Stimulus money for ducks | Arkansas Blog

Stimulus money for ducks

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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says it has directed $660,000 in federal stimulus money to Ducks Unlimited to improve habitat for waterfowl at the Wapanocca Wildlife Refuge.

Any day now, I expect Rep. John Boozman to rush over to Turrell to noisily demonstrate against this wasteful spending. (Caution: some of those DU guys might have shotguns handy to keep the peace.)

Forget the duck hunters. On a more important matter, Sen. Blanche Lincoln today chided Boozman for his coldness to support for Medicare over the years. Against health reform. For partial privatization. Nice guy. See her recitation on the jump.

FISH AND WILDLIFE NEWS RELEASE

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is using stimulus funds to restore valuable wetlands and wildlife habitat in Wapanocca National Wildlife Refuge near Turrell, Ark.

The Service awarded a $660,000 contract to Ducks Unlimited for the project, which is underway, using funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), popularly known as stimulus funds.

“This stimulus project restores our ability to raise the Wapanocca Lake water level,” said refuge manager Bill Peterson. “Ditches have diverted water around the lake for wintering waterfowl, which is an important part of our refuge mission.”

“Ducks Unlimited is an invaluable project partner,” he added.

Ducks Unlimited will replace refuge water control structures and divert water from one ditch into the lake.

“These ARRA funds are being used to address the longstanding backlog of management needs on national wildlife refuges,” said Dr. Scott C. Yaich, Director of Conservation Operations for Ducks Unlimited. “In addition, this project puts people to work and directly benefits the local economy, just as ARRA intended. As in all Ducks Unlimited projects, our organization is committed to using local workers and companies as much as possible.”

Wapanocca National Wildlife Refuge, located 20 miles northwest of Memphis, Tenn., was established in 1961 to provide migratory bird habitat. Because of its strategic location in the heart of the Mississippi Flyway and the diverse habitat, the refuge is a prime waterfowl wintering area and a major neotropical migratory bird breeding and stopover site.


The Recovery Act provides $280 million for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which includes $115 million for construction, repair and energy efficiency retrofit projects at Service facilities, and $165 million for habitat restoration, deferred maintenance and capital improvement projects. Projects help create local jobs in the communities where they are located and around the United States, while stimulating long-term employment and economic opportunities for the American public. Recovery Act projects address long-standing priority needs identified by the Service through its capital planning process. The agency worked through a rigorous merit-based process to identify and prioritize investments meeting the criteria put forth in the Recovery Act: namely, that a project addresses the Department’s highest priority mission needs; generates the largest number of jobs in the shortest period of time; and creates lasting value for the American public.


For a full list of funded projects nationwide, go to the Department’s Recovery web site at http://recovery.doi.gov/. For a list of Service projects, click on the Service’s logo at the bottom of the page or visit http://recovery.doi.gov/press/bureaus/us-fish-and-wildlife-service. The public will be able to follow the progress of each project on the recovery web site, which includes an interactive map that allows the public to track where and how the Department’s recovery dollars are being spent. In addition, the public can submit questions, comments or concerns at recoveryact@fws.gov.


BLANCHE LINCOLN NEWS RELEASE

As our nation celebrates the 45th anniversary of Medicare tomorrow, July 30, Senator Blanche Lincoln can rightfully claim to be the strongest advocate for Arkansas's 500,000 Medicare patients among the candidates for U.S. Senate. During Congressman John Boozman's decade in Washington, he has routinely voted to put Arkansas Medicare patients' benefits at risk. Boozman has voted to cut billions from the successful program and partially privatize it, voted against allowing the government to negotiate for lower prescription drug prices, and voted to limit Medicare patients' access to doctors.

"Senator Lincoln has consistently stood up for Arkansas Medicare patients while Congressman Boozman has voted with his Party to put their benefits at risk," Lincoln campaign manager Steve Patterson said. "Arkansas seniors know they can always trust Blanche Lincoln to fight for Medicare."

"I have been a strong advocate for Arkansans on Medicare throughout my public service," Senator Lincoln said. "My mother is among our state's half million Medicare patients who depend on the program, and I would never do anything to jeopardize her security or the security of other Arkansas seniors."

Senator Lincoln has helped pass legislation that extends the solvency of the Medicare trust fund by 10 years; provide $250 tax-free rebates to seniors stuck in the "donut hole"; and protect Arkansas community hospitals from a reduction in Medicare payments. Additionally, she has fought to restore Medicare reimbursement rates to physicians. She has consistently supported efforts to crack down on fraud and abuse in the Medicare program.

Senator Lincoln has consistently received high marks from seniors' advocacy organizations for her record of standing up for Arkansas seniors.

For his abysmal voting record on seniors' issues, Congressman Boozman has received a 13% lifetime voting record from the Alliance for Retired Americans. [Alliance for Retired Americans Website, accessed 7/10/2010]


Congressman Boozman's Medicare Record

Boozman Voted to Cut $11 Billion From Medicare and Medicaid. In 2006, Boozman voted for a budget bill that cut $11 billion from Medicare and Medicaid programs. [House Vote #4, 2/1/2006]

Boozman Voted Against Allowing the Government to Negotiate for Lower Prescription Drug Prices for Seniors. Boozman repeatedly voted against allowing the Health and Human Services Department to negotiate with drug companies for lower prescription drug prices for seniors. [House Vote #23, 1/12/2007; House Vote #668, 11/22/2003]

Boozman Voted to Limit Access to Doctors for Medicare Patients. Boozman has repeatedly voted against blocking cuts in Medicare payments to physicians and against creating a new payment formula so physicians would not have to face further payment cuts. [House Vote #323, 5/28/2010; House Vote #909, 11/19/2009]

Boozman Voted for Republican Budget that Would Put Medicare on the Chopping Block and Partially Privatized the Program. In 2009, Boozman voted for the Republican budget alternative whose cuts in federal spending "could severely curtail Medicare, which Republicans would overhaul for Americans now younger than 55 by subsidizing private health insurance for them when they retire. [House Vote #191, 4/2/2009; New York Times, 4/2/2009]

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