Recently-appointed US Fish & Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe says hunters and anglers need to stop focusing on issues like wolves and start paying attention to what’s going on in Washington.

From this story in the Salt Lake Tribune:
The new director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Saturday that while hunters and environmentalists fight over things such as wolf delisting, proposed major cuts to long-established conservation plans could have much more dire consequences. Dan Ashe said an anti-regulatory and deficit cutting mood in the U.S. House of Representatives toward environmental programs could close refuges and dismantle key wildlife conservation programs.
“Billions of dollars for conservation is at risk,” said Ashe, who was attending the annual Outdoor Writers Association of America Conference at Snowbird. “We should stop arguing about marginal conservation issues and rally the community of all our member-based conservation organizations to pay attention and make this the central issue of our time.”

Tuesday, the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee proposed cutting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service budget for 2012 by $305 million, a 22 percent hit and a half-billion dollars less than proposed by President Barack Obama. If that were to take effect, Ashe said, important conservation programs such as the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, the operating budget for federal refuges and the Cooperative Endangered Species fund would be virtually eliminated. Some refuges might be left unstaffed._

Thoughts? Reaction?