Senator Tester Backs Bipartisan Bill To Help Montana’s At-Risk Wildlife

HELENA — Senator Jon Tester 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.

“The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act is a bipartisan win for Montana farmers, ranchers and wildlife,” said Frank Szollosi, Executive Director of Montana Wildlife Federation. “This bill will invest in voluntary, on-the-ground grasslands conservation that will help prevent Montana’s iconic wildlife becoming endangered. We applaud Senator Tester for continuing to stand up for Montana’s wildlife, farms, ranches and wild places.”

The bill would send $28 million to the State of Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks which the agency will use to implement its wildlife action plan. The plan identifies 128 priority species, including the Bull trout, Harlequin duck and Arctic grayling.

“Working to prevent species from becoming endangered just makes sense, both ecologically and economically. As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” said Larry Berrin of the Montana Coalition for Recovering America's Wildlife.

“Saving the thousands of at-risk wildlife species will require bold, bipartisan leadership,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “We are so grateful to Senator Tester for leading the way on the historic Recovering America’s Wildlife Act. This bill will have an immediate impact – saving species, creating jobs and protecting our way of life in Montana and all across the country.”

A similar bill passed the House last session. Senator Tester also cosponsored a Senate version last session. It passed out of committee but never received a floor vote, despite having 47 bipartisan cosponsors.

Federally recognized tribal nations, including Montana’s eight nations such as the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Reservation and the Blackfeet Tribe of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation of Montana, would share $97.5 million annually to fund wildlife conservation efforts the lands they manage. 

“Wildlife conservation is an issue that unites all Americans. We will continue to encourage Senator Daines and the rest of Montana’s federal delegation to join a growing bipartisan list of supporters that includes Senator Tester in cosponsoring this commonsense bill and help it get across the finish line,” said Szollosi.




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