On Monday, I had the great opportunity to host the latest meeting of the First District Environmental Advisory Council as a part of my continued work on environmental issues, as well as receive updates from the district and learn how I can continue to help at the federal level.
As a lifelong conservationist, I am committed to the preservation of our public lands, wetlands and vast natural resources. In my role on the House Natural Resources Committee and Member of the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission, I have continuously striven to support the Bay Program and our public lands.
I was pleased to inform the council that, after a decade of work, 252 acres of Fones Cliffs property, along the eastern side of the Rappahannock River, was transferred to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and added to the Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge. As Co-Chair of the Wildlife Refuge Caucus, I am working to support our National Wildlife Refuge System for future generations. I recently worked with Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA) to introduce the Refuge Protection Act that gives the FWS the ability to collect compensation from parties that injure or destroy resources on properties owned by the Service. The FWS would use those funds to directly restore any injured or damaged resource and to support refuge communities with equitable revenue sharing.
In Congress, I've made it a top priority to protect our environment so that it can be enjoyed by future generations. I remain committed to hearing from stakeholders across Virginia’s First District to know what issues folks are facing and to produce the most responsible, cost-effective solutions that will preserve the environment that we all call home.