December 8, 2021
Today, the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies was pleased to testify before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) legislative hearing in support of The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (S.2372). The Association applauds Chairman Carper (D-DE) and Ranking Member Capito (R-WV) for their leadership in bringing S.2372 to the committee and help to advance this important legislation. The Association would also like to thank EPW members Senator Whitehouse (D-RI), Senator Duckworth (D-IL), Senator Kelly (D-AZ), Senator Padilla (D-CA), Senator Stabenow (D-MI), Senator Boozman (R-AR), Senator Cramer (R-ND), Senator Wicker (R-MS) and Senator Graham (R-SC) for their committee support and co-sponsorship of the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, in addition to the other 32 bipartisan Senate co-sponsors.
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, introduced in the Senate by Senators Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) in July 2021, is a solution to this critical problem. If passed, this bill will not only help the one-third of wildlife species in the United States currently at risk of becoming threatened or endangered, but also get Americans back to work immediately, creating an estimated 33,000 jobs each year restoring natural resources and bolstering community resilience while protecting our valuable natural infrastructure.
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. The Senate bill complements the House version (H.R. 2773), introduced in April 2021 by Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-MI-12) and Congressman Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE-1), which has gained strong, bipartisan co-sponsorship due to its innovative approach to solving America’s wildlife crisis, with the current list of co-sponsors growing to 137 members.
“The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act would provide resources to more effectively address the conservation needs of thousands of at-risk species through proactive, collaborative conservation,” said Tony Wasley, Director of the Nevada Department of Wildlife and President of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. “If passed, this legislation would be the greatest hope toward ensuring future generations can continue to enjoy our valuable natural resources.”
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.