December 15, 2017

Statement from the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Supporting the Introduction of the Recovering America's Wildlife Act

The Association of Fish and wildlife Agencies strongly supports the introduction of the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (H.R.4647). This bipartisan legislation would redirect $1.3 billion in existing revenue from the development of energy and mineral resources on federal lands and waters be dedicated to the Wildlife Conservation Restoration Program to conserve a full array of fish and wildlife. Congressman Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) and Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-MI) announced the introduction of this bipartisan bill today in Washington D.C.

 

“Our nation’s fish and wildlife are among its most valuable resources, along with clean air, water, healthy forests and agricultural lands that support all of us,” stated Virgil Moore, President of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and Director of Idaho Fish and Game. “Today we find ourselves at a critical crossroads and impending fish and wildlife challenge that could alter our children’s and grandchildren’s opportunities to enjoy these resources. By investing in our State Wildlife Action Plans, which serves as a blueprint for restoring the most sensitive and imperiled species within our state’s borders, we will be ensuring future generations can enjoy our rich wildlife heritage.”

 

“This is a very important and creative legislative initiative to enhance wildlife ecosystems across our nation through constructive partnerships in states,” stated Rep. Fortenberry.

 

“It has been proven over the decades that incredible gains in species conservation have been made with dedicated sources of funding,” Rep. Dingell said. “The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act builds off the successes of previous efforts including Pittman-Robertson, Dingell-Johnson, and the Land and Water Conservation Fund by giving state fish and wildlife agencies additional resources they need to proactively manage at-risk wildlife species. As we work to realize the full promise of these cornerstone programs, I am proud to introduce this legislation to further that commitment with my Republican colleague from Nebraska, Mr. Fortenberry. We both love the outdoors and know we must work hard to protect our natural resources. Together we believe we can get something done that will help bring conservation into the 21st Century and complement the other successful programs that are currently in place.”

 

“Each of us, as citizens of this country, has the responsibility to ensure diverse fish and wildlife resources are managed for future generations. Fish and wildlife need healthy habitats to thrive—enhancing our lives and providing many other benefits,” stated Johnny Morris, Founder and CEO of Bass Pro Shops. “State fish and wildlife agencies have a solid track record of accomplishing remarkable recovery and restoration successes since the early 1900s. However, enhanced funding is now needed to address today’s fish and wildlife habitat management challenges.”

 

“America's hunters, anglers, recreational shooters, and boaters have been the primary funders of state-based conservation efforts to this day,” said Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation President Jeff Crane. “This recommendation simply directs funding for conservation from other sectors that use our natural resources.”

 

“We thank Representatives Fortenberry and Dingell for introducing the historic Recovering America’s Wildlife Act,” said Collin O’Mara, President and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “This bill will help thousands of wildlife species through proactive, collaborative, on-the-ground efforts. The approach is unique because it calls for early action to save struggling wildlife, rather than waiting until species are on the brink of extinction and need expensive ‘emergency room’ measures to recover. When this bill becomes law, we will increase wildlife populations, strengthen America’s economy, and reduce the need for regulatory measures.”

 

“Hunters, anglers, recreational shooters and motorized boaters, through fees and licenses, have been the backbone of funding the conservation of America’s fish and wildlife,” said Executive Director Ron Regan. “This funding model can no longer keep up with the needs of the full array of fish and wildlife in this country. The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act provides a modern solution to an age old problem.”

 

These critical efforts are supported by the Alliance for America’s Fish & Wildlife, whose purpose is to create a 21st-century funding model for critically needed conservation of our nation’s most precious natural resources, our fish and wildlife. This effort was built upon the strong partnership created by the Blue Ribbon Panel on Sustaining America’s Diverse Fish & Wildlife Resources, consisting of members representing the outdoor recreation, retail and manufacturing sector, the energy and automotive industries, private landowners, educational institutions, conservation organizations, sportsmen’s groups and state and federal fish and wildlife agencies.

 

Download AFWA's press release here.

 

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The Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies represents North America’s fish and wildlife agencies to advance sound, science-based management and conservation of fish and wildlife and their habitats in the public interest. The Association represents its state agency members on Capitol Hill and before the Administration to advance favorable fish and wildlife conservation policy and funding and works to ensure that all entities work collaboratively on the most important issues. The Association also provides member agencies with coordination services on cross-cutting as well as species-based programs that range from birds, fish habitat and energy development to climate change, wildlife action plans, conservation education, leadership training and international relations. Working together, the Association’s member agencies are ensuring that North American fish and wildlife management has a clear and collective voice.
 

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