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Bipartisan Bill to Address America’s Wildlife Crisis

The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act would fund proactive, state-led conservation - “The approach is unique because it calls for early action to save struggling wildlife, rather than waiting until species are on the brink of extinction.”

WASHINGTON – At least 12,000 species of wildlife and plants are in urgent need of conservation efforts, according to the state wildlife agencies. 

The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, introduced today by Reps. Jeff Fortenberry, R-Nebr., and Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., would direct $1.3 billion of existing revenue from oil and gas activities on federal lands and waters towards state-led efforts to recover species at risk. These on-the-ground efforts will be guided by the existing State Wildlife Action Plans, which are developed collaboratively by state fish and wildlife agencies in consultation with landowners, businesses, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. States will be required to provide 25 percent matching funds.

The legislation builds upon the successes of the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act (Pittman-Robertson) and the Federal Aid in Sportfish Restoration Act (Dingell-Johnson) that have allowed America to lead the world in the conservation of game species, such as deer, elk, bighorn sheep, wild turkeys, and many species of waterfowl and sportfish. 

Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, said today:

“At a time when one-third of America’s fish and wildlife species are at risk, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to save thousands of species and ensure that future generations inherit the full diversity of our nation’s wildlife.

“We thank Representatives Fortenberry and Dingell for introducing the historic Recovering America’s Wildlife Act. This bill will help recover thousands of wildlife species through proactive, collaborative, on-the-ground efforts. The approach is unique because it calls for early action to save struggling wildlife, rather than waiting until species are on the brink of extinction. When this bill becomes law, we will increase wildlife populations, strengthen America’s economy, and reduce the need for regulatory measures.”

Naomi Edelson, senior director of wildlife partnerships for the National Wildlife Federation

“We cannot stand by and watch as so many of America’s wildlife species continue to decline -- and if this bill becomes law, we won’t have to. The states have done a fantastic job with what little funding they have; the wildlife agencies have plans at the ready to help the species that need it most. This proposal goes by the stitch-in-time-saves-nine principle. We can save money and save wildlife at risk by funding active conservation efforts today rather than waiting until thousands of species are on the brink.”

 

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