WASHINGTON (October 17, 2019) – The U.S. House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Oceans, and Wildlife took up discussion today on two important bills aimed at conserving birds and other wildlife, the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act of 2019 (RAWA) and the Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act of 2019. Marnie Urso, policy director for Audubon Great Lakes was invited by the committee to testify.
Co-sponsored by a growing bipartisan list of Members of Congress, RAWA would provide a dedicated $1.3 billion for states, territories, and the District of Columbia, and $97.5 million to tribes, to implement wildlife conservation plans.
“The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act is the kind of bold and bipartisan action we need to address the crisis facing birds and other wildlife,” said Marnie Urso, Policy Director, Audubon Great Lakes. “The legislation would provide significant benefits for birds, and for the values they provide to people. This bill provides dedicated funding to help state wildlife agencies proactively conserve vulnerable species. Congress has the opportunity to not only help wildlife, but also the economy and our communities.”
Birds need conservation action now more than ever. A recent study published in the journal Science paints a grave picture of population declines in the recent past, showing that North America has lost 3 billion birds since 1970. Audubon’s recent report, Survival By Degrees: 389 Species on the Brink, provides us with a stark choice for our future. Audubon scientists found that two-thirds of North American birds are threatened with extinction by climate change.
The Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act of 2019 would create a National System of Wildlife Corridors on federal lands and waters which would benefit birds and other wildlife.
“The Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act of 2019 will help protect, restore and create vital ecological connections for birds and other wildlife,” said Urso. “Birds, like other wildlife, do not recognize boundaries established by humans. While we often think of mammals when it comes to wildlife corridors, migrating birds often flock to the same places with high protein, cover, and water. Protecting wildlife corridors is also a vital climate adaptation strategy as birds and other animals need to relocate as the plants, waters and lands they depend upon change.”
You can read Marnie Urso’s full testimony here.
The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow. Audubon works throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation. State programs, nature centers, chapters, and partners give Audubon an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire, and unite diverse communities in conservation action. A nonprofit conservation organization since 1905, Audubon believes in a world in which people and wildlife thrive. Learn more at www.audubon.org and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @audubonsociety.