The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act came a step closer last week when it was passed by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
The legislation, described by supporters as potentially “game-changing” for America’s fishing and wildlife, is now up for vote by the full House and Senate.
The accompanying draft of the bill came out of the House Natural Resources Committee in January.
The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act would spend $1.3 billion annually on state fishing and wildlife agencies to implement their science-based wildlife action plans, and an additional $97.5 million on managers of native fish and wildlife.
The legislation aims to provide critical funding and proactive conservation efforts to prevent non-wildlife species from being threatened or endangered. At least 15% of the funding would also be used for already endangered species.
Wildlife management has traditionally received solid funding through the sale of hunting and fishing licenses and the federal wildlife and fish recovery programs, each supported by excise taxes on fishing gear.
But non-wild species have not had substantial, dedicated funding sources.
The concept for RAWA grew out of a 2016 Blue Ribbon panel. Although the bills have been introduced at three previous congresses, none have progressed as far as this year.
The Senate version (S.2372) was introduced by Senators Martin Heinrich (D-New Mexico) and Roy Blunt (R-Missouri).
It joined the House bill (HR2773), introduced by Representatives Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) and Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.).
The Senate bill has 32 co-sponsors — including 16 Republicans — and the House bill has 171 co-sponsors.
Nearly 2,000 conservation groups and outdoor companies have publicly expressed support for the bill, including the National Shooting Sports Foundation and the Sierra Club.
“The outdoors has once again proven to be a true unifying force,” Heinrich said in a statement on Friday.
The Senate draft would provide funding for civil or criminal penalties, fines, penalties and similar federal revenue generated by violations of environmental and natural resource laws.
The House bill did not include ‘pay for’. The financing mechanism is expected to be reconciled in the final legislation.
A recent nationwide poll of 1,199 likely voters found that 87 percent supported the bill, with just 7 percent against, according to the National Wildlife Federation.
“More than a third of U.S. species are currently at increased risk of extinction,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. backcountry to our backyards. If passed, it will be the largest conservation law since the Endangered Species Act.”
Based on forecasts, Wisconsin would receive $18 to $20 million annually from RAWA.
MAP Land Act passes: In what many conservation groups are hailing as a victory over public land access, the Senate on Wednesday passed the MAP Land Act, legislation to modernize and improve the maps of public land agencies.
The MAP Land Act, which would invest in digitizing maps and access to information, making it easier for anyone with a smartphone or GPS device to identify outdoor recreation opportunities and follow the rules on public land, has been in place for four years. make. It now awaits the signature of President Joe Biden.
Spring hearings on tap: The Spring 2022 Department of Natural Resources and County Meetings of the Wisconsin Conservation Congress will be: kept online Monday 19:00 to Thursday 19:00.
For the third consecutive year, the input is only collected remotely. The in-person events were canceled during the schedule earlier this year due to health concerns related to COVID-19.
these years questionnaire contains 63 questions, including 45 from the WCC, 10 from DNR fishing, six from DNR wildlife, and two from members of the Natural Resources Board.
Commonly known as the Spring Hearings, the conclaves allow the public to vote on a wide variety of topics that affect conservation and the environment in Wisconsin.
For an example of the questions or to learn more about the WCC, visit dnr.wisconsin.gov/about/wcc/springhearing†