Alliance Supports Passage of the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act in Infrastructure Package
Washington D.C. (July 1, 2020)- Today marks a historic leap forward for our nature, our nation and our future. With the passage of the appropriately named Moving Forward Act, the American people will not only benefit from improvements to our transportation and infrastructure, but also from a smart investment in restoration of our natural resources. Included as an amendment in the final package passed on the House floor today, the bipartisan Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (H.R.3742) will benefit the nation’s economy by creating as many as 33,500 new jobs annually, supporting future economic growth in the outdoor recreation sector through infrastructure improvements, and increase resiliency and recovery of imperiled species and their habitats.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and corresponding economic crisis, we will need a recovery plan that puts Americans back to work quickly and protects our valuable natural resource infrastructure. We can create millions of good paying jobs restoring natural resources and bolstering community resilience if we invest in conservation and outdoor recreation. The $1.4 billion annual investment from the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act would lead to an additional $3.36 billion of economic output with a multiplier of 2.4 – meaning that every federal dollar spent on species and habitat restoration would generate 2.4 times more money for the national economy, and a net positive gain of $1.96 billion to the Gross Domestic Product.
“This comes at a critical time when state budgets are devastated, and agencies are in dire need of fiscal relief to continue their vital conservation programs,” said Secretary Kelly Hepler of South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks and President of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. “This innovative legislative solution will bring immediate economic stimulus and job creation through proactive, voluntary incentive-based conservation actions led by states in collaboration with private landowners, tribes and other partners. We appreciate the leadership of Representatives Dingell and Fortenberry to champion this bipartisan legislation that will bring costs-savings for taxpayers, while increasing regulatory certainty for businesses and local communities during these difficult economic times.”
“We are in the midst of an unprecedented biodiversity crisis. RAWA is strong commitment to using innovative, state-based management to safeguard our nation’s environmental heritage for current and future generations,” said Congresswoman Dingell (D-MI). “Enhancing and investing in our nation’s conservation efforts ensure the long-term health of fish and wildlife throughout the country.”
“The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act is the single most exciting public policy development in the conservation space in decades, said Congressman Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE). “Thank you to my colleagues Debbie Dingell and Jamie Raskin for joining me in this historic and important effort to protect ecosystems, enhance community, and support recreation. It’s a winner!”
“America’s wildlife is in crisis — with more than one-third of all fish, wildlife, and plant species at heightened risk of extinction in the decades ahead –and in desperate need of on-the-ground restoration efforts,” said Collin O’Mara, President and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “Thankfully, the House of Representatives is showing the country how strategic investments in natural infrastructure can recover wildlife, boost community resilience, and put Americans back to work. The National Wildlife Federation is grateful to Reps. Dingell and Fortenberry for their tireless leadership and successful efforts to include the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act in the natural infrastructure section of the Moving Forward Act.”
“There is a vital need to ensure the future of healthy populations of fish, wildlife, and their habitats. We are grateful for the bipartisan leadership of Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) Vice-Chair Debbie Dingell and CSC Member Jeff Fortenberry for swiftly advancing the monumental Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, that will benefit species in greatest need of conservation efforts,” said Jeff Crane, President of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation.
This common-sense, fiscally responsible solution has brought 182 bipartisan members of the House of Representatives together as cosponsors and received strong bipartisan support when it was reported out of the House Committee on Natural Resources last December and now passed on the House floor. It will put Americans back to work immediately in non-exportable jobs that will fuel our nation’s $778 billion outdoor economy (according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis) by restoring habitats and species and rebuilding both natural and recreational infrastructure in urban and rural communities alike. Members of the coalition that have advocated for the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act represent more than a trillion dollars of economic impact, and tens of millions of consumers across the country — all who rely on healthy fish and wildlife populations to thrive.
By directing funds to State Wildlife Action Plans through the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, America will be fueling shovel ready projects that immediately create jobs in a sector with one of the highest returns on investment and support continued world class outdoor recreation opportunities. Now more than ever as people turn to nature for responsible socially distanced outdoor recreation, we need to make investments in our natural resources so we may continue to appreciate these places of solace and importance to our society.
Thank you to all the Members of the House of Representatives that have worked to build on the incredible legacy our country has of uniting during difficult times of economic uncertainty. We look forward to advancing the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act in the Senate with the same bipartisan spirit and optimism that comes from the unprecedented partnership that is working together to realize this much needed solution.
The Alliance for America’s Fish and Wildlife formed in 2017 to secure funding for much needed conservation of our most precious natural resources, our fish and wildlife. The Alliance was built upon the strong partnership created by the Blue Ribbon Panel on Sustaining America’s Diverse Fish & Wildlife Resources. The Alliance consists of members representing more than a trillion dollars of economic impact, millions of non-exportable jobs, and tens of millions of members and consumers across the country, all who rely on healthy fish and wildlife populations. Our goal is to partner with all Americans to conserve our precious fish and wildlife and natural heritage for future generations. Learn more at OurNatureUSA.com.
Follow the Alliance for America’s Fish & Wildlife