WISCONSINREPORT.COM (06/02/08) - The U.S. House of Representatives has passed legislation authored by Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) to protect cranes throughout North America and the world. The Crane Conservation Act of 2008, H.R. 1771, was passed on May 21, 2008 with strong bipartisan support (304-118). A companion bill authored by Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI), S. 1048, is pending in the Senate. The Crane Conservation Act would provide funding to assist in the recovery of several endangered crane species, help enhance international and domestic crane conservation projects, and encourage the Department of Interior to seek input from those involved in crane conservation.
"I'm proud and delighted to see this measure pass in the House with such wide support," said Baldwin. "Wisconsin is a world leader in protecting this endangered family of birds. "I look forward to its passage in the Senate," Baldwin said.
The International Crane Foundation in Baraboo inspires and instructs conservationists at home and abroad in their efforts to protect this magnificent species. This bill would bring federal support to crane conservation efforts.
In testimony before the House Natural Resources Committee's Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife and Oceans last year, George Archibald, co-founder and Senior Conservationist of the International Crane Foundation, said "The Crane Conservation Act can provide the opportunity for more local communities to improve use and protection of their natural resources, with far-reaching benefits to humans, cranes and other wildlife."
"Today there is urgent need to enable more people to help cranes and enhance international understanding and cooperation. The Crane Conservation Act can be the rare catalyst for more bottom up economic development working hand-in-hand with sound conservation," Archibald explained.
Cranes are the most endangered family of birds in the world, with eleven of the world's fifteen species at risk of extinction. None is rarer than the North American Whooping Crane. Industrial development, pollution, and encroachments on their natural habitat have all contributed to the shrinking crane population worldwide.
Baldwin's bill will encourage further crane conservation efforts on behalf of endangered cranes throughout the world by supporting initiatives and organizations dedicated to the protection of these beautiful birds and their ecosystems.