Senator Rubio Backs Bipartisan Bill To Help Florida’s At-Risk Wildlife

TALLAHASSEE — Senator Marco Rubio has signed onto a bipartisan wildlife conservation bill, the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, that will dedicate $1.4 billion annually to locally-led efforts to help at-risk wildlife species nationwide.

“We’re facing a looming wildlife crisis here in Florida,” said Sarah Gledhill, President and CEO of the Florida Wildlife Federation. “We thank Senator Rubio for co-sponsoring this effort to help species already at risk and to prevent others from falling through the cracks, before it’s too late.”

The bill would send $39.4 million to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission which the agency will use to implement its wildlife action plan. The plan identifies 690 priority species, including sea turtles, red-cockaded woodpecker and Florida panther. 

“We thank Senator Rubio for his support of this landmark effort to conserve fish and wildlife in Florida,” said Roger Young, Executive Director of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. “This bill will help ensure that future generations of Floridians can enjoy the same wildlife experiences that we do today.”

A similar bill passed the House last session, with support from twelve Florida representatives. Senator Rubio also cosponsored a Senate version last session. It passed out of committee but never received a floor vote, despite having 47 bipartisan cosponsors.

“Saving the thousands of at-risk species will require bold, bipartisan leadership,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “We are so grateful to Senator Rubio for leading the way on the historic Recovering America’s Wildlife Act. This bill will save wildlife, create jobs and protect our way of life in Florida and all across the country.”

Federally recognized tribal nations, including the Seminole Tribe of Florida and the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians, would share $97.5 million annually to fund wildlife conservation efforts on the lands they manage. 

“Florida’s iconic wildlife are part of what makes our state so special. We hope Senator Scott and the rest of the Florida delegation will join Senator Rubio in cosponsoring this commonsense, cost-effective proposal to save species with collaborative conservation efforts,” said Gledhill.

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