AFS is proud to support the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (RAWA). The congressional hearing on February 15 was a great step toward advancing this important legislation to provide state fish and wildlife agencies with the resources they need to conduct proactive conservation and to reverse species population declines.
Witness Bob Ziehmer, Senior Director of Conservation for Bass Pro Shops, testified that, “It is time for a more complete funding model to enable state agencies to deliver conservation actions for all fish and wildlife, both game and non-game.”
“The positive impacts of RAWA would be huge for fisheries throughout the United States. Funding for State Wildlife Plans would be considerable. In Montana alone, this legislation would increase its Fish and Wildlife budget by $28 million,” said AFS Executive Director Doug Austen.
Despite the remarkable diversity of fish and wildlife in the United States, populations of many species are in decline. Freshwater animals have been particularly hard hit. Approximately 40 percent of the nation’s freshwater fish species are now rare or imperiled. Emerging diseases, invasive species, habitat loss, and extreme weather threaten many fish and wildlife populations at a scale inconceivable just a few decades ago.
“If RAWA were enacted, success stories, like the Texas Park and Wildlife Department (TPWD) Guadalupe Bass Restoration Initiative, would be able to reverse these negative national trends. This is a win-win for the country,” said AFS Policy Director Drue Winters.