Good news for fish and wildlife programs that have been underfunded for decades. The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (HR5650) bill announced yesterday offers hope for bipartisan support that would vastly increase funding for state programs. —AFS Policy Director Tom Bigford
Washington, DC (July 7, 2016) –Yesterday, Congressman Don Young (R-AK) and Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-MI) introduced the bipartisan Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (HR5650) calling for $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.
The Blue Ribbon Panel on Sustaining America’s Diverse Fish and Wildlife Resources, comprised of national business and conservation leaders, convened in 2015 to recommend a new mechanism to sustainably fund fish and wildlife conservation. In March 2016, the Panel recommended that a $1.3 billion trust fund be created using existing fees from energy and mineral development on federal lands and water to support implementation of State Wildlife Action Plans in every state, territory and the District of Columbia.
If passed into law, this would be the largest infusion of funding for state-based fish and wildlife conservation in a generation. —Director of Conservation Initiatives, Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, Mark Humpert
“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 Restoring 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.” —Congresswoman Debbie Dingell
“We have a once in a generation opportunity to save thousands of at-risk wildlife species by investing in proactive, collaborative conservation. By modernizing how we fund conservation of the full diversity of wildlife, we will bolster our natural resources, strengthen our outdoor recreation economy, reduce regulatory uncertainty, improve public health, and bolster community resilience.”
— President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Wildlife Federation Collin O’Mara