TWS chapters ‘visit’ hill for Recovering Act

Representatives from several chapters of The Wildlife Society joined other members of the Alliance for America’s Fish and Wildlife last week for a virtual fly-in event, meeting virtually with their congressional delegations to encourage lawmakers to co-sponsor the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act.

Wildlife professionals from the Southern California Chapter, the Wisconsin Chapter, the Michigan Chapter and the North Central Section participated in the fly-in alongside TWS staff and partners. The fly-in began with a kick-off virtual rally for fly-in participants, during which  Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, Jeff Crane, president and CEO of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation and Sarah Parker-Pauley, president of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies spoke about the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act and its value to conservation.

“We are very pleased with the turn out for this event and the support for the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act,” said Caroline Murphy, AWB®, government relations manager at The Wildlife Society. “It is an honor to work alongside our chapters and the other Alliance for America’s Fish and Wildlife members to secure passage of this important legislation.”

Opportunities for fly-in engagement were distributed through TWS’ Conservation Affairs Network, a forum for streamlined communication and collaboration on policy matters important to wildlife professionals.

Members of TWS that engaged spoke to conservation issues they directly interact with, providing a localized approach in relaying the direct benefits of this legislation to a congressional district. “Anecdotes from wildlife professionals working directly with a state’s resources is extremely valuable when seeking cosponsorship.” said Murphy.

The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act would provide $1.3 billion annually for state fish and wildlife agencies and $97.5 million annually for tribal nations to work on at-risk species recovery and support the implementation of State Wildlife Action Plans, which identify species at risk of becoming threatened or endangered known as species of greatest conservation need. The action plans, also known as SWAPs, detail proactive plans to ensure their conservation and help prevent their listing under the federal Endangered Species Act. Funding would also support tribal nations in identification, planning and conservation of at-risk species and associated activities.

The Wildlife Society is working alongside its partners in the Alliance for America’s Fish and Wildlife to advance the legislation in the 117th Congress. The bill, which was reintroduced in the House of Representatives in April, currently has 65 co-sponsors.

Header Image: The Wildlife Society members participated in a virtual event to encourage sponsorship for the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act. Credit: Craig McCaa/BLM