Senate Bill Recognizes Need for Collaborative Wildlife Conservation

The National Wildlife Federation calls the bill “an important step in the right direction.”

Washington, DC – Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, said U.S. Senate legislation (S.3223) introduced today represents an important step towards addressing the crisis facing America’s wildlife and he urged the Senate to strengthen it further through the addition of dedicated funding.

“America’s wildlife are in crisis—more than one third of all species are vulnerable or at risk. We’re grateful to Senators Risch and Manchin for introducing a bill that demonstrates that the best way to save America’s 12,000 at-risk species is through collaborative, proactive, on-the-ground conservation efforts,” O’Mara said. “This bill is an important step in the right direction and we look forward to working with the Senate to strengthen it further by adding the dedicated funding necessary to save the full diversity of wildlife species through collaborative conservation, just as the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act of 1937 (Pittman-Robertson) helped fuel the recovery of wildlife from pronghorn, elk, and bighorn sheep to waterfowl and ducks.”

About the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act

  • The bill would fund proactive, collaborative efforts at the state level to recover wildlife species at risk. 
  • The House bill (H.R. 4647), introduced by Representatives Fortenberry (R-Nebraska) and Dingell (D-Michigan), has more than 70 bipartisan cosponsors.
  • The revenues would be dedicated from existing energy and mineral revenues, as recommended by the Blue Ribbon Panel on Sustaining America’s Diverse Fish and Wildlife Resources led by Bass Pro Shops founder John L. Morris and former Wyoming governor Dave Freudenthal. 
  • The House bill includes $1.3 billion in automatic dedicated annual funding. The Senate bill uses the same funding mechanism but requires annual approval by Congress.

About the wildlife crisis

  • The National Wildlife Federation, the American Fisheries Society and The Wildlife Society recently released a report, Reversing America’s Wildlife Crisis: Securing the Future of Our Fish and Wildlife, which found that one-third of America’s wildlife species are at increased risk of extinction. Additionally, more than 150 U.S. species already have gone extinct and nearly 500 additional species have not been seen in recent decades and are regarded as possibly extinct.
  • The state agencies have identified 12,000 species of wildlife and plants in need of conservation assistance in their State Wildlife Action Plans. These plans are developed collaboratively by state fish and wildlife agencies in consultation with landowners, conservation groups, businesses, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Learn more about the House bill.

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