Volunteer programs in national wildlife refuges would get a new three-year lease on life under legislation passed by the House on Tuesday, July 30. The House approved H.R. 1300, which would extend volunteer programs and community partnerships in the refuges through 2017. They were slated to expire at the end of 2014. Read about the House action at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?r113:2:./temp/~r113m0lbDr::.
The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Jon Runyan (R-NJ), said on the House floor that “in FY12, volunteers contributed 1,594,246 hours of work at the wildlife refuges across the country. The value of this work, estimated at $21.79 per hour,” totaled more than $34 million.
“With this annual authorized appropriation of just $2 million, we have received a value of return on investment of over 17 times. This kind of return on investment sets an example of how to effectively leverage a limited government investment,” Runyan explained.
For background on the legislation, see the stories linked to below.
Runyan added that “refuges cannot remain open without the contribution of volunteers and community groups. Volunteers currently contribute more than 20 percent of all refuge work, an equivalent to 766 full-time employees” and allowed visitor centers to stay open during sequestration.