Baldwin Bill to Protect Cranes Passes the House - International Crane Foundation

International Crane Foundation


Baldwin Bill to Protect Cranes Passes the House

Congresswoman Tammy

Wisconsin’s Second District

April 22, 2009

Contact: Jerilyn Goodman: 608-251-8737. Cell: 608-347-6557. Email:

On the eve of Earth Day, the House yesterday passed the Crane Conservation Act of 2009, authored by Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin.  The bipartisan, bicameral legislation will help protect and preserve the world’s most endangered family of birds.

The Crane Conservation Act establishes a grant program to fund international and domestic crane conservation projects and encourages the Department of Interior to seek input from individuals and organizations actively involved in crane conservation, such as the International Crane Foundation in Baraboo, WI

“The work done at the International Crane Foundation in Baraboo has had an impact world-wide in preserving and protecting this magnificent animal species,” said Congresswoman Baldwin. “With federal support, we can expand that influence to inspire and instruct a new generation of conservationists at home and abroad.  This is the ‘Wisconsin Idea’ in action.  I’m proud to author this important legislation and delighted to see swift passage this session of Congress.  I hope the Senate takes the bill up quickly,” Baldwin said.

In the House, Baldwin’s bill is cosponsored by Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Madeleine Bordallo (D-GU), Ginny Brown-Waite (R-FL), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Ron Kind (D-WI), James Oberstar (D-MN), Joe Sestak (D-PA) and Vic Snyder (D-AR). 

In the Senate, a companion bill has been introduced by Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) and cosponsored by Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Sam Brownback (R-KS), Benjamin Cardin (D-MD), Mike Crapo (R-ID), John Kerry (D-MA), Herb Kohl (D-WI), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Mel Martinez (R-FL), and Bill Nelson (D-FL).

With eleven of the world’s fifteen crane species at risk of extinction, Baldwin‘s bill will encourage further conservation efforts, supporting initiatives and organizations throughout the world dedicated to the protection of these rare birds and their ecosystems.

Wisconsin has played an important role in the conservation of the rarest crane, the North American Whooping Crane. Since 2001, led by the non-profit Operation Migration, young whooping cranes have migrated from Wisconsin‘s Necedah National Wildlife Refuge to their breeding grounds in Florida‘s Chassahowitzka Wildlife Refuge in an effort to reintroduce a migratory flock into their historic range in the eastern United States

The 1,300-mile journey involves a cooperative effort between federal and state governments, landowners, volunteers, and non-governmental organizations. The reintroduced birds have come from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Maryland, as well as a captive flock established at the International Crane Foundation in Baraboo, Wisconsin.  Another flock of whooping cranes migrates from Canada via Kansas to Texas.

The Crane Conservation Act is supported by the International Crane Foundation, American Bird Conservancy, Association of Zoos and Aquariums, Audubon Nature Institute, Defenders of Wildlife, National Wildlife Refuge Association, Wildlife Conservation Society, World Wildlife Fund, and fifteen other conservation organizations. 

The bill passed the House of Representatives and the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee last year and was positioned to pass the Senate before stalling late in the last Congress.

Image by: Gary Gullett Photography, Bryon, IL.