The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act would direct $1.3 billion of existing revenues towards proactive, state-led wildlife conservation
WASHINGTON – A bill aimed at helping at-risk wildlife will be heard in the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Federal Lands on Thursday at 2:30 pm ET.
The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (H.R. 4647), introduced by Reps. Jeff Fortenberry, R-Nebr., and Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., will direct $1.3 billion of existing revenue from federal oil and gas leases towards state-led efforts to recover species at risk.
“Right now, more than 12,000 species across America are struggling and we can save them by investing in targeted conservation efforts at the state level,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “The bipartisan Recovering America’s Wildlife Act invests in proactive habitat restoration and other collaborative actions to save wildlife, rather than waiting until species are on the brink of extinction. By acting now, we can pass down the incredible diversity of America’s fish and wildlife heritage to our children and grandchildren. We thank Representative Fortenberry (R-Neb.) and Representative Dingell (D-Mich.) for introducing the bill as well as Natural Resources Chairman Bishop (R-Utah) and Public Lands Subcommittee Chairman McClintock (R- Calif.) for swiftly bringing this important legislation up for a hearing.”
The concept behind the bill was outlined by a diverse group of business and conservation leaders, led by Johnny Morris, the founder of Bass Pro Shops, and David Freudenthal, the former Governor of Wyoming. The bill would utilize a proven mechanism to send funds to the state wildlife agencies—the Wildlife Conservation and Restoration subaccount of the Pittman-Robertson Act, which was originally created in 1937.
Approximately 300 organizations have signed on to a letter supporting the concept behind the bill. Thursday’s hearing covers four bills, including the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act. The hearing will be broadcast live.
At least 12,000 species of wildlife and plants are in need of conservation efforts, according to the state wildlife agencies. Habitat loss, invasive species, and severe weather are taking a severe toll on birds, mammals, fish, amphibians, reptiles, butterflies, and bees.
The National Wildlife Federation will release a longer report on America’s wildlife crisis in March.
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