Recovering America’s Wildlife Act reintroduced to U.S. Senate

The bipartisan wildlife legislation would provide unprecedented conservation funding

Senators Martin Heinrich (D–NM) and Thom Tillis (R–NC) reintroduced the bipartisan Recovering America’s Wildlife Act late last week in the U.S. Senate.

The bill would provide nearly $1.4 billion in dedicated funding annually for states and Tribes to conserve more than 12,000 at-risk species in the U.S.

The legislation, long endorsed by The Wildlife Society, would support deployment of State Wildlife Action Plans, which provide a roadmap for conservation actions aimed at addressing at-risk species population declines. Further, the legislation would provide Tribal nations with a first-of-its-kind funding stream to keep common species common and address threats against species currently at-risk.

“I’m proud of the momentum and widespread bipartisan support we built with Senator Blunt last Congress, and I look forward to doing the same with Senator Tillis as we work to move this bill across the finish line,” said Senator Heinrich upon reintroduction. “Without enough resources, state and Tribal wildlife agencies have been forced to pick and choose which species are worth saving. Instead of doing the proactive work that is necessary to maintain healthy wildlife populations on the front end, they have been forced into using reactive measures to rescue species after they are listed as threatened or endangered.”

The newly reintroduced version of Recovering America’s Wildlife Act is similar to the bill passed out of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee last year. Discussions are ongoing to determine an appropriate funding mechanism for the legislation and will be considered as the bill moves through the Senate.

“The Wildlife Society and our members thank Senators Heinrich and Tillis for their diligence in supporting America’s wildlife professionals and the species they protect,” said Caroline Murphy, government relations manager at The Wildlife Society. “We look forward to working with congressional offices to advance language that would provide a clear path forward to ensure financial certainty for states and Tribes.”

In the coming weeks, check out TWS’ take action page for updates and opportunities to engage in efforts to pass the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act. We will also be updating TWS membership through the Conservation Affairs Network on opportunities for engagement with this legislation.

Header Image: North Umpqua Wild and Scenic River, Roseburg, Oregon. Credit: Bureau of Land Management Oregon and Washington