The OIA has announced that last month, Senators Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Jon Corzine (D-NJ) drafted a letter to the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the Senate Appropriations Committee and the Subcommittee on Interior. The letter urged the Committee's leadership to support conservation funding in the FY 2005 Interior Appropriations Bill represented by the Conservation Trust Fund. The Conservation Trust Fund supports a wide variety of programs including the Land and Water Conservation Fund, Forest Legacy, State Wildlife Grants, the Historic Preservation Fund, the Cooperative Endangered Species Fund, North American Wetlands Conservation, the Urban Park and Recreation Recovery Program, and other conservation and preservation programs.

The legislation creating the Conservation Trust Fund set the dedicated FY 2005 level for these programs at $1.68 billion. In FY 2004, the programs were underfunded by $500 million.

Since late March, 48 of Sens. Snowe and Corzine's colleagues have cosigned the letter and others may add their name.