Policy and Advocacy
NWTF Involved in Key Legislation
The 117th Congress is in full swing and after spring recess, legislators hit the ground running by introducing or reintroducing several key bills that share NWTF priorities, such as funding for forest and watershed restoration, increasing workforce capacity and jobs creation, hazardous ground-fuels reduction to lessen the risk of wildfire, increasing public land access and addressing needed updates to the conservation funding system.
August 30, 20213 min read
Below are some of these key bills the NWTF is supporting, and we encourage you to reach out to your legislators to ask for their support.
Recovering America’s Wildlife Act
- Introduced by Reps. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., and Jeff Fortenberry, R-Neb.
- Single-most significant investment in wildlife conservation in generations.
- Dedicates $1.3 billion to state fish and wildlife agencies for science-based management.
- Dedicates $97.5 million for fish and wildlife management on tribal lands.
- Modernizes conservation funding with dedicated federal funding.
- Empowers state and tribal managers to proactively conserve declining species before they need to become federally protected.
Outdoor Restoration Partnership Fund Introduced
- Introduced by Sens. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., and Ron Wyden, D-Ore.
- Dedicates $60 billion to fund forest and watershed restoration.
- Creates or sustains over two million jobs in the outdoors.
- Creates resilient forests and habitat, increases access for recreation and lessens wildfire risk.
- Reps. Jason Crow, D-Colo., and Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, are authoring companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Trillion Trees Act Introduced
- The One Trillion Trees Initiative is a global initiative to conserve, restore and plant a trillion trees worldwide to sequester atmospheric carbon dioxide.
- Solidifies the U.S. as a leader in the global initiative.
- Introduced by Rep. Bruce Westerman, R-Ark., with over 70 original bipartisan sponsors.
- Focuses on regeneration, management and use of forest and biomass resources.
- Streamlines environmental review processes for the protection of communities near wildlands, watersheds and critical infrastructure, and the restoration of wildlife habitat on federal lands; improves forest health and resiliency; and reduces carbon emissions from catastrophic wildfires.
- Permanently authorizes and expands the Good Neighbor Authority that allows federal land agencies to work with state and local governments across land-ownership boundaries.
The NWTF signed onto letters of support with partner organizations to:
- Request funding for the Forest Service’s Legacy Roads and Trails Remediation program for Fiscal Year 2022. This would help address historic maintenance backlogs, improve thousands of miles of National Forest roads and trails, protect downstream wildlife and fish habitat and communities from storm-water runoff, improve access for recreational and conservation use and bolster rural economies through jobs creation.
- Request additional funding for the Forest Service’s Forest Stewardship Program, which helps private landowners achieve healthy, resilient and productive forests through technical assistance and planning expertise.
- Back the Rural Forests Markets Act that will help unlock capital investment to establish private forests and allow family forest owners to participate in carbon and other environmental markets.
Historic legislation for conservation and wildlife
Recovering America’s Wildlife Act – Pending legislation
The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act will provide states, territories and tribes with $1.39 billion annually to jumpstart proactive, collaborative efforts to restore essential habitat and implement key conservation strategies as described in each state's Wildlife Action Plan.
Great American Outdoors Act - 2020
This landmark conservation legislation signed into law in 2020 will use revenues from energy development to provide up to $1.9 billion a year for five years for needed maintenance infrastructure in our national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, recreation areas and American Indian schools. It will also use royalties from offshore oil and natural gas to permanently fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund to the tune of $900 million a year to invest in conservation and recreation opportunities across the country.
Federal Aid in Fish Restoration Act (Dingell-Johnson) - 1950
An extension of the concept of the Pittman-Robertson Act, this act uses a general tax on sport fishing equipment to raise funds that are made available to states for the restoration and management of sport fisheries.
Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act (Pittman-Robertson) - 1937
This act created a federal excise tax on firearms and provides matching funds to states for the acquisition, restoration and maintenance of habitat for the management of wildlife and for research concerning wildlife management. To date, this act has spent more than $5 billion on state wildlife habitat projects.
U.S. Farm Bill – Renewed every five years
The farm bill is the primary agricultural and food policy tool of the federal government, but it also has a huge impact on conservation funding. Every five years, Congress works to revise and renew the bill. Beginning in 1933, farm bills have included sections or titles on commodity programs, trade, rural development, farm credit, conservation, forestry, agricultural research, food and nutrition programs