Recovering America’s Wildlife Act Would Also Help Economic Recovery

June 11, 2020

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Speaker of the House
U.S. House of Representatives
U.S. Capitol, H-232
Washington, D.C. 20510
The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Majority Leader
U.S. Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510
The Honorable Kevin McCarthy
Minority Leader
U.S. House of Representatives
U.S. Capitol, H-204
Washington, D.C. 20515
The Honorable Charles Schumer
Minority Leader
U.S. Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear Speaker Pelosi, Leader McCarthy, Leader McConnell, and Leader Schumer,

As this Congress continues to address the enormous economic and public health crisis facing our country due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our coalition of diverse organizations, businesses, professional societies, state fish and wildlife agencies, and tribal nations request that the bipartisan Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (H.R. 3742) be included in a future economic recovery package, because it represents a smart, future focused investment that will create immediate and significant numbers of direct jobs, will help restart the outdoor economy, and will support key sectors, such as agriculture, forestry, and ranching.

The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act will put Americans back to work expanding our recreational infrastructure, restoring our natural resources, and investing in on-the-ground projects in every state, territory, and tribal lands. This common-sense, fiscally responsible solution has brought 181 Members of Congress together as cosponsors and received strong bipartisan support when it was reported out of the House Natural Resources Committee by a vote of 26-6.

Our nation’s $778 billion outdoor economy—an economy that provides 5.2 million jobs, and represents 2.2 percent of the national gross domestic product—depends upon the restoration and conservation of our nation’s wildlife, lands, and waters. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, this industry boasts an annual growth of 3.9 percent, which outpaces the 2.4 percent annual growth of the national economy. The outdoor recreation economy historically shows higher increases in real gross output, compensation, and employment than the national economy. Every million dollars invested in species and habitat restoration creates 17 to 24 jobs (some estimates as high as 33 per million). Passage of the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act has the potential to create between 23,800 and 33,600 jobs every year, while adding 3.36 billion of national economic output. All of this would lead to a net positive gain of $1.96 billion annually to the Gross Domestic Product.

Importantly, this legislation will also provide $97.5 million annually to Tribal nations for on-the-ground conservation projects that create jobs. Tribal nations are exceptional stewards of conservation, and many Tribes’ cultures, traditions, communities, foods, and economies depend upon diverse and healthy natural resources and wildlife populations. The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act would be the only federal conservation program that guarantees sustained funding to Tribal governments to continue this work. Currently, these projects are primarily being carried out one project at a time, which does not allow for continued growth and job creation. Investment in Tribal communities and expertise is essential and crucial, especially as these nations feel the economic impacts of COVID-19.

Finally, this legislation will save taxpayers money in the long run because it is based on the simple premise that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Rather than defaulting to regulation and litigation, this bill saves America’s imperiled wildlife through collaboration and constructive partnerships in every state, territory, and tribal lands. If we invest proactively now, we can prevent more and more of the 12,000 Species of Greatest Conservation Need from requiring listing as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Doing so will save American taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars compared to if all those species had to be listed (estimated at a minimum of $6.7 billion annually).

Creating jobs immediately and reducing long-term costs by enacting the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act will bring together Americans from East to West and the Members of Congress that represent these diverse constituencies– at a time when we really need it. More and more Americans have turned to the outdoors for a respite during this pandemic. We now have an opportunity to accelerate our national economic recovery by creating jobs restoring these important places and building upon the incredible legacy our country has of uniting during difficult times of economic uncertainty. Thank you for your consideration.


Acadia Wildlife Services
Alabama Chapter of The Wildlife Society
American Bird Conservancy
American Fisheries Society
American Sportfishing Association
American Woodcock Society
Applied Conservation Lab
Archery Trade Association
Arizona Wildlife Federation
Arkansas Environmental Education Association
Arkansas Forestry Association
Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce / Associated Industries of Arkansas
Arkansas Wildlife Federation
Ashley Sportsman’s Club
Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies
Association of Northwest Steelheaders
Audubon Louisiana
Audubon Society of Lincoln City
Audubon Texas
Austin Science Advocates
Backcountry Hunters & Anglers
Barry Conservation District
Bass Anglers Sportsman Society
Bass Pro Shops
Bat Conservation International
Bay Mills Indian Community
Bayou Land Conservancy
Bexar Audubon Society
Big Thicket Association
Bird Conservancy of the Rockies
Bob Rees’ Fishing Guide Service
Bois Forte Band of Chippewa
Bowfishing Association of MI
Bucks County Audubon Society
Cadillac Sportsman’s Club
California Central Coast Chapter of The Wildlife Society
California Invasive Plant Council
California Waterfowl
Camp Fire Club of America
Catch-A-Dream Foundation
Center for Diversity & the Environment
Center for Wildlife Studies
Coloradans for Responsible Wildlife Management
Colorado Wildlife Federation
Comal County Conservation Alliance
Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes
Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation
Connecticut Audubon Society
Connecticut Forest & Park Association
Connecticut Land Conservation Council
Connecticut League of Conservation Voters
Connecticut Ornithological Association
Connecticut Waterfowl Association
Conservation Coalition of Oklahoma
Conservation Council For Hawaii
Conservation Federation of Missouri
Conservation Force
Conservation Management Institute at Virginia Tech
Conservation Northwest
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Dallas Safari Club
Delaware Nature Society
Delta Waterfowl
Desert Botanical Garden (Phoenix, AZ)
Downeast Salmon Federation
Ducks Unlimited
Elakha Alliance
Environmental Education Council of Ohio
Environmental Collaborative of Ohio
Fishing League Worldwide
Forest Society of Maine
Fort Worth Audubon Society
Fort Worth chapter of Native Prairies Association of Texas
Fossil Rim Wildlife Center
Freeport Wild Bird Supply
Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Society
Georgia Wildlife Federation
Grand Valley State University
Gratz & Associates, ltd.
Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance
Greening Greenfield
GrowSmart Maine
Gulf Coast Bird Observatory
Hill Country Conservancy
Houston Safari Club
Houston Wilderness
Huron Pines
Huron Valley Conservation Association
Idaho Wildlife Federation
Indiana Wildlife Federation
Innovate Wildlife Management Services LLC
Institute for Natural Resources, Portland State University
International Eagle Austringers Association
International Game Fish Association
Iowa Audubon
Iowa Wildlife Federation
Izaak Walton League of America
Johnny Appleseed Metropolitan Park District
Kansas Wildlife Federation
Kentucky Waterways Alliance
Kentucky Chapter of The Wildlife Society
Klamath Watershed Partnership
Kootenai Tribe of Idaho
Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians
Lake Erie Islands Conservancy
Lake Erie Islands Nature & Wildlife Center
Land-O-Lakes Bowmen (Fenton Michigan)
Licking County Soil & Water Conservation District
Local Ocean Seafoods
Long island hawking club
Louisiana Wildlife Federation
Lower Brule Sioux Tribe
Maine Audubon
Maine Chapter of The Wildlife Society
Maine Coast Heritage Trust
Maine Entomological Society
Maine Professional Guides Association
Masters of Foxhounds Association
Maverick Ranch-Fromme Farm
McKenzie River Trust
Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin
Menunkatuck Audubon Society
Michigan Bow Hunters Association
Michigan Resource Stewards
Michigan United Conservation Clubs
Middletown March for Science
Minnesota Chapter of The Wildlife Society
Minnesota Conservation Federation
Mississippi Wildlife Federation
Mojave Desert Land Trust
Montana Audubon
Montana Wildlife Federation
Montmorency County Conservation Club
National Aquarium
National Association of Forest Service Retirees
National Audubon Society
National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative
National Professional Anglers Association
National ShootingSports Foundation
National Wild Turkey Federation
National Wildlife Federation
Native American Fish and Wildlife Society
Native Plant Conservation Campaign
Natural Resources Conservation Academy
National Aquarium
Navajo Nation Department of Fish and Wildlife
Nebraska Chapter of The Wildlife Society
Nebraska Wildlife Federation
Nevada Wildlife Federation
New Hampshire Audubon
New Hartford Conservation Commission
New Jersey Audubon
New Mexico Wildlife Federation
North America Falconry Association
North America Grouse Partnership
North American Falconers Association
North Carolina Wildlife Federation
North Dakota Natural Resources Trust
Northwest Avian Resources LLC
Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission
Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association
NW Guides and Anglers Association
NW Guides and Anglers Fisheries Restoration Initiative
Ohio Conservation Federation
Oneida Nation
Oregon Association of Conservation Districts
Oregon chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers
Oregon Chapter of the American Fisheries Society
Oregon Chapter of The Wildlife Society
Oregon Conservation and Recreation Advisory Committee
Oregon Wildlife Foundation
Oregon Zoo Foundation
Orion: the Hunter’s Institute
Orono Land Trust
Outdoor Recreation Roundtable Association
Pheasants Forever
Pines and Prairies Land Trust
Pope and Young Club
Prairie Rivers Network
Protect Animal Migration
Pueblo of Santa Ana
Pueblo of Zuni
Pyramid Lake Fisheries, Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe
Quail Forever
Quality Deer Management Association
Quileute Tribe
Red Lake Nation
REI Co-op
Rob and Bessie Welder Wildlife Foundation
Rogue Basin Partnership
Ruffed Grouse Society
Salem (OR) Audubon Society
Sociedad Ornitológica Puertorriqueña, Inc.
South Dakota Chapter of The Wildlife Society
South Dakota Wildlife Federation
Sports Angler
Straits Area Sportsmen’s Club
SUNY ESF Roosevelt Wild Life Station
Sustainable Northwest
Tennessee Wildlife Federation
Texas Alliance for America’s Fish and Wildlife
Texas Chapter of the Wildlife Society
Texas Conservation Alliance
Texas Land Trust Council
Texas Wildlife Association
The Conservation Angler
The Conservation Fund
The Guide’s Forecast
The Jonah Center for Earth and Art
The Lands Council
The National Association of State Foresters
The North Central Section of the Wildlife Society
The North Texas Conservancy
The Wilderness Center
The Wildlife Society
Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership
Tomahawk Archers
Trout Unlimited
Trout Unlimited, Maine Brook Trout Project
Trout Unlimited, Maine Council
Turtle Island Restoration Network
U.P. Whitetails of Marquette County Inc.
University of Maine
Upper Black River Council
Virginia Conservation Network
Virginia State Chapter of The Wildlife Society
Walker River Paiute Tribe
Washington Chapter of The Wildlife Society
Waste-Away LLC
WaterWatch of Oregon
West Virginia Rivers Coalition
White Earth Nation
White River Marine Group
Wild Oceans
Wildlife Ecology Institute
Wildlife Forever
Wildlife Forever Fund
Wildlife Habitat Council
Wildlife Management Institute
Wisconsin Chapter of The Wildlife Society
Wisconsin’s Green Fire – Voices for Conservation
Wyoming Chapter of The Wildlife Society
Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation