The Bush Record on National Wildlife Refuges

While George W. Bush’s desire to initiate oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge will brand him an enemy of wildlife conservation forever to most environmentalists, his administration has a mixed record on other issues affecting the national wildlife refuge system… PLUS MINUS Proposed the largest ever funding increase for refuges in FY2003 ($46.5 million). Some environmentalists are less than thrilled because of the perception that some of that money comes out of land acquisition budget.

Supportive of purchasing thousands of acres of salt ponds in SF Bay belonging to Cargill Corp. and transferring them to Don Edwards SF Bay NWR.

Believes that we need to put more resources into addressing the threat of invasive species on refuges and other federal lands.

Strong supporter of refuge “Friends” volunteer groups. Believe efforts like this are the most effective way to build community support for federal lands and conservation in general.

Not increasing refuge funding enough to chip away at the system"s $2 billion maintenance backlog.

Not supportive of land acquisition, preferring to spend dollars to improve "what we’ve already got." Many groups think that even unmanaged habitat beats a strip mall any day of the week.

Inclined to support states in contested management issues.

Defers to agricultural interests on water issues, especially in disputed Klamath Basin.

Wants to drill in the pristine Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.