On June 14th, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 231-190 on the pioneering Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (RAWA). This comes just under a year after it was adopted into the House. All eyes will now be on the Senate to take up the bill and send it to the White House.
The bipartisan bill would direct $1.4 billion in annual funding to state and tribal fish and wildlife agencies. These resources would be used to monitor and restore habitat for over 12,000 at-risk species classified in the Species of Greatest Conservation Need.
“State and tribal wildlife action plans have lacked critical funding for far too long,” states Backcountry Hunters and Anglers Conservation Director John Gale. “RAWA’s scope and potential benefits are unprecedented. This legislation will finally equip states and tribes to draw on a broad range of proven management practices, such as active restoration, invasive species removal, research, watershed management and collaborative management across state lines and tribal lands, to effect successful species recovery.”
- Fish – Over 40% of freshwater fish are considered at risk.
- Amphibians – 42% of toad, frog, and salamander species are threatened or severely declining.
- Reptiles – 33% of turtles are threatened while 5% of other reptiles share the same classification.
- Birds – 1/3 of bird species are classified as needing urgent conservation action.
- Freshwater Mussels – 70% of freshwater mussels species are already extinct or jeopardized.
Currently, funding for most local conservation efforts comes from the State and Tribal Wildlife Grants. It is the only program that supports states directly in preventative measures keeping species from becoming threatened or endangered. RAWA would not require any tax increase, as the bill redirects current funds.
To learn more and encourage your Senator to support Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, click here.