The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act is gaining momentum in Congress. The House bill, introduced last December, now has over 100 co-sponsors. The corresponding Senate bill, introduced in July, is expected to be the subject of an Environment and Public Works Committee hearing in November. There’s a critical difference in the House and Senate bills in that the Senate bill only provides for annual appropriations while the House bill follows the recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Panel on Sustaining America’s Diverse Fish and Wildlife that called for dedicated funding. AFS is working with our conservation partners to move the bill forward and to ensure that members of Congress understand the need to dedicate funding to address the fish and wildlife crisis in America.
It is a critical time to get your members of Congress focused on this important legislation. Please consider engaging your Unit in support of the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act. Members of Congress are in their districts and will return to DC following the mid-term elections for a “lame duck” session. The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act could be folded in to a funding package that addresses the maintenance backlog on national parks and re-authorizes and funds the Land and Water Conservation Fund. If the bill does not pass before the end of the year, it will need to be re-introduced in the next Congress. It is important to continue building support for funding for proactive conservation while these discussions unfold.
Here are a few ways to help:
- Help to secure 125 co-sponsors on the House bill before the end of the year by writing a letter from your chapter to your House delegation asking them to co-sponsor the bill. We can provide you with a template.
- Check to see if your Senator is a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee. If so, contact them and ask them to speak up during the hearing about the need for dedicated funding for the bill.
- Use social media to thank current sponsors of the bill and encourage more support of Recovering America’s Wildlife Act.
Contact AFS Policy Director Drue Banta Winters ([email protected]) for assistance!