Why It Matters: At a time when Congress continues to be divided on many important issues, the priorities of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) continue to be an area of strong bipartisan agreement. One of these priorities includes the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, which last week added nearly a dozen bipartisan cosponsors, a sign of the strong support for this CSF priority.
- Last week, the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (S. 1149), , which is led by Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) Members Senators Heinrich and Tillis, added 10 bipartisan cosponsors, four Democrats, five Republicans, and one Independent, an important step in the legislative process for this legislation.
- Since the concept of Recovering America’s Wildlife Act was first developed in 2015, CSF has been one of the main drivers of this critical piece of legislation.
Last Tuesday, the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (RAWA) added 10 bipartisan cosponsors, a sign of the strong bipartisan support for this legislation. CSF applauds the Senators who joined sponsoring this legislation last week to show their support for sportsmen and women as well as fish and wildlife conservation.
Through their State Wildlife Action Plans, which serve as unique roadmaps to each state’s conservation needs, state fish and wildlife agencies have identified nearly 12,000 species identified as Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN). These 12,000 Species of Greatest Conservation Need include many iconic species ranging from bobwhite quail, big horn sheep, monarch butterflies, to brook trout and artic grayling. To address the conservation challenge facing these 12,000 species, RAWA seeks to provide approximately $1.4 billion annually to state, territorial, and tribal fish and wildlife agencies to proactively conserve SGCN before more costly and regulatory measures, such as listing under the Endangered Species Act, may be necessary. Combined with a 25% non-federal match, RAWA would empower states to fully implement their State Wildlife Actions.
“Investing in proactive conservation work well before species ever become imperiled or endangered is something that Republicans and Democrats can agree on,” said Senators Heinrich and Tillis. “We are proud to welcome this support from our colleagues on both sides of the aisle, and we are determined to work in partnership to get RAWA across the finish line.”
CSF looks forward to working with the bill sponsors and the new cosponsors to build more support for this legislation to further advance RAWA through the legislative process.