Senators Martin Heinreich (D-NM) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) introduced the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (RAWA) to the U.S. Senate late last week. This comes three months after Debbie Dingell (D-MI) and Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) re-introduced the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (RAWA) to Congress; it was adopted in the House of Representatives on July 1st.
The bipartisan bill would redirect $1.4 billion in annual funding to state and tribal fish and wildlife agencies. These resources would be used towards monitoring and restoring habitat for over 12,000 at-risk species classified in the Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN).
“Through Senator Heinrich’s and Senator Blunt’s leadership, fish and wildlife professionals will have more robust tools to advance science-based natural resource conservation and ensure fish and wildlife populations are sustained for future generations.” says The Wildlife Society President, Carol Chambers.
- 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.
“America’s wildlife is in crisis — with more than one-third of all fish, wildlife, and plant species at heightened risk of extinction in the decades ahead — and in desperate need of on-the-ground restoration efforts. Thankfully, the House of Representatives is showing the country how strategic investments in natural infrastructure can recover wildlife, boost community resilience, and put Americans back to work. The National Wildlife Federation is grateful to our friends Rep. Dingell and Rep. Fortenberry for their tireless leadership and successful effort to include the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act in the natural infrastructure section of the Moving Forward Act,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation.
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.