Why it matters: The anticipated House vote this week represents the first time the House has held a floor vote on the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act as an individual bill. Importantly, Recovering America’s Wildlife Act includes a permanent and dedicated funding structure, a critical mechanism to promote on-the-ground species conservation efforts and to provide more certainty to our fish and wildlife managers. The pending floor vote marks the furthest this legislation has progressed in Congress since it was first introduced in 2015.
This week, the House of Representatives will vote on the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, one of the most important conservation bills to be considered by Congress in a lifetime and a longstanding priority for CSF.
In 2015, CSF, along with more than two dozen of the nation’s leading fish and wildlife conservation organizations, helped develop the concept of Recovering America’s Wildlife Act. Following the conceptual development of this bill, CSF helped craft this idea into legislation by working with Congresswoman Dingell and other members of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus to develop legislative text that is now slated to receive a vote in the House.
Recovering America’s Wildlife Act is a proactive, cost-saving piece of legislation that would invest $1.3 billion annually to state fish and wildlife agencies and $97.5 million annually to Tribal fish and wildlife managers to further on-the-ground fish, wildlife, and plant conservation efforts. Specifically, funding provided through H.R. 2773, combined with a 25% non-federal match, would fully fund each state’s Congressionally mandated, but severely unfunded, State Wildlife Action Plans. The funding provided through the bill would fundamentally transform the ability of state fish and wildlife to conserve fish and wildlife more regulatory, and potentially costly, measures are necessary.
Since 2015, CSF has remained a leading organization in advocating for the passage of this legislation as a member of the Alliance for America’s Fish & Wildlife – a broad coalition working to advance Recovering America’s Wildlife Act in both the House and Senate. Since the concept of Recovering America’s Wildlife Act was first developed, CSF’s President and CEO, Jeff Crane, has served as the legislative co-chair of the Alliance along with Collin O’Mara, President and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. As a result of CSF’s efforts, H.R. 2773 has garnered the support of 189 bipartisan cosponsors in the House, a sign of the wide-spread support for this critical bill.
Throughout the coming days, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation will be advocating for successful passage of Recovering America’s Wildlife Act to help turn the corner on fish and wildlife conservation efforts.
Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?