Camera-trap photo of a Florida panther walking in the forest.
Recovering Wildlife Florida panther is among many to benefit from RAWA. © fStop Foundation

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House Lawmakers Propose Major Investment in America’s Wildlife

Bill would infuse $1.4 billion a year in state, local efforts to protect species

A bipartisan group of lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives today introduced a bill to greatly expand support for state and local efforts to help imperiled species.

The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (RAWA) would invest $1.397 billion to support on-the-ground conservation efforts to help protect and recover species. These efforts include conserving and restoring habitats, fighting invasive species, reintroducing native species and tackling emerging diseases.

Approximately $1.3 billion from RAWA would support state fish and wildlife agencies, in partnership with state-based conservation entities to implement their congressionally mandated State Wildlife Action Plans. The remaining $97.5 million will go toward tribal wildlife conservation efforts.

The bill could generate as many as 33,600 direct jobs every year in fields ranging from construction to forestry, as well as boost the country's outdoor recreation economy.

The Recovering America's Wildlife Act would deliver the most significant investment in America’s wildlife in decades, putting resources where they can be most effective.

Lynn Scarlett Chief External Affairs Officer for The Nature Conservancy

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The Recovering America's Wildlife Act can help save struggling wildlife and provide jobs.

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The following is a statement by Lynn Scarlett, Chief External Affairs Officer of The Nature Conservancy:

“With over a third of America’s fish and wildlife species at risk of extinction, there has never been a more important time for this bill. The Recovering America's Wildlife Act would deliver the most significant investment in America’s wildlife in decades, putting resources where they can be most effective.

“Preventing a species from becoming threatened or endangered in the first place is a more effective and less costly strategy in the long run. State wildlife agencies are in a unique position to protect America's biodiversity. Together with partners, these agencies have had great success restoring other species that were once on the brink.

“Historically, the funding model for these efforts have relied on state hunting licenses and other fees or taxes, but the accelerated loss of biodiversity across the country demands a new approach. This act will expand investments in the conservation strategies proven to both protect and restore species, create jobs and support states' outdoor recreation economies. This is an act that is good for wildlife, good for people and good for business.”

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 75 countries and territories: 37 by direct conservation impact and 38 through partners, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.