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Audubon Applauds Advance of Wildlife Recovery Bill in Congress

Bipartisan legislation will benefit birds, other wildlife, and communities

CHICAGO (December 5, 2019) – The U.S. House Natural Resources Committee voted today to advance the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act of 2019 (RAWA). Introduced by Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12) and 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.

“This is the kind of bipartisan conservation leadership we need from Congress to address a bird crisis,” said Sarah Greenberger, senior vice president for conservation policy, National Audubon Society. “Birds are quite literally the canary in the coal mine and their stark decline signals danger for all of us. By providing the funding states need now to protect vulnerable wildlife, including bird species like the Golden-Winged Warbler and Black Tern, we not only keep them off the Endangered Species List, but protect the resources all of us need to thrive.”

In October, Marnie Urso, policy director for Audubon Great Lakes testified in favor of RAWA to the U.S. House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Oceans, and Wildlife. “We would like to thank Congresswoman Debbie Dingell for championing this important bill,” Urso said. “This legislation will provide consistent, reliable funding to protect and restore the vital habitat that birds and other wildlife need, and will benefit many birds that are important to the Great Lakes region like the Common Loon and Loggerhead Shrike.”

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. 

Thanks to the Members of Congress across the Great Lakes region that have cosponsored the legislation for RAWA, House Bill 3742, which include Reps.: Rodney Davis (R-IL), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Mike Quigley (D-IL), Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), Bobby Rush (D-IL), Sean Casten (D-IL), Jesus ‘Chuy’ Garcia (D-IL), Dan Lipinski (D-IL), Brad Schneider (D-IL), Cheri Bustos (D-IL), Susan Brooks (R-IN), Fred Upton (R-MI), Dan Kildee (D-MI), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Elissa Slotkin (D-MI), Jack Bergman (R-MI), Andy Levin (D-MI), Haley Stevens (D-MI), Bill Huizenga (R-MI), Tim Walberg (R-MI), Brenda Lawrence (D-MI), Steve Stivers (R-OH), Tim Ryan (D-OH), Michael Turner (R-OH), Joyce Beatty (D-OH), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH), Ron Kind (D-WI), Gwen Moore (D-WI), and Mark Pocan (D-WI).

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Audubon Great Lakes is a regional office of the National Audubon Society, which 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 gl.audubon.org and follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Media Contact: Marnie Urso, marnie.urso@audubon.org, 216-246-7150

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