Wildlife Bill Aims To Protect All Vulnerable Species

A bill set to pass in the U.S. Senate would inject billions into wildlife conservation and species restoration efforts.

2 minute read

August 16, 2022, 7:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

A proposed bill could be “the biggest piece of legislation for wildlife since the Endangered Species Act of 1973,” writes Benji Jones in Vox. The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (RAWA) “passed the House in June on a bipartisan vote, and it’s poised to clear the Senate, where it has 16 Republican co-sponsors, as soon as this fall.”

According to Jones, “Roughly 80 percent of funding for state-led conservation comes from selling hunting and fishing licenses, in addition to federal excise taxes on related gear, such as guns and ammo. But these activities aren’t as popular as they once were.” The new injection of funds could help state agencies beef up their efforts. “The idea is that these funds would pay for 75 percent of each state’s Wildlife Action Plan. These are formal blueprints, drafted by each state in 2005, that detail which species are vulnerable and how the agency plans to keep them off the federal endangered species list.” But, Jones notes, states currently only have the funds for about 5 percent of their plans’ projects.

Unlike many current state initiatives, the bill also covers non-game species, which are often left out by state policies that focus resources on economically valuable species. Jones adds, “RAWA also includes nearly $100 million for the nation’s Native American tribes, which own or help manage nearly 140 million acres of land in the US (equal to about 7 percent of the continental US).”

Observers expect the bill to pass when it comes to a vote as early as September.

Monday, August 8, 2022 in Vox

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