House passes landmark legislation securing billions for endangered wildlife

0

WASHINGTON— The United States House of Representatives today passed the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, HR 2773, by a vote of 231 to 190. If approved by the Senate, the legislation will provide unprecedented levels of funding to states, to tribal nations and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to conserve and recover endangered wildlife and plant species, including those listed under the Endangered Species Act.

“I am thrilled that Congress is finally starting to make the bold investments needed to address the wildlife extinction crisis,” said Stephanie Kurose, senior policy specialist at the Center for Biological Diversity. “The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act is a unique opportunity to make a significant down payment on the recovery of thousands of endangered animals and plants. It will help so many species that have been neglected by national wildlife agencies for far too long.

Under the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, states would receive $1.3 billion in dedicated funding for proactive, on-the-ground conservation projects to help the species most in conservation need in their state. The bill also provides nearly $1 billion for wildlife conservation efforts on tribal lands and secures additional short-term funding for the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

The legislation has improved significantly since it was first introduced in 2016 and now ensures that states facing the toughest conservation challenges receive the most funding. For example, Hawaii – home to nearly a third of all animals and plants on the endangered species list – will receive $60 million a year, the largest share any state can receive. Southeastern states will also receive sizable chunks of funding to address the freshwater extinction crisis.

Threatened and endangered species will receive dedicated funding under the law, as will plant species that are too often overlooked by national fish and game agencies. According to the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s own data and recovery plans, saving all species currently listed as threatened or endangered will require $1.6 billion to $2.3 billion a year. Although Recovering America’s Wildlife Act funding for endangered species does not reach this level, it is a marked improvement over the status quo, which allocates less than $1,000 a year to hundreds of species. threatened.

“Unfortunately, the owners of the House and Senate have made it clear that saving endangered species is not their top priority,” Kurose said. “The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act is now our best shot at fighting extinction in the United States.”

Share.

Comments are closed.