NDOW applauds House for passing wildlife conservation bill
INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — The Nevada Department of Wildlife is applauding the approval of legislation that passed through the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday.
NDOW officials said the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (H.R. 2773; RAWA), a bipartisan bill to enhance wildlife conservation in the United States, is considered the most significant wildlife conservation bill in more than half a century. The bill devotes $1.4 billion annually to locally-led efforts — including approximately $24 million annually to Nevada.
“Passage of this bill in the House is a giant step forward for wildlife and a reaffirmation that conservation transcends party lines and politics,” said Tony Wasley, Director of the Nevada Department of Wildlife and president of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. “We sincerely thank Congresswoman Dingell for her outstanding leadership and thanks to all those supporting the advancement of the bill today on the floor. We look forward to working with everyone on both sides of the aisle and the Capitol to get this bill across the finish line as soon as possible so we can begin the work of proactive wildlife conservation and habitat protection at the scale that is needed.”
Of the 231 yeas for passage, three Nevada Representatives — Dina Titus, Susie Lee, and Steven Horsford — voted in favor of RAWA’s passage.
The bill now makes its way to the Senate for a vote, where a similar version has already passed out of the EPW committee.
This bill will provide a wide range of benefits from using the funds to protect wild places and species to promoting the link that wildlife and ecosystem health have on human mental and physical health through access to recreation and nature. At least 15% of the funds will be used to help recovery efforts for species already designated as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Up to 15% may be used for recreation and education, with the majority of funding used for conservation of priority species and habitats in Nevada.
Since 1970, nearly 2.9 billion birds (30% of the total population) in the U.S. have disappeared, according to research published in the journal “Science.” However, through the implementation of state wildlife actions plans and aggressive wildlife conservation policy, these numbers are trending in a positive direction when we invest in wildlife and habitat,” said a press release from NDOW. These state actions alone aren’t enough though – durable conservation relies on consistent and sustained funding to turn the tide. RAWA funding also will grow local economies by billions of dollars and create thousands of jobs, while also reversing the alarming trend in the country’s bird populations, the release said.
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