CONCORD, NH — Senator Jeanne Shaheen has signed onto a bipartisan wildlife conservation bill, the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, that will dedicate $1.4 billion annually to locally-led efforts to help at-risk wildlife species nationwide.
“This is the most important piece of wildlife legislation we’ve seen in fifty years,” said Doug Bechtel, president of New Hampshire Audubon. “The nation’s wildlife are in crisis, and this bill will address the problem at scale, while there is still time to make a difference. We are so grateful to Senator Shaheen for joining this bold, bipartisan effort to protect our wildlife heritage.”
The bill would send more than $11 million annually to the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, which the agency will use to implement its wildlife action plan, which identifies 170 priority species, including the New England cottontail, Blanding's turtle and roseate terns.
“I’m proud to join this landmark conservation legislation to proactively conserve habitats and support healthy fish and wildlife populations. I hope the bipartisan momentum behind this bill continues so we can get this across the finish line,” Senator Shaheen said in a statement issued by the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department.
The Senate bill has 34 cosponsors, nearly half of them Republicans. Both of New Hampshire’s House representatives – Rep. Ann Kuster and Rep. Chris Pappas – are among the 173 cosponsors of the House bill. The strong, bipartisan support suggests the bill has a real chance of passage this year.
“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 Senator Shaheen for leading the way on the historic Recovering America’s Wildlife Act. This bill will have an immediate impact – saving species while creating jobs all across the country.”
“Wildlife conservation is an issue that unites all Americans. We should all be proud that New Hampshire is showing up for this historic legislation. I am hopeful this bill will be signed into law in the next few months,” said Bechdel.
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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.