Earlier this week, the bipartisan Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, a historic piece of legislation to proactively fund state-based conservation, was introduced in the U.S. Senate by Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) Co-Chair Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and CSC Member Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO).

The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) has been a driving force behind the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act since its inception as a member of the Blue Ribbon Panel on Sustaining America’s Diverse Fish and Wildlife Resources. The Blue Ribbon Panel is now represented by theAlliance for America’s Fish and Wildlife – a diverse coalition who is advocating for the passage of Recovering America’s Wildlife. Since the bill was first proposed in 2016, CSF’s President and CEO Jeff Crane has served as legislative co-chair of the Alliance and continues to help navigate this legislation through the halls of Congress.

Building off the House companion bill, led by CSC Co-Chair Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) and CSC Member Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act is a bipartisan piece of legislation that will provide nearly $1.4 billion annually in perpetuity for proactive, state-based conservation projects in every state, territory, and on tribal lands and waters. Through their State Wildlife Action Plans, which serve as a roadmap to each state’s unique conservation needs, state fish and wildlife agencies have collectively identified nearly 12,000 species that are identified as “species of greatest conservation need”. By acting now, Congress can conserve these species before more costly and burdensome measures are necessary.

“The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) is grateful for the leadership of Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) Co-Chair Sen. Martin Heinrich and CSC Member Sen. Roy Blunt for introducing the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act,” said CSF’s president and CEO Jeff Crane. “This 21st century, proactive conservation initiative is critical to turning the corner on fish and wildlife conservation before more costly measures are necessary.”

“Protecting America’s fish and wildlife habitat means conserving the creatures we love before they ever become imperiled,” said Senator Martin Heinrich. “After all, our children deserve to inherit the full breadth of American wildlife, from bumble bees to bison, that we know today.  This legislation will make that possible.”

“Missouri is home to some of the best hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation our country has to offer,” said Senator Roy Blunt. “We can better protect our land, waterways, and wildlife by encouraging states, territories, and Tribes to make significant contributions to voluntary conservation efforts. I’m proud to help introduce this bill that will help preserve our nation’s wildlife for future generations.”

“The historic, bipartisan Recovering America’s Wildlife Act is by far the most important piece of wildlife legislation in the past half century,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “At a time when more than one-third of wildlife species are at heightened risk of extinction, this critical legislation will help recover thousands of at-risk species through proactive, collaborative efforts in every state, territory, and Tribal nation, creating jobs while preventing extinctions.

The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act now awaits to be considered by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.