In early December, TWS chapters across the country took action to request co-sponsorship and build support for the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (S. 2372; H.R. 2773) leading up to a hearing on the legislation in the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.
The hearing on Dec. 8 represented a significant milestone for the legislation, which would provide state and tribal agencies with the funding needed to enact efficient and cost-effective conservation for at-risk wildlife.
In preparation for the hearing, TWS’ Conservation Affairs Network, which creates a venue for communication, collaboration, and cooperation on policy affecting wildlife and wildlife professionals, conveyed opportunities for TWS chapters to engage with senators, especially Environment and Public Works (EPW) committee members. The Wildlife Society’s Alabama, Wyoming, Maryland-Delaware, and South Dakota chapters responded to this call to action with letters to their senators requesting co-sponsorship of the legislation.
President of the Alabama Chapter of TWS, Ray Metzler, and president-elect of the chapter, Allison Chochran, said that part of the chapter’s decision to take action was based on the potential for the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act to improve conservation in a state with high biodiversity like Alabama. “Alabama sees really limited funding for non-game conservation considering our biodiversity and abundance of at-risk species,” Cochran said. Metzler agreed. “We have the most biodiversity of any state in the eastern U.S.,” he said. “The contributions of Recovering [funding] to on-the-ground conservation would be huge.”
The Mississippi Chapter of The Wildlife Society also engaged with Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi), an EPW committee member and co-sponsor of the legislation, to thank him for his support and encourage his attendance at the hearing.
Support has grown for Recovering America’s Wildlife Act throughout 2021, and TWS organizational units have been instrumental in securing bipartisan backing for the legislation in both the House and Senate. Earlier this year, TWS unit representatives participated in a virtual fly-in event, where congressional delegations spoke to the importance of Recovering America’s Wildlife Act. Since January, letters of thanks and requests for co-sponsorship of the legislation have been sent to congressional delegations from 14 TWS chapters representing nearly all of the organization’s U.S. sections.
As momentum for this legislation continues to build in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, TWS members can visit the Recovering America’s Wildlife Action Center to learn more about how they can support this game changing legislation.
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