NEWS

$1.4 billion proposed to support state-led efforts to conserve wildlife

Federal legislation was reintroduced to the U.S. House of Representatives this July.

8/19/2019 2:06:41 PM

Cheyenne - Federal legislation that could help conserve Wyoming’s 229 species of greatest conservation need was reintroduced to the U.S. House of Representatives this July. The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (RAWA) is bipartisan legislation brought forth by Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-MI) and Congressman Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) and asks for roughly $1.4 billion to the Wildlife Conservation Restoration Program for proactive, voluntary efforts led by the states, territories and tribal nations to prevent vulnerable wildlife from becoming endangered.

If passed, RAWA would amend the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act to allow for the dedication of $1.3 billion in existing funds from the U.S. Treasury to state fish and wildlife agencies to implement their State Wildlife Action Plans and an additional $97.5 million for tribal fish and wildlife managers to conserve fish and wildlife on tribal lands and waters. If passed, the Act would not include any new taxes.

State Wildlife Action Plans are mandated by Congress to outline proactive solutions to conserve species in greatest need and prevent wildlife from becoming threatened or endangered. Nationally, more than 12,000 species have been identified as species of greatest conservation need. The Act would bring more money into the state to carry out the Wyoming State Wildlife Action Plan to maintain healthy, sustainable populations of the 229 species of wildlife and to prevent federal endangered species listings. 

“If passed, funding allocated to Wyoming would be used to improve habitat, conduct inventories and provide conservation of important Wyoming species, like the wolverine, black-footed ferret or the Wyoming toad but also will benefit 11 game species on the list, like moose, bighorn sheep, greater sage grouse and the Snake River cutthroat trout,” said Wyoming Game and Fish Department Director Brian Nesvik. “Dedicated funding will help provide additional resources to help prevent future ESA listings and to do more for game and non-game species.” 

In January of 2017, the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission passed a resolution supporting a dedicated federal fund for efforts to diversify and expand funding species of greatest conservation need and their habitats. 

Full text of the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act is available online.

 

(Rebekah Fitzgerald (307) 777-4594)

- WGFD -

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