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Senate Panel Clears Bipartisan Investment in U.S. Wildlife

Recovering America’s Wildlife Act would invest $1.4B in state, local, tribal conservation efforts

Photo of a black bear yearling among ferns.
Framed in Ferns A Black Bear emerges from a dense fern forest in the Blue Ridge Mountains © Scott Suriano/TNC Photo Contest 2019

A proposal for what could be the largest investment in U.S. wildlife conservation in decades cleared a Senate panel today with broad, bipartisan support.

The U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works voted 15-5 to send the Recovering America's Wildlife Act to the full Senate. The nearly $1.4 billion bipartisan bill would fund state, local and tribal efforts to help wildlife at risk of becoming endangered as well as help recover species that are already endangered. These efforts include conserving and restoring habitats, fighting invasive species, reintroducing native species and tackling emerging diseases. The U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources approved that chamber's bipartisan version of the act in January. 

The following is a statement by Brent Keith, Senior Policy Adviser at The Nature Conservancy:

“America’s iconic wildlife is in crisis. Climate change, development and other factors are pushing an unprecedented number of species to the brink of extinction. Unless we act now, many of the species that make up America's unique and wild biodiversity could be lost forever.

The bipartisan Recovering America's Wildlife Act is a down payment on a strategy we know works to help halt and reverse species declines.

Senior Policy Adviser at The Nature Conservancy

“The bipartisan Recovering America's Wildlife Act is a down payment on a strategy we know works to help halt and reverse species declines. State, local and tribal wildlife agencies are uniquely positioned to plan, execute and monitor on-the-ground conservation strategies. By providing the resources to scale up these efforts, we can stop the population declines of species across the country.

“The loss of this biodiversity is not just a threat to the species themselves; it is a threat to communities and the economies that depend on them. Saving wildlife is an investment in a clean, sustainable, and thriving economy for rural and urban communities alike. Overall, 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. This is a strategy that is good for wildlife, good for people and good for business.

“We commend lawmakers for continuing the long tradition of bipartisan cooperation on conservation with their support of this act. We urge Congress to pass this critical investment in America's wildlife as soon as possible.”

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 76 countries and territories: 37 by direct conservation impact and 39 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.