WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Wildlife Federation and 24 state affiliates urged the Members of Congress to cosponsor and support passage of the Tribal Wildlife Corridors Act introduced by Senator Luján (D-N.M.) and Representative Gallego (D-Ariz.). The bill will fund critical wildlife migration pathways on tribal lands, ensuring tribes have resources to implement conservation measures that protect fish and wildlife and boost biodiversity.
The signatories highlight how conserving migration corridors makes critical habitats more resilient to the increasing impacts of climate change. Moreover, the development and maintenance of wildlife corridors supports efforts to increase connectivity for a variety of species, resulting in more collaboration amongst stakeholders.
“Federally recognized Tribes and Sovereign Nations have access to very limited resources to adopt and implement such management practices. The Tribal Wildlife Corridors Act takes an important step toward filling this capacity gap for Tribes by providing grant funding and technical assistance to Tribal Nations. Increasing the capacity and resources for Tribes and Sovereign Nations to properly and effectively manage for wildlife and habitat connectivity also benefits adjacent land jurisdictions such as local, state, federal and private,” the organizations said in the letter.
“In order to ensure our wildlife heritage, it is critical to protect fish and wildlife connectivity across jurisdictional boundaries. The Tribal Wildlife Corridors Act would foster wildlife movement and conservation between tribal, private, state, and federal lands,” said Garrit Voggesser, director of the National Wildlife Federation’s Tribal Partnerships Program.
Wildlife move both daily and seasonally to survive. However, the habitats animals rely on continue to be broken up by both man-made infrastructure and the consequences of climate change, exacerbated by lack of adequate and equitable funding for wildlife conservation on Tribal lands. As a result, animals are struggling more than ever to reach food, water, shelter and breeding sites. Investments in wildlife migration corridors will allow wildlife to disperse throughout the country and ensure species are better able to adapt to our changing climate.
Moreover, in providing essential resources to Native Tribes to enhance wildlife connectivity and support habitat restoration, this legislation also benefits public land users by encouraging cross-jurisdictional collaboration between Tribes, states and federal agencies to ensure an ecosystem-wide approach to management of big-game and critical wildlife habitat.
The letter’s signatories include:
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