Outdoor America 2019 Issue 3
U.S. Representatives Jeff Fortenberry of Nebraska and Debbie Dingell of Michigan have again introduced bipartisan legislation aimed at addressing declining funds for wildlife conservation. The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (H.R. 3742) would direct $1.3 billion in new funding annually to the Wildlife Conservation Restoration Account, from which it can be distributed to state wildlife agencies to support broad-based fish and wildlife conservation efforts.
New funding for wildlife conservation and restoration is critically needed. For decades, hunters and anglers provided almost all the funding for wildlife and habitat conservation – for both game and non-game species – through the license fees they pay annually and excise taxes paid on firearms, ammunition, and fishing tackle. These traditional sources of revenue face steep declines as participation in these outdoor sports – in hunting in particular – declines. As a result, states are struggling to invest in vital conservation work.
With a new source of funds, state wildlife agencies would be able to fully implement their state wildlife action plans – conservation blueprints designed by each state to address the challenges facing thousands of species of greatest need. State wildlife action plans, once fully funded, will help keep many species of fish and wildlife off the endangered species list, preventing the costly restoration efforts triggered once a species is listed as endangered.
The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act represents a tremendous opportunity for fish and wildlife conservation in this country. The League will support its passage into law and we urge all of our members to contact their U.S. Representatives and ask them to cosponsor this legislation.
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