‘Most Significant Wildlife Conservation Bill in Half Century’ Passes U.S. House
Bismarck (June 14, 2022) — The U.S. House of Representatives has voted to pass the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, a bill to prevent wildlife extinctions by funding locally-led conservation efforts. If it becomes law, North Dakota will receive over $14 million to help 115 species of concern, including the western meadowlark and monarch butterfly, and game species like the northern pintail, canvasback, and sharptailed grouse.
“This is the most important piece of wildlife legislation in the past fifty years,” said John Bradley, Executive Director, North Dakota Wildlife Federation. “Wildlife in North Dakota and across the country are in crisis and this bold, bipartisan bill will tackle the problem at scale without any new taxes or regulations.”
Funding from the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act will be used to implement the Congressionally-mandated state wildlife action plans, which identify more than 12,000 wildlife and plants that need conservation assistance nationwide.
“The bipartisan passage of the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act affirms that there is consensus across the political spectrum that we can, and we must, prevent extinctions from our backyards to the backcountry,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “Inaction is the ally of extinction, and the time to act is now.”
The bill will also dedicate $97.5 million annually to fund proactive wildlife conservation efforts led by Native American Tribes. The nation’s 574 federally recognized Tribes manage tens of millions of acres of land nationwide with limited federal funding for conservation efforts.
“Tribes have thousands of years of traditional knowledge and a vested interest in solving the biggest challenges facing our fish and wildlife. The missing piece of the puzzle is adequate, sustained resources to build tribal capacity and support their conservation efforts,” explains Gloria Tom, Director of the Navajo Nation’s Fish and Wildlife Department. “The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act would be an unprecedented step in providing those resources and rectifying historic funding inequity and injustice.”
The bill has strong bipartisan support in the Senate, with 35 cosponsors yet Senators Hoeven and Cramer are not signed on to the bill. The Senate bill would be paid for out of federal environmental penalties.
“I want my children and grandchildren to be able to hear the song of the meadowlark, chase sharptails behind a bird dog, and to see monarchs wherever they go, the way I did growing up. Senator Hoeven and Senator Cramer should do everything they can to champion this historic legislation to get it over the finish line this summer,” said Bradley.
To learn more about Recovering America's Wildlife Act, click here.