June 14, 2022
Today, the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies was excited to witness a passing vote on the House floor for the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (H.R. 2773). The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act is the single most impactful wildlife conservation bill in a generation, benefiting our nature, outdoor recreation, our overall health, clean air and water and our economy. The final vote was 231 to 190 including Republicans and Democrats, highlighting the bipartisan support of this historic piece of legislation that would help expedite the recovery of thousands of at-risk species through proactive, collaborative conservation.
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) on Earth Day 2021, is a solution to this critical problem.
This bipartisan legislation 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 funding will allow state fish and wildlife agencies to implement proactive solutions to conserve those species in greatest need and prevent wildlife from becoming threatened or endangered without increasing taxes. This bill has 194 bipartisan cosponsors in the House and 35 bipartisan cosponsors in the Senate. This vote now moves the bill over to the Senate to take action.
“This positive vote in the House is a giant step forward for wildlife and a reaffirmation that conservation transcends party lines and politics,” said Tony Wasley, Director of the Nevada Department of Wildlife and President of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. “We sincerely thank Congresswoman Dingell for her outstanding leadership and thanks to all those supporting the advancement of the bill today on the floor. We look forward to working with everyone on both sides of the aisle and the Capitol to get this bill across the finish line as soon as possible so we can begin the work of proactive wildlife conservation and habitat protection at the scale that is needed.”
“Right now, the United States is facing an unprecedented biodiversity crisis,” said Congresswoman Dingell. “We’ve already seen our nation’s beautiful monarch butterfly population plummet, and we’ve lost nearly 3 billion birds since 1970. Without significant a change in the way we finance conservation, more of the animals and wildlife we hold dear to our heart will become endangered. The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act is landmark legislation that takes long-overdue action to address this crisis by using innovative, on-the-ground collaboration that will protect our nation’s environmental heritage. We have a conservation, economic, and moral obligation to act in order to protect and recover America’s wildlife for future generations. Grateful to the broad, bipartisan coalition that has fought for this legislation, and I urge the Senate to act on this bill right away.”
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, sportsmen’s and other conservation organizations and state and federal fish and wildlife agencies.
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.