DETROIT — Today, U.S Representative for the twelfth congressional district of Michigan, Debbie Dingell, introduced the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (RAWA). This bill would establish a funding mechanism for the proactive conservation of fish and wildlife. It would direct an annual $1.3 billion to states to help stem population declines of some 12,000 species of fish and wildlife, including more than 800 birds.
“Without dedicated wildlife conservation funding, birds like the Black Tern and Bobolink that call Michigan home are at risk of becoming endangered,” said Nathaniel Miller, Acting Director and Director of Conservation for Audubon Great Lakes. “I would like to thank Congresswoman Dingell for her leadership in recognizing the importance of wildlife conservation funding to birds. By ensuring states receive funding to implement State Wildlife Action Plans, we can create successful solutions to conserving and recovering bird species in greatest need.”
The state wildlife agencies on the front lines of wildlife conservation currently rely on revenue from hunting and fishing fees and taxes on supplies, but for that reason typically spend the funds on protecting species that are hunted and fished. While these projects can also benefit non-game species by protecting habitat they share, the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act would prioritize funding for species that need it most. Every state has a Wildlife Action Plan identifying species of conservation concern ready to implement. States would match 25% of any federal funds they receive through the program, and could then begin to undertake their conservation projects.
“The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act is a high priority to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources,” said Wildlife Division chief Russ Mason. “We have dedicated staff working with the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies to assist the national campaign to move RAWA forward. This bill is exciting to us, as it is a new source of funding for the 21st Century. We are happy to be working alongside partners like Audubon as we work to conserve wildlife species into the future.”
Along with Dingell, U.S. Representative Jeff Fortenberry of Nebraska is also a co-sponsor of the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act.
Read about birds Audubon identifies as conservation priorities here: https://www.audubon.org/birds/priority.
Read about the species of birds most threatened by climate change here: https://climate.audubon.org/.
Contact: Marnie Urso Policy Director, Audubon Great Lakes; 216-246-7150
The National Audubon Society 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. Audubon Great Lakes is a regional office of Audubon, learn more at gl.audubon.org and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.