed $26.5 billion to the nation’s economy and supported nearly 240,000 jobs. As the upcoming 2016 Centennial of the National Park Service draws near, I am determined to use my leadership role as Co-Chair of the Congressional National Parks Caucus to push for continued investment in the National Park system.
More on Conservation
Washington, DC—Today, Rep. Ron Kind voted for the bipartisan America’s Conservation Enhancement (ACE) Act to protect wildlife and their habitats, and to conserve the natural areas that are so important to Wisconsin’s sportsmen and women. When signed into law, this legislation will conserve wetlands, combat invasive species, and address Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). Earlier this year, Rep.
Washington, DC —Today, National Parks Caucus co-chairs Reps. Ron Kind (D-WI) and Will Hurd (R-TX) introduced a bipartisan resolution commemorating the 50th anniversary of the National Park Service (NPS) Volunteers-in-Parks program. Since its creation in 1970, the Volunteers-in-Parks program has created countless opportunities for individuals and groups to get involved with our National Park System and contribute to the important work being done.
Washington, DC —Today, Rep. Ron Kind voted for the Great American Outdoors Act, which passed the House of Representatives with bipartisan support. This legislation provides permanent, full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and establishes the National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund to support deferred maintenance projects.
La Crosse, WI—Today, our nation comes together to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Rep. Ron Kind’s statement on Earth Day is below:
Washington, DC—This, Rep. Ron Kind, along with Reps. Dan Kildee (MI-05), Mike Gallagher (WI-08), Antonio Delgado (NY-19), and Elissa Slotkin (MI-08) introduced the Test Your Well Water Act, bipartisan legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives to create an online tool on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) website for Americans with a private well to find the resources to test their drinking water and then understand what those results mean.
Washington, DC—Today, Reps. Ron Kind (D-WI) and Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) announced that the bipartisan, bicameral Chronic Wasting Disease Management Act has received unanimous support among the Wisconsin Congressional Delegation. The Chronic Wasting Disease Management Act will support state and tribal efforts to develop and implement management strategies and support research regarding the causes of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). The bill will also support methods to control the spread of the disease.
La Crosse, WI—Yesterday, the United States Department of Agriculture announced it had allocated $1.6 million to La Crosse, Monroe, and Vernon Counties to assist with long-term planning in the Coon Creek and West Fork Kickapoo watersheds.
La Crosse, WI—With Wisconsin’s annual deer gun hunt kicking off over the weekend Rep. Ron Kind cosponsored the Wild Game Donation Act. This bipartisan legislation would allow hunters to take a tax deduction for the cost of processing their venison when the final product is donated. The legislation will also provide a tax benefit to processors who participate in venison donation programs by making all processing income they receive from charities tax-exempt.
Washington, DC— Yesterday, co-chairs of the National Parks Caucus Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) and Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX)—along with members of the National Parks Caucus—sent a letter to House Leaders asking for the Restore Our Parks and Public Lands Act to be brought to the floor for a vote. This bipartisan legislation would provide $6.5 billion over five years to help address priority repairs within our parks and public lands.
Rep. Ron Kind Votes to Protect Wisconsin’s Environment and Stay in Paris Climate Agreement
WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 9, the Climate Action Now Act, which will ensure the United States honors our commitments detailed in the Paris Climate Agreement, and take a bold first step to protect our planet by combatting climate change. Rep. Ron Kind voted in support of the bill. His statement is below: