Conservation News

Statement from the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Supporting the Introduction of the Abandoned Mine Land Reauthorization Act

The Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies strongly supports the introduction of the Abandoned Mine Land Reauthorization Act. This bipartisan legislation would reauthorize the Abandoned Mine Land Trust Fund, which is set to expire in September 2021. Representative Matt Cartwright (D-PA-08) and Representative Glenn Thompson (R-PA-15) introduced this bill today in the House of Representatives in Washington, D.C.

“On behalf of our state agencies and the public they serve, I applaud Mr. Cartwright and Mr. Thompson for championing reauthorization of this critical program,” said Sara Parker Pauley, Director of the Missouri Department of Conservation and President of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. “These lands represent billions of dollars in unfunded projects and continuing the Trust Fund is now more important than ever. These projects are exactly the type of future-focused investments we count on Congress to support, enabling our agencies to accomplish even more in their work to ensure healthy fish and wildlife while providing thousands of jobs to hard working Americans.”

“Many of these lands are at the nexus of habitat, safety, and water quality issues, and continued restoration efforts are vital to the health of aquatic and terrestrial species,” said Ron Regan, Executive Director for the Association. “Restoring and reclaiming these often overlooked lands would not be possible without the Trust Fund. Enthusiasm for the outdoors is at an all-time high, as we see in the record breaking use of our public lands and waters, and we must answer this call by providing more opportunities to experience nature the way everyone should – With healthy, flourishing habitats.”

“Conserving, maintaining and restoring land and water resources are critical to healthy fish and wildlife populations,” said Glenn Hughes, President of the American Sportfishing Association. “To make sure abandoned mines do not continue to cause hazards for fisheries, it’s important that we restore mine sites after their usefulness has ended. The bipartisan legislation that Reps. Cartwright, Thompson and Rogers have introduced will make sure federal funding is available to support healthy fisheries where past mining activity has left its mark.”

The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies—the organization that represents North America’s fish and wildlife agencies—promotes sound resource management and conservation, and speaks on important fish and wildlife issues. Found on the web at www.fishwildlife.org, on Facebook /AssociationofFishandWildlifeAgencies and on Twitter @fishwildlife.

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