More than 1,000 Scientists Call for Proactive Conservation; Urge Passage of Recovering America’s Wildlife Act

For Immediate Release
October 17, 2019

Contact: Drue Banta Winters, 504-220-7868, [email protected]
Caroline Murphy, 301-897-9770 x 308, [email protected]

 More than 1,000 Scientists Call for Proactive Conservation; Urge Passage of Recovering America’s Wildlife Act

Today, more than 1,000 scientists from every state along with several territories and tribes sent a letter to members of Congress urging significant action in fish and wildlife conservation through passage of the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (H.R. 3742). The Act would secure $1.4 billion in dedicated funding for state and tribal fish and wildlife agencies to conserve at-risk species in a proactive and cost-effective manner.

Recent reports have highlighted the steep declines in one-third of U.S. fish and wildlife species that make up our nation’s remarkable biodiversity. In July 2019, Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) and Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.) introduced the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill provides a new funding approach to reverse these grim statistics.

Fish and wildlife scientists and managers in every state have action plans ready to go with scientifically-backed proposals to restore species to a healthy status. The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act will provide state fish and wildlife agencies and tribes with dedicated resources to address more than 12,000 species in need of this proactive conservation.

“Increases in water temperatures, lack of water in streams and rivers, poor water quality, and changes in habitat have led to 40 percent freshwater species now being at risk and unfortunately, a changing climate means the situation will only get worse. With a dedicated stream of funding, we can implement scientifically based conservation plans that will change the prospects for fish and wildlife,” said Doug Austen, Executive Director, American Fisheries Society.

“Our country is in need of a solution that will match the scale of the problem. America’s scientists along with conservation organizations, state, and industry partners understand the crisis at hand,” said Gary White, President of The Wildlife Society. “We look forward to continuing to work with legislators on an understanding of this crisis and the need to invest in proactive conservation for the benefit of all Americans.”

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Founded in 1937, TWS and its network of affiliated chapters and sections represent more than 15,000 professional wildlife biologists, managers, and educators dedicated to excellence in wildlife stewardship. TWS’ mission is to inspire, empower, and enable wildlife professionals to sustain wildlife populations and habitat through science-based management and conservation.

Founded in 1870, the American Fisheries Society (AFS) is the world’s oldest and largest fisheries science society. The AFS mission is to improve the conservation and sustainability of fishery resources and aquatic ecosystems by advancing fisheries and aquatic science and promoting the development of fisheries professionals. With its renowned journals, books and conferences, AFS is the leading source of fisheries science and management information in North America and around the world.

To learn more about TWS’ and AFS’ efforts on the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, check out the Reversing America’s Wildlife Crisis report, a collaboration between TWS, AFS, and National Wildlife Federation. This report calls attention to North American and migratory wildlife species facing population declines due to a variety of threats. It echoes the intent of the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act in calling for more proactive management to prevent these declines and an improved funding mechanism to support such efforts.