• WCS Applauds U.S. Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo and U.S. Rep. Henry Brown for Their Leadership  

WASHINGTON, DC – (December 8, 2009) - The Wildlife Conservation Society applauds the U.S. House of Representatives for passing H.R. 1454 - the Multinational Species Conservation Funds Semipostal Stamp Act of 2009.

The bill creates a new funding mechanism for the MSCF Program by directing the U.S. Postal Service to issue semipostal stamps that depict images of great apes, elephants, tigers, rhinos, sea turtles, and other imperiled wildlife.

The stamps, which will be sold at a premium, offer the general public a convenient way to support wildlife as revenue collected in excess of the cost of a regular first class stamp is directed to conservation projects. The bill would not impact the U.S. taxpayer or affect the cost of a regular first class stamp.

WCS Executive Vice President of Public Affairs John Calvelli said, "This important bill will help reinforce U.S. Government leadership in conservation within the international community, generate additional resources critical to saving some of the world's most charismatic and valued species, and create added awareness about the world's wildlife among the American public. Through H.R. 1454, these objectives are achieved while ensuring U.S. taxpayers are not additionally burdened."

WCS lauded the leadership of U.S. Rep. Henry Brown (R-S.C.), Ranking Member of House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Insular Affairs, Oceans, and Wildlife for introducing this legislation and praised the efforts of Subcommittee Chairwoman Madeleine Bordallo (D-Guam) in advancing species conservation in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Bordallo said, "As Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Insular Affairs, Oceans, and Wildlife and an original cosponsor of this legislation, I thank my colleagues for voting to advance H.R. 1454, the Multinational Species Conservation Funds Semipostal Stamp Act of 2009.  This legislation would provide additional support to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in their species conservation efforts."

Brown said, "This bill is a fiscally responsible measure that utilizes no taxpayer dollars and helps conserve of some of the most endangered, charismatic wildlife species on this planet. I'm joined by 154 of my fellow colleagues who have cosponsored this bill in expressing great pleasure in its passage by the U.S. House of Representatives."

WCS along with 23 other conservation groups that are part of the Multinational Species Conservation Funds coalition recently urged the U.S. House of Representatives to vote in favor of this bill.  WCS Executive Vice President of Conservation and Science and Chief Conservation Officer, Dr. John Robinson testified in May 2009 before the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Insular Affairs, Oceans, and Wildlife, in favor of H.R. 1454.

Bordallo added, "I commend the Wildlife Conservation Society for their efforts, and I look forward to working with my colleagues further on more wildlife conservation initiatives."  
Scott Smith (1-718-220-3275; ssmith@wcs.org)
Stephen Sautner (1-718-220-3682; ssautner@wcs.org)

The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide. We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world's largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony. WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth.

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