April 22, 2021
The Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies strongly supports the introduction of the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (H.R. 2773) in the House today. 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 existing revenue stream 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. The Association would like to thank Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-MI) and Congressman Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) for their leadership on this bill.
“This nation is blessed with abundant fish and wildlife resources that provide enjoyment as well as essential services to people and communities. Our state agencies have the primary responsibility of conserving our treasured natural resources and with this dedicated funding, states and our many partners will be able to make sure our fish and wildlife are healthy for years to come,” said Sara Parker Pauley, Director of the Missouri Department of Conservation and President of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. “This past year has really brought into focus the value of nature, outdoor recreation, our overall health, clean air and water and our economy. We must work together now to pass this legislation so that future generations will have these same opportunities and quality of life that we enjoy.”
“As we celebrate Earth Day and continue our work to combat the biodiversity crisis, bold solutions are needed to safeguard our nation’s wildlife from further decline,” said Congresswoman Dingell. “The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act represents a strong commitment to addressing the current biodiversity crisis using innovative, state-based management that will protect our nation’s environmental heritage for years to come.”
“The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act is smart upstream policy to promote continuity of habitat and prevent the costly downstream emergency room procedures of the Endangered Species Act––enhancing opportunity for birders, hikers, hunters, anglers, and the burgeoning field of ecotourism,” stated Congressman Jeff Fortenberry.
Without investing in proactive wildlife conservation, scientists estimate that one-third of wildlife species in the United States are at risk of becoming threatened or endangered. The outdoors is more important than ever, not only to fish and wildlife but for our health and wellbeing, and needs protecting.
“This Recovering America’s Wildlife Act is the single most impactful wildlife conservation bill in a generation,” said Executive Director Ron Regan. “It seems fitting to have historic legislation whose goal is the long-term health of fish and wildlife throughout the country introduced on Earth Day!”
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.