The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act will redirect $1.3 billion of existing revenue annually to state-led wildlife conservation efforts, effectively allowing the states to more fully implement their State Wildlife Action Plans. This legislation follows the recommendation of a diverse group of energy, business, and conservation leaders. This group, known as the Blue Ribbon Panel on Sustaining America’s Diverse Fish & Wildlife Resources, determined that an annual investment of $1.3 billion in revenues from energy and mineral development on federal lands and waters could address the needs of thousands of species, preventing them from needing to be added to the Endangered Species Act.
Here are some details about the funds and how they will help wildlife and people:
- NO TAX INCREASE — The $1.3 billion will come from existing revenues from energy and mineral fees on federal lands and waters. This is a small portion of the overall revenues from these sources.
- BETTER FOR HUNTERS AND ANGLERS — Currently 80 percent of the funding for our state wildlife agencies comes from sportsmen’s fees such as hunting and fishing licenses and taxes on outdoor gear. Wildlife that are not hunted or fished do not currently have a similar dedicated funding stream.
- A PROVEN MECHANISM — The bill will allocate funds via the Wildlife Conservation and Restoration subaccount of the Pittman-Robertson Act, which was originally passed in 1937.
- LOCAL CONTROL — The funds from this bill will be controlled by state fish and wildlife agencies.
- A HISTORY OF SUCCESS — State fish and wildlife agencies have had great successes in restoring species once on the brink—bald eagles, white-tailed deer, elk, turkey, striped bass, and more.
- HELPING WILDLIFE AT RISK — The money will largely be spent on efforts such as restoring habitats, reintroducing native wildlife, fighting invasive species, and monitoring emerging diseases.
- CONNECTING PEOPLE WITH NATURE — States can use some of the funds for wildlife viewing, nature photography, educational programs, and trail improvements.