45 Members of the Senate have signed a letter supporting “robust funding” for the State and Tribal Wildlife Grant program in the fiscal year 2019 federal budget. The ‘Dear Colleagues’ letter was delivered to Chairman Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Ranking Member Tom Udall (D-N.M.) of the Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies.
The State and Tribal Wildlife Grant (STWG) program is slated to be cut in half by President Trump’s proposed budget for the Interior Department. STWG is the only federal program that directly assists state agencies in developing and executing state wildlife action plans. These plans are crucial to conservation of more than 12,000 species of greatest conservation need.
This funding is more important than ever to fulfill the shared federal-state and tribal responsibility for sustaining our nation’s fish and wildlife.
The proposed budget cuts underscores the need for a dedicated source of funding for proactive conservation of imperiled species, like the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act. The STWG program is currently subject to annual appropriations and the funding is insufficient to meet the scale of the wildlife crisis in our country.
The letter campaign was led by Senators Mike Crapo (R.-Idaho) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.).
The American Fisheries Society worked alongside the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, the National Wildlife Federation, and the Wildlife Society to encourage Senators to sign the letter.