Sen. Debbie Stabenow backs bipartisan bill aiming to help Michigan’s at-risk wildlife

LANSING — Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) has signed onto the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, which would dedicate $1.4 billion annually to locally-led efforts to help vulnerable wildlife species nationwide.

This legislation would add to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ already-strained funding, said Amy Trotter, Michigan United Conservation Clubs executive director.

“RAWA has the chance to change the way we envision and implement wildlife management in this country,” Trotter said. “This bill will provide essential conservation funding for non-game species — species currently managed solely with hunter and angler license dollars.”

Up to  $26.8 million could reach the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, which the agency will use to implement its wildlife action plan. The plan identifies 301 priority species, including the Northern flying squirrel, lake sturgeon and musk turtle. 

“Saving the thousands of at-risk species will require bold, bipartisan leadership,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “We are so grateful to Senator Stabenow for leading the way on the historic Recovering America’s Wildlife Act. This bill will save wildlife, create jobs and protect our way of life in Michigan and all across the country.”

A similar bill passed the House last session, with support from nine Michigan representatives. Senators Stabenow and Peters also cosponsored a Senate version last session. It passed out of committee but never received a floor vote, despite having 47 bipartisan cosponsors.

Now is the time for action, Trotter said.

“Wildlife conservation is an issue that unites all Americans,” she said. “Our wildlife and their ecosystems are integral parts of our way of life in this state. Without vibrant ecosystems and happy critters, would we still be the same Michigan?”



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