- Division of Fisheries and Wildlife
Media Contact for Recovering America’s Wildlife Act Introduced in Congress: What it means for the state’s wildlife
Marion Larson, MassWildlife
A bill called the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (RAWA, HR 3742) was recently introduced in Congress and is considered one of the most important wildlife conservation bills in decades. This bipartisan legislation would dedicate $1.3 billion in existing revenue annually from the U.S. Treasury to State Fish and Wildlife Agencies to implement their State Wildlife Action Plans (SWAPs) and an additional $97.5 million for tribal fish and wildlife managers to conserve fish and wildlife on tribal lands and waters. The Massachusetts SWAP identifies over 500 species of greatest conservation need, and RAWA would provide over $12 million each year to protect and manage these species and their habitats in Massachusetts. Scientists estimate that one-third of wildlife species in the United States are at risk of becoming threatened or endangered without much-needed funding for their conservation.
Conservation, business, government, and education leaders have come together in the Alliance for America’s Fish and Wildlife to create a 21st-century funding model for critically needed conservation of our nation’s most precious natural resources—our fish and wildlife. RAWA, introduced by Representatives Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) and Debbie Dingell (D-MI), could go a long way towards achieving the Alliance’s vision. “RAWA is a smart upstream policy that promotes continuity of habitats and helps prevent the costly downstream emergency room procedures of the Endangered Species Act. Through proactive, collaborative, and voluntary partnerships with states, RAWA enhances community recreational opportunity for birders, hikers, hunters, anglers and all who enjoy the beauty of nature,” said Fortenberry.
As of the time of the publication of this article, 105 Representatives have signed on to cosponsor RAWA! Visit the Alliance for America’s Fish and Wildlife to learn more.