Recovering America's Wildlife Act Bill HR 4647 introduced in Congress

December 15, 2017

 

 On December 14, Representatives Fortenberry (R-NE) and Dingell (D-MI) introduced Recovering America's Wildlife Act, H.R. 4647.  This bill had been originally introduced in 2016.  It makes funds available for conservation and restoration programs to manage fish and wildlife species of greatest conservation need.  CWF has actively supported this concept and then the original bill since early 2016.  Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission had passed a resolution in August 2016 in support of the concept.   The Colorado State Wildlife Action Plan identifies 55 tier 1 "species of greatest conservation need." 

The funds would be $650 million from Outer Continental Shelf (off-shore drilling) revenues and $650 million from on-shore drilling revenues.  Colorado Parks and Wildlife would receive approximately $29,808 million, subject to raising non-federal matching funds.

Here is the text of the bill:

www.congress.gov/115/bills/hr4647/BILLS-115hr4647ih.pdf

Here is CWF's press release - 

Bipartisan Bill in Congress to Address Wildlife Crisis
Colorado Parks and Wildlife Would Receive $29 Million Annually

Contact:
Suzanne O'Neill, Colorado Wildlife Federation 303-919-3949 cell

Denver CO (December 2017) –
The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, introduced by Reps. Jeff
Fortenberry (R-NE) and Debbie Dingell (D-MI), would direct $1.3 billion of
existing revenue from oil and gas activities on federal lands and waters
towards state-led efforts to address native species of greatest
conservation need to prevent wildlife from becoming endangered.  Factors
such as habitat loss, invasive species, disease, and severe weather have
taken a significant toll on birds, mammals, fish, amphibians, reptiles,
butterflies and bees.

Colorado would receive $29,808,471 annually from such dedicated fund,
subject to a required non-federal 25 percent match, to help Colorado's 159
native species of greatest conservation need under Colorado's State
Wildlife Action Plan. The Plan was developed collaboratively by Colorado
Parks and Wildlife in consultation with landowners, businesses, diverse
organizations and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“Right now, America’s wildlife are in crisis and need our help,” Collin
O’Mara, president and chief executive officer of the National Wildlife
Federation, said about the  bill. “At a time when one-third of America's
wildlife species are at risk, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity
to save thousands of species and ensure that future generations inherit
the full diversity of our nation's wildlife. We thank Representatives
Fortenberry and Dingell for introducing this historic Recovering America’s
Wildlife Act.”

“We know Colorado can do a great job recovering wildlife populations in
our state when the funding is available. We’ve seen that with the recent
reintroduction efforts of stocking Greenback Cutthroat Trout in several
streams along Colorado's Front, said Bob Meulengracht, board member of
Colorado Wildlife Federation."

Suzanne O'Neill, executive director of Colorado Wildlife Federation said,
"This bill will enable robust collaborative work led by Colorado Parks and
Wildlife to maintain and increase populations of species of greatest
conservation need in our state and go a long way to prevent listings as
threatened or endangered. Wildlife like mountain plover pika, golden
eagle, and our state fish, the greenback cutthroat trout, will benefit —
and so will our ecosystems and the substantial outdoor recreation segment
of Colorado's economy."

“We need to get this bill passed and I hope Colorado's members of the
House and our senators will support it enthusiastically for future
generations of Coloradoans.  Colorado's population is estimated to
increase from 5.5 million to 8.5 million by 2050, decreasing the habitat
of many of these species. Let's all work together to get this right for
Coloradoans of 2050.”

The legislation builds upon the successes of the Federal Aid in Wildlife
Restoration Act (Pittman-Robertson) and the Federal Aid in Sportfish
Restoration Act (Dingell-Johnson) that have allowed America to lead the
world in the conservation of game species, such as deer, elk, bighorn
sheep, wild turkeys, and many species of waterfowl and sport fish. 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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