Historic, Bipartisan Bill Will Recover Species, Safeguard Communities, Traditions that Depend Upon Wildlife

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The re-introduced Recovering America’s Wildlife Act will help wildlife thrive for future generations by investing up to $1.4 billion each year to proactive, voluntary, locally-led conservation efforts. The landmark legislation, introduced by U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), will recover at-risk plant and wildlife species and help prevent extinctions while creating jobs and safeguarding the communities, businesses, and traditions that depend upon wildlife. 

“America’s wildlife are in crisis, with roughly one-third of all species at elevated risk of disappearing from our backyards and the backcountry. The bipartisan Recovering America’s Wildlife Act is the solution we need to help people and wildlife alike thrive for future generations,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “Thank you to Senators Martin Heinrich and Thom Tillis for introducing the most important wildlife conservation legislation in half a century. Congress should pass this bill as soon as possible to secure our shared wildlife heritage before it’s too late.”

“This bipartisan bill will ensure robust populations of wildlife in New Mexico from burrowing owls to bighorn sheep,” said Jesse Deubel, executive director of the New Mexico Wildlife Federation. “We’re grateful to Senator Heinrich for continuing to champion this commonsense, yet critical, proposal that will save money while saving wildlife.”

The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act will invest up to $1.4 billion each year in state, territorial, and Tribal conservation plans to recover the species and habitats most at risk of disappearing. States will receive funding based on a formula that includes the population, physical size and current number of endangered species.

“This is the most important conservation legislation we’ve seen in fifty years,” said Tim Gestwicki, CEO of the North Carolina Wildlife Federation. “Every North Carolinian can be proud that Senator Tillis is leading the charge on this commonsense, cost-effective proposal to protect our nation’s wildlife heritage.”

The bill will also provide $97.5 million in dedicated funding to wildlife recovery efforts led by Indigenous communities. This will be the first consistent source of conservation funding for the 574 federally-recognized Tribal Nations, who manage tens of millions of acres of land nationwide.

The bill’s re-introduction comes as the nation is preparing to mark the 50th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act, which has helped save species on the brink of extinction, such as the whooping crane, the bald eagle and the American alligator. The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act will help prevent declining species from needing federal protections, while dedicating more resources to those that are already federally listed.  

More information:
+ Find out how much money each state could receive
+ Read an overview of the bill
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