WASHINGTON -- The U.S. House passed a bipartisan bill on Tuesday that would provide funding to all 50 states, territories and the District of Columbia to protect more than 12,000 at-risk fish and wildlife species. The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (H.R. 2773) was introduced by a bipartisan group of lawmakers including Reps. Debbie Dingell of Michigan, Mike Simpson of Idaho, French Hill of Arkansas, Austin Scott of Georgia, Raúl M. Grijalva of Arizona, Jared Huffman of California, Peter DeFazio of Oregon, Chellie Pingree of Maine and Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González-Colón of Puerto Rico.
At a time when one-third of the fish and wildlife species in the United States are at risk of becoming threatened or endangered, the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act aims to recover populations before they reach the brink of extinction.
More than 1,000 groups have pledged their support for the bill, including state wildlife agencies, hunter and angler groups, outdoor recreation retailers and environmental organizations, among others.
In response, Steve Blackledge, senior director of Environment America’s Conservation Program, issued the following statement:
“Show me a state wildlife agency that doesn’t need additional funding to protect vulnerable species, and I’ll show you the 100-pound trout that I caught. Just like I’ve never caught that big fish, all of our state wildlife agencies are in dire need of money to protect our country’s wildlife.
“Whether due to damaged habitats, invasive species, climate change or pollution, many of America’s wildlife populations are in trouble. The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, which has strong bipartisan support, would send almost $1.5 billion to the states for wildlife conservation efforts. This funding would ensure wildlife action plans, rather than remain PDFs on a computer, are actually implemented on the ground where they’re needed.”
Lisa Frank, executive director of Environment America’s Washington Legislative Office, said:
“We’re thrilled to see the U.S. House of Representatives take action to protect America’s wildlife. To make sure that future generations can witness American icons ranging from the massive bison to the buzzing bumblebee, we need action now. We call on the Senate to quickly take up this bill.”