WASHINGTON -- Reps. Jeff Fortenberry, a Republican from Nebraska, and Debbie Dingell, a Democrat from Michigan, introduced the bipartisan Recovering America’s Wildlife Act on Thursday. The bill earmarks $1.397 billion annually for state fish and wildlife agencies, as well as $97.5 million to tribes, to carry out wildlife conservation efforts such as protecting nesting habitat for the red-cockaded woodpecker. The state wildlife agencies have collectively identified more than 12,000 species in need of conservation measures.
Environment America Conservation Advocate Alex Petersen issued the following statement:
“There are 3 billion fewer birds in the skies in North American today than in 1970, and globally, one million species are at risk of extinction, according to the United Nations’ biodiversity conference. Wildlife continue to face old challenges like habitat loss and fragmentation, but species are increasingly dealing with newer threats like climate change and invasive species. The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act will give our wildlife the support it badly needs.
“The act is exactly the kind of proactive legislation we must implement to help nature recover and thrive in the 21st century. It’s no surprise that this is a bipartisan effort because Republicans and Democrats all understand that it’s much harder to bring species back from the brink than it is to address their decline before things get out of hand.
“We are blessed in this country with beautiful open spaces and iconic wildlife species that are the envy of the world. We have a responsibility to protect this brilliant inheritance and pass it on to the next generations. This bill is a major investment toward that end.”