Historic bill will protect thousands of species, communities and traditions that depend on wildlife

Maria Luisa Rossel | National Wildlife Federation 
Photo Credit: Dmitry Demidov / Pexels

Maria Luisa Rossel
National Wildlife Federation 

The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, introduced in the Senate by the legislators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), will help protect wildlife for future generations. If approved, this historic legislation will serve to recover plant and animal species at risk, and prevent their extinction. This is an investment of up to $1.4 billion annually in proactive, voluntary, locally led conservation efforts. In addition, the bill will create jobs, protect communities, businesses and traditions that depend on wildlife.

“America’s wildlife is in crisis. Approximately one third of all species are at high risk of extinction. The bipartisan Recovering America’s Wildlife Act is the solution we need to keep people and wildlife thriving for future generations,” said Collin O’Mara, President and CEO of National Wildlife Federation. “Thank you to Senators Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) for reintroducing the most important wildlife conservation legislation in half a century. Congress must pass this bill as soon as possible, and safeguard our shared heritage of wildlife, before it’s too late.” “This bipartisan bill will make it possible for wildlife to recover in New Mexico, including burrowing owls and bighorn sheep,” said Jesse Deubel, executive director of the National Wildlife Federation of New Mexico. “We are grateful to Senator Heinrich for continuing to champion this common sense proposal that protects wildlife and saves money.”

Recover species and habitats at risk of disappearing

The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act provides an investment of up to $1.4 billion annually in the conservation plans of states, territories and indigenous communities, to recover the species and habitats that are most at risk of disappearing. States will receive funds based on population and the number of endangered species, among other factors. “This is the most important conservation legislation we’ve seen in fifty years,” said Tim Gestwicki, executive director of the National Wildlife Federation of North Carolina. “The habitants of North Carolina can be proud of Senator Tillis for leading this cost-effective, common-sense proposal to protect our nation’s wildlife heritage. “The bill includes $97.5 million in annual funding, allocated for conservation programs led by indigenous communities. For the first time, the 574 federally recognized tribes, which manage tens of millions of acres of land across the country, will have a permanent source of funding for wildlife conservation.

The reintroduction of this bill comes as the United States prepares to mark the 50th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act, which helped save species from the brink of extinction, including the whooping crane, eagle bald head and the American alligator, among other animals. Recovering America’s Wildlife Act will help prevent species declines and prevent them from needing federal protections. In addition, it will allocate more resources for the protection of animals and plants, which are on the list of endangered species.

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