December 5, 2019
Today, the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies was pleased to witness the House Committee on Natural Resources markup to advance bills that protect our rivers and restore our wildlife populations, including Recovering Americas Wildlife Act (H.R. 3742). The Association applauds Chairman Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Ranking Member Rob Bishop (R-UT) for their leadership in bringing H.R. 3742 up for a full committee markup and looks forward to working with members of the committee to advance this important legislation that has 157 bipartisan cosponsors toward final passage in the House.
State fish and wildlife agencies have identified over 12,000 species in need of proactive conservation to prevent them from becoming threatened or endangered. The bipartisan Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, reintroduced by Representatives Debbie Dingell (D-MI) and Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) in July of this year, is a solution to this critical problem.
The bill will dedicate $1.3 billion annually to state fish and wildlife agencies to implement their science-based wildlife action plans and an additional $97.5 million for tribal fish and wildlife managers to conserve fish and wildlife on tribal lands and waters. This will provide dedicated funding, so state and tribal wildlife managers can proactively conserve fish and wildlife species of greatest conservation need in a voluntary, non-regulatory manner before federal listing under the Endangered Species Act is warranted. All of this can be done without additional taxes.
“By investing in proactive conservation, we can take action toward restoring and managing the most imperiled species within our states’ borders and ensuring future generations can enjoy our valuable natural resources,” said Secretary Kelly Hepler of South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks and President of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. “The Association greatly appreciates the Chairman’s and Ranking Member’s leadership in bringing the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act to the attention of the Committee for markup and in advancing H.R. 3742.”
“This Recovering America’s Wildlife Act is the single most impactful wildlife conservation bill in a generation,” said Ron Regan, Executive Director of the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies. “This legislation will leave a lasting conservation legacy for all Americans.”
The House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Oceans and Wildlife held a hearing for the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act in October 2019.
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.