Congressional Wildlife Refuge Caucus Expansion & Reconstitution — The National Wildlife Refuge Association



In a significant move for conservation advocacy on Capitol Hill, the Congressional Wildlife Refuge Caucus (CWRC) of the 118th Congress has been reconstituted, signaling an expansion of this vital bipartisan group. Established in 2006, the CWRC plays a crucial role in fortifying, protecting, and preserving the National Wildlife Refuge System. The reconstitution of the caucus reflects a growing bipartisan commitment to addressing the challenges faced by the Refuge System.

The CWRC’s mission centers around supporting adequate Refuge System funding, promoting strategic growth through easements and targeted land acquisition, and advocating for legislation to improve the Refuge System. Additionally, the caucus seeks to educate fellow members of Congress about the increasing challenges facing the Refuge System through briefings and outreach efforts.

Historically, the caucus’s leaders have played a pivotal role in advancing measures to benefit the Refuge System. Initiatives like the Refuge Ecology Protection, Assistance & Immediate Response (REPAIR) Act, aimed at reducing harmful non-native species on and around national wildlife refuges, underscore the caucus’s commitment to conservation.

Looking forward, we hope to strengthen the CWRC and our partnership together to further it as an engaged and influential caucus. We plan to work with Caucus leaders to expand its membership, improve communications channels for coordination on Refuge System issues, host Capitol Hill briefings, and seek support and endorsement for adequate funding for the Refuge System.

The CWRC also sponsors the annual National Wildlife Refuge Expo, organized by the Cooperative Alliance for Refuge Enhancement (CARE), to highlight the values and importance of the Refuge System. This event serves as a platform to engage congressional staff and raise awareness about the critical role of the Refuge System.

The current members of the CWRC, which now boasts seven co-chairs, reflect a bipartisan commitment to conservation. They include representatives from various states and political affiliations.

The reconstitution of the Congressional Wildlife Refuge Caucus and the expansion of its co-chairs mark a pivotal moment for conservation advocacy. With a strengthened bipartisan commitment, the CWRC is poised to play a more active role in shaping legislation, addressing challenges, and ensuring the long-term health of the National Wildlife Refuge System. The National Wildlife Refuge Association expresses its utmost gratitude to caucus members. The Refuge Association, along with the Cooperative Alliance for Refuge Enhancement, will work to mobilize support to encourage more memberships, making a collective push for robust conservation policies and proper funding supporting the National Wildlife Refuge System in the coming years.

Thank you to the Congressional Wildlife Refuge Caucus members:

Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA), CoChair

Rep. Rob Wittman (R-VA), CoChair

Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC), CoChair

Rep. Jenniffer González-Colón (R-PR), CoChair

Rep. Gabe Vasquez (D-NM), CoChair

Rep. Melanie Stansbury (D-NM), CoChair

Rep. Val Hoyle (D-OR), CoChair

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)

Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-PA)

Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL)

Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA)

Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI)

Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX)

Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA)

Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ)

Rep. Brian Higgins (D-NY)

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX)

Rep. Dave Joyce (R-OH)

Rep. Rick Larsen (D-WA)

Rep. John Larson (D-CT)

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA)

Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA)

Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA)

Rep. Doris Matsui (D-CA)

Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN)

Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-CA)

Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ)

Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ)

Rep. Donald Payne (D-NJ)

Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME)

Rep. Kilili Sablan (I-MP)

Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA)

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL)

Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA)

Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT)

Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC)

Rep. Sharice Davids (D-KS)

Rep. Ed Case (D-HI)

Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-AR)





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