We are facing a historic conservation crisis for birds and other wildlife. The widespread species decline could alter future opportunities for Americans to enjoy and benefit from these species and the places they need to survive.
The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act was written in response to recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Panel on Sustaining America’s Diverse Fish and Wildlife Resources. This legislation would direct much-needed financial resources of $1.3 billion annually to proactively conserve at-risk species identified by state fish and wildlife agencies in their congressionally mandated State Wildlife Action Plans, the largest investment in wildlife conservation in generations. Collectively, these Action Plans have identified more than 12,000 species—such as Golden Eagles, Black Oystercatchers, Northern Pintails, Whooping Cranes, and Kirtland’s Warblers—that are in need of conservation actions today.
State Wildlife Action Plans serve as a blueprint to the unique conservation needs in each state and territory. Existing funding is only 5-10 percent of the funding that is necessary, resulting in more and more species at risk of becoming threatened or endangered. The legislation also provide $97.5 million annually to Tribal nations to fund proactive wildlife conservation efforts on Tribal lands and waters. Funding for state agencies would be permanently authorized and directed to an existing Wildlife Conservation and Restoration Program account that currently does not receive funding.
It is becoming increasingly critical to invest adequate financial resources in proactive, voluntary, and collaborative bird, fish, and other wildlife conservation before more costly and regulatory measures are necessary to protect species and their habitat.