EDGEFIELD, S.C.— In a huge win for wildlife, the House Natural Resources Committee voted 29-15 to advance the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act of 2021 – the most significant investment in wildlife conservation since the passage of the Pittman-Robertson Act of 1937 and the Dingell-Johnson Act of 1950.
Introduced by Reps. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., and Jeff Fortenberry, R-Neb., the bipartisan bill dedicates $1.3 billion annually to state fish and wildlife agencies to implement their science-based wildlife action plans and an additional $97.5 million for tribal fish and wildlife managers to conserve fish and wildlife on tribal lands and waters.
Currently, 80% of the funding for state fish and wildlife agencies comes from state hunting and fishing licenses and permits, as well as federal excise taxes on hunting and fishing gear. This funding model has worked for decades but has reached its limit and only addresses about 25% of the need. The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act modernizes conservation funding for the nation and empowers state and tribal wildlife managers to proactively conserve declining fish and wildlife species in a voluntary manner before they become endangered or federally protected.
“This historic legislation is one step closer to becoming a reality,” NWTF CEO Becky Humphries said. “Providing state and tribal agencies with much-needed funding and authority to focus on at-risk species in their own way allows them to balance their activities with multiple priorities. With a steady decline in hunting participation over the past few decades, the traditional funding source for conservation isn’t adequate to meet the current need. This bill would help bring conservation funding into the 21st century.”
About the National Wild Turkey Federation
When the National Wild Turkey Federation was founded in 1973, there were about 1.3 million wild turkeys in North America. After decades of work, that number hit a historic high of almost 7 million turkeys. To succeed, the NWTF stood behind science-based conservation and hunters’ rights. Today, the NWTF is focused on the future of hunting and conservation through its Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative. Since 2012, this 10-year initiative has already eclipsed goals of conserving or enhancing more than 4 million acres of essential wildlife habitat, recruiting or retaining more than 1.5 million hunters and opening access to more than 500,000 acres for hunting and other recreation opportunities. This critical work will continue to impact wildlife habitat and our great outdoors in the final years of the initiative.