EDGEFIELD, S.C.—The National Wild Turkey Federation applauds the Senate introduction of a bill aimed at preventing the continued decline of fish and wildlife and their habitats. 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 proactive conservation.
The bipartisan Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, introduced this week by Sens. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and Roy Blunt (R-MO), is the Senate version of the bill that was introduced in the House by Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) as H.R. 2773. It will dedicate $1.3 billion annually to state fish and wildlife agencies to implement 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. Dedicated funding will allow state and tribal wildlife managers to proactively conserve imperiled fish and wildlife species in a voluntary manner that best suits the needs of their states and before federal listing under the Endangered Species Act is warranted.
This bill will lead to more than 30,000 jobs annually —work that will restore natural resources, bolster community resilience and protect valuable natural infrastructure. The resulting healthy, sustainable fish and wildlife populations will drive many sectors of our economy, especially the $788 billion outdoor recreation industry.
“The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act is one of the most important pieces of legislation for wildlife and wildlife habitats since the passage of the Pittman-Robertson and Dingell-Johnson acts,” NWTF CEO Becky Humphries said. “We haven’t seen a bill in generations that has as much potential to turn around the spiraling decline of a growing number of wildlife species in the United States, including wild turkeys in some regions.”
The NWTF requests its members reach out to their representatives in both houses of Congress and urge them to support and move this vital legislation forward. For an easy way to contact your representatives, visit Congress.gov.
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.