PHOENIX — Senators Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema have signed onto a bipartisan wildlife conservation bill, the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, that will devote $1.4 billion annually to locally-led efforts to help at-risk wildlife species nationwide.
“We’re facing a looming wildlife crisis, and this is the most important piece of wildlife legislation in the past fifty years,” said Scott Garlid, the Executive Director of the Arizona Wildlife Federation. “We thank Senators Kelly and Sinema for co-sponsoring this fiscally responsible effort to help at-risk wildlife with collaborative, voluntary measures across every state, territory and Tribal nation.”
The bill will send $31.4 million to the Arizona Game and Fish Commission which the agency will use to implement its wildlife action plan. More than 530 local species would benefit from the bill, including Apache trout and Chiricahua leopard frogs.
“Saving the thousands of at-risk wildlife species will require bold, bipartisan leadership and unprecedented collaboration,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “We are so grateful to Senators Kelly and Sinema for leading the way on the historic Recovering America’s Wildlife Act that will have an immediate impact – saving species and creating jobs in Arizona and all across the country.”
At least 15 percent of the funds will be used to help species already designated as endangered or threatened. Federally recognized tribal nations, such as the Hopi Tribe of Arizona and Tonto Apache Tribe of Arizona, would share $97.5 million annually to fund wildlife conservation efforts on tribal lands.
Representatives Raúl Grijalva, Ruben Gallego, and Tom O'Halleran are among the more than 100 bipartisan supporters of the House version of the legislation.
“Wildlife conservation is an issue that unites all Americans. We hope the rest of the Arizona delegation will join Senators Kelly and Sinema in cosponsoring this commonsense bill,” said Garlid.
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