EDGEFIELD, S.C.—The National Wild Turkey Federation praises the introduction of the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act of 2021, the most significant investment in wildlife conservation since the passage of the Pittman-Robertson Act of 1937 and the Dingell-Johnson Act of 1950.
Introduced today by Representatives Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) and Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.), the bipartisan bill will dedicate $1.3 billion annually to state fish and wildlife agencies to implement their science-based wildlife action plans and an additional $97.5 million for tribal fish and wildlife managers to conserve fish and wildlife on tribal lands and waters.
Currently, 80 percent of the funding for state fish and wildlife agencies comes from state hunting and fishing licenses and permits as well as federal excise taxes on hunting and fishing gear. This funding model has worked for decades but has reached its limit and only addresses about 25 percent of the need. The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act modernizes conservation funding for the nation and empowers state and tribal wildlife managers to proactively conserve declining fish and wildlife species in a voluntary manner before they become endangered or federally protected.
“Historically, state fish and wildlife agencies have had tremendous successes in restoring species from the brink of extinction — the wild turkey being just one example,” NWTF CEO Becky Humphries said. “Giving agencies the much-needed funding and authority to focus on at-risk species in their own ways allows them to balance their activities with multiple priorities and reduces unnecessary federal oversight. The NWTF fully supports this bill and looks forward to helping it through Congress and bringing conservation funding into the 21st Century.”
About the National Wild Turkey Federation
When the National Wild Turkey Federation was founded in 1973, there were about 1.3 million wild turkeys in North America. After decades of work, that number hit a historic high of almost 7 million turkeys. To succeed, the NWTF stood behind science-based conservation and hunters' rights. Today, the NWTF is focused on the future of hunting and conservation through its Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative. Since 2012, this 10-year initiative has already eclipsed goals of conserving or enhancing more than 4 million acres of essential wildlife habitat, recruiting or retaining more than 1.5 million hunters and opening access to more than 500,000 acres for hunting and other recreation opportunities. This critical work will continue to impact wildlife habitat and our great outdoors in the final years of the initiative.