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Regional/National News & Highlights
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Congress Approves Migratory Bird Conservation Law?
Washington, DC, October 12, 2006 – Congress has approved legislation, known as the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Improvement Act, designed to protect America’s native migratory birds when they travel south to Latin America and the Caribbean during their migrations.
By updating six year old bird legislation, it earned the immediate support of the National Audubon Society, and subsequently passed through Congress without major opposition. Its two main achievements are that it increases conservation program funding from $5 million to $6.5 million; and it allows Canada to apply for conservation grants.
Audubon lobbied for three years to pass the bill. For more information, Audubon’s official 2005 testimony before Congress on the bill can be found at http://resourcescommittee.house.gov/.
Local News & Highlights
Voice Of America (VOA) Park —
Sanctuary or Soccer Fields?
The Voice of America Park has been designated by the National Audubon Society as a national Important Bird Area (IBA), one of only three sites so named in Butler County. Grasslands at the VOA Park support significant breeding populations of several bird species that have suffered declines throughout Ohio and surrounding states. As the only site of its type in Southwest Ohio, VOA grasslands also hold our area’s largest populations of Sedge Wren, Savannah Sparrow, Henslow’s Sparrow, Bobolink, and Eastern Meadowlark.
The natural areas of the VOA Park, with their concentrations of birds and other wildlife, also provide high potential for educational experiences for area students at all levels. Classes from primary and secondary schools, and even from area colleges and universities, can pursue high-quality education experiences in life sciences and allied fields.
Because of its unique habitats and the special environmental significance of the park’s natural areas, the Board of Directors of Audubon Miami Valley urges the West Chester Township and Butler County Park Boards to balance the need for additional recreational areas with the need to preserve habitat for birds and other wildlife. The Board endorses plans that preserve the habitats composing the IBA while providing additional opportunities for sports and recreational use.