From Backcountry Hunters & Anglers:
WASHINGTON – A bipartisan effort to secure funding for state and tribal efforts to conserve at-risk species was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives today by Reps. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) and Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE). The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act would make $1.4 billion in annual funding available to state and tribal wildlife management agencies, supporting critical conservation work, enhancing fish and wildlife habitat and boosting America’s outdoor recreation economy.
Public lands hunters and anglers, including Backcountry Hunters & Anglers members, have been vocal proponents of the need for targeted investments in species recovery. The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act is the product of decades of hard work and dedicated collaboration by sportsmen and women, conservationists and business leaders.
“Last Congress, we were able to enact the Great American Outdoors Act and provide $900 million annually in permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund,” said BHA President and CEO Land Tawney. “Now we have the opportunity to complement this victory through the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, which focuses on habitat enhancement through restoration, invasive species removal, research, watershed management, collaboration management of species across state lines, tribal lands and more.”
State wildlife agencies have demonstrated the ability to successfully restore habitat for multiple game species, including Tule elk in California, harlequin ducks in Montana, northern pintails in Kansas and many others. While not all at-risk species are game species, they share the same habitat with critical game animals like mallards, mule deer, pronghorn and wild trout. Improving habitat for one species benefits all of them, including wild game.
“Today we are sending a message to state and tribal wildlife managers: Your work is critical to America’s fish and wildlife, and we are committed to providing you with the resources you need,” Tawney continued. “Representatives Dingell and Fortenberry and their allies in Congress deserve our heartfelt thanks for their tireless efforts on their behalf. We look forward to Senate members following suit and supporting the advancement of the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act.”
The bill’s introduction in the 117th Congress resulted from hard work by a broad coalition of stakeholders, the Alliance for America’s Fish and Wildlife, to address at-risk species while also improving hunting and fishing opportunities. Comprised of outdoor industry leaders, state fish and wildlife agency officials, conservation groups, business interests, and hunters and anglers, the coalition is committed to achieving comprehensive conservation funding legislation in the United States.
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