CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Ten local and national conservation groups have taken out a half-page print in the Sunday Charleston Gazette Mail and a digital ad campaign thanking U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito for her support for state-led wildlife conservation.
Click to view the print ad in Sunday's paper.
The bipartisan Recovering America’s Wildlife Act will prevent extinctions by dedicating $1.4 billion annually for collaborative efforts on behalf of at-risk wildlife species.
“This commonsense, bipartisan bill will help West Virginia’s at-risk wildlife with voluntary measures,” said Angie Rosser, the executive director of West Virginia Rivers Coalition. “West Virginians grew up listening to whip-poor-wills at night and fishing for brook trout by day, but these species are in trouble. Restoring forests for whip-poor-wills and improving water quality for trout will create jobs while preserving our heritage.”
The bill would give the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources $12.4 million each year to help more than one thousand at-risk species identified in its wildlife action plan. The species include bobwhite quail, brook trout, whip-poor-wills, and northern flying squirrels.
As the ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Senator Capito has a key leadership role in the oversight of wildlife issues, and has spoken favorably about the importance of conservation funding for the states to implement their wildlife action plans – the approach taken by the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act. The committee could vote on the bill the first week of April, during National Wildlife Week.
“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. “The historic Recovering America’s Wildlife Act that will have an immediate impact – saving species and creating jobs in West Virginia and all across the country.”
The Senate bill has 32 bipartisan cosponsors, including 16 Republicans. Nearly 170 representatives have signed onto the House version of the legislation.
A recent nationwide poll of nearly 1,199 likely voters found that 87 percent of likely voters supported the bill, with only 7 percent opposed.
“Wildlife conservation is an issue that unites all Americans. We hope to see this bill make it to the President’s desk this year,” said O’Mara.
The ad was paid for by the National Wildlife Federation. The West Virginia Rivers Coalition, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, the Nature Conservancy, Trout Unlimited, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, the National Wild Turkey Federation, the Conservation Fund, the National Association of State Foresters, and Ducks Unlimited joined the campaign.
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More than one-third of U.S. fish and wildlife species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. We're on the ground in seven regions across the country, collaborating with 52 state and territory affiliates to reverse the crisis and ensure wildlife thrive.