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Bipartisan Bill Addressing America’s Wildlife Crisis Has 100+ Cosponsors

The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act would direct $1.3 billion of existing revenues towards proactive, state-led wildlife conservation

(Updated) 

WASHINGTON – A bill aimed at helping wildlife on the decline has garnered more than one hundred cosponsors from both parties in the House of Representatives. The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (H.R. 4647), introduced by Reps. Jeff Fortenberry, R-Nebr., and Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., would direct $1.3 billion of existing revenue from federal oil and gas leases towards state-led efforts to recover species at risk.

“We are pleased with the strong bipartisan support we're seeing on behalf of this groundbreaking legislation,” said Collin O'Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “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.”

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 bill will fund state efforts to rebuild native wildlife populations. These efforts will be guided by the existing State Wildlife Action Plans, which are developed collaboratively by the 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.

Here is how the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act will help wildlife and people:

  • NO TAX INCREASE — The $1.3 billion will come from existing revenues from energy and mineral fees on federal lands and waters. This is a small portion of the overall revenues from these sources.
  • A PROVEN MECHANISM — The bill will allocate funds via the Wildlife Conservation and Restoration subaccount of the Pittman-Robertson Act, which was originally passed in 1937.
  • LOCAL CONTROL — The funds from this bill will be controlled by state fish and wildlife agencies.
  • A HISTORY OF SUCCESS — State fish and wildlife agencies have had great successes in restoring species once on the brink—bald eagles, white-tailed deer, elk, turkey, striped bass, and more.
  • HELPING WILDLIFE AT RISK — The money will largely be spent on efforts such as restoring habitats, reintroducing native wildlife, fighting invasive species, and monitoring emerging diseases.
  • CONNECTING PEOPLE WITH NATURE — States can use some of the funds for wildlife viewing, nature photography, educational programs, and trail improvements.

“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,” said Naomi Edelson, the National Wildlife Federation’s senior director of wildlife partnerships. “This bill goes by the stitch-in-time-saves-nine principle. We can save money and save wildlife by funding conservation efforts today rather than waiting until thousands of species are on the brink. The representatives supporting this bill are showing real foresight and future generations of Americans will thank them.”

The National Wildlife Federation applauds the House members listed below who have currently signed on in support of this bill:

REPUBLICANS
Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE-1) *sponsor
Tom Cole (R-OK-4)
Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ-2)
Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-8)
Billy Long (R-MO-7)
Scott Tipton (R-CO-3)*
David Rouzer (R-NC-7)
French Hill (R-AR-2)
Richard Hudson (R-NC-8)
Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA-5)*
Tom Marino (R-PA-10)
Markwayne Mullin (R-OK-2)
Jeff Duncan (R-SC-3)
Elise Stefanik (R-NY-21)
Chris Smith (R-NJ-4)
Ann Wagner (R-MO-2)
Earl “Buddy” Carter (R-GA-1)
Austin Scott (R-GA-8)
Bruce Westerman (R-AR-4)*
Amata Coleman Radewagen (American Samoa, At-Large)*
Carlos Curbelo (R-FL-26)
Roger Marshall (R-KS-1)
Ryan Costello (R-PA-6)
Jason Smith (R-MO-8)
Steve Stivers (R-OH-15)
Stephen Knight (R-CA-25)
Jack Bergman (R-MI-1)*
Don Bacon (R-NE-2)
David Reichert (R-WA-8)
Pete Sessions (R-TX-32)
Kay Granger (R-TX-12)
Mike Simpson (R-ID-2) 
Dan Donovan (R-NY-11)
Leonard Lance (R-NJ-7)
John Rutherford (R-FL-4)
Michael Burgess (R-TX-26)
Rodney Davis (R-IL-13)
Lee Zeldin (R-NY-1) 
Matt Gaetz (R-FL-1)
Lynn Jenkins (R-KS-2)
John Faso (R-NY-19)
David Kustoff (R-TN-8)
Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN-3)
Bob Latta (R-OH-5)
Tom MacArthur (R-NJ-3)
Rob Wittman (R-VA-1)*
Michael Turner (R-OH-10)
Michael Conway (R-TX-11)
Ted Budd (R-NC-13)

DEMOCRATS
Debbie Dingell (D-MI-12) *original cosponsor
Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR-1)
Anne Kuster (D-NH-2)
Nydia Velazquez (D-NY-7)*
Salud Carbajal (D-CA-24)
Jerry McNerney (D-CA-9)
Zoe Lofgren (D-CA-19)
Suzan DelBene (D-WA-1)
Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH-1)
Jared Huffman (D-CA-2)*
Anna Eshoo (D-CA-18)
Kurt Schrader (D-OR-5)
Hank Johnson (D-GA-4)
Jan Schakowsky (D-IL-9)
John Garamendi (D-CA-3)
Alan Lowenthal (D-CA-47)*
Beto O’Rourke (D-TX-16)
Dan Kildee (D-MI-5)
Gene Green (D-TX-29)
Seth Moulton (D-MA-6)
Jared Polis (D-CO-2)
Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-3)
Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY-8)
Jim Cooper (D-TN-5) 
Charlie Crist (D-FL-13)
Tim Walz (D-MN-1)
Darren Soto (D-FL-9)*
Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ-9)
Peter DeFazio (D-OR-4)
Matt Cartwright (D-PA-17)
Adam Schiff (D-CA-28)
Jacky Rosen (D-NV-30)
Tim Ryan (D-OH-13) 
Grace Napolitano (D-CA-32)*
Doris Matsui (D-CA-6)
Donald Norcross (D-NJ-1)
Henry Cuellar (D-TX-28)
Mark Pocan (D-WI-02)
Mike Quigley (D-IL-05)
Anthony Brown (D-MD-4)*
Filemon Vela (D-TX-34)
Barbara Lee (D-CA-13)
Michael Doyle (D-PA-14) 
Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM-3) 
Karen Bass (D-CA-37)
Marcy Kaptur (D-OH-9)
Peter Welch (D-VT-AL)
Andre Carson (D-IN-7)
Chellie Pingree (D-ME-1)
Brendan Boyle (D-PA-13)
Joe Courtney (D-CT-2)
Dan Lipinski (D-IL-3)
Bobby Rush (D-Il-1) 
Jackie Speier (D-CA-14)
Lloyd Doggett (D-TX-35)
Pete Aguilar (D-CA-31)
John Larson (D-CT-2)
Richard Nolan (D-MN-8)
Vincente Gonzalez (D-TX-15)
Mike Thompson (D-CA-5)
Joaquin Castro (D-TX-20)
Stacey Plaskett (D-VI-AL)

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