Congress introduces bipartisan bill to recover fish and wildlife
By Robert Catalanotto for Trout Unlimited
[dropcap]O[/dropcap]n Friday, July 12, Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) and Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), along with 59 members of Congress introduced the bipartisan Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (RAWA).
The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act is designed to help recover and conserve at-risk species by dedicating $1.3 billion for state-level conservation projects. Specifically, RAWA provides funds for state wildlife agencies to implement their congressionally-mandated State Wildlife Action Plans, which outline specific conservation actions needed to recover and sustain healthy fish and wildlife populations.
The bill also provides $97.5 million to tribal nations for on-the-ground conservation projects. With RAWA funds, tribal governments can further expand conservation efforts to improve fish and wildlife habitat on their lands.
In May, U.N. scientists and researchers produced a comprehensive report on the strain rapid human expansion is putting on global biodiversity. The study estimated 8 million plant and animal species on earth are at risk of extinction. In the United States alone, more than one-third of all species are at risk of becoming threatened or endangered. In their congressionally-mandated State Action Plans, fish and wildlife agencies across the country have identified more than 12,000 species in need of conservation.