Alliance Instrumental in Passage of the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act in House Infrastructure Package
EDITOR’S NOTE: This week we’d like to thank Sean Saville, Campaign Manager for the Alliance for America’s Fish and Wildlife, for contributing his insights on the legislative progress for the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (RAWA). Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever are long-standing members for the “Alliance.” Thank you to the volunteers, staff and the National Youth Leadership Council for their RAWA advocacy!
On Wednesday, July 1st the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act on the floor as an amendment to H.R. 2, the Moving Forward Act! This is a monumental victory that builds massive momentum for what could be the most impactful wildlife conservation investment in U.S. history. It is worth noting that the group of amendments that included the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act was the only bipartisan “en bloc” being considered and was praised by several Representatives on both sides of the aisle as such. This will position the campaign well to leverage that bipartisan support and make a case for passage in the Senate. See the Alliance press release
that went out to media outlets after the House passage.
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. 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 all goes to increase the health and quality of wildlife habitats for the critters and for the public enjoyment that comes along with world class recreation opportunities.
The funding from the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act would build on the successes of NAWCA (which demonstrates that with decades of dedicated funding waterfowl and wetlands thrive), Farm Bill programs, National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative, and the Sage Grouse Initiative and provide complimentary, additive funding to amplify conservation outcomes on the ground. It would also help reduce overall threats and risks to wildlife and their habitats by implementing prioritized, science-driven conservation actions highlighted in State Wildlife Action Plans such as: removing invasive species, restoring valuable grassland bird habitat for several species of pheasant and quail, and providing critical seasonal habitat for waterfowl by maintaining wetland areas on working lands and state-owned properties.
A couple weeks ago 250 organizations, businesses and tribes, including Pheasants Forever, Quail Forever and other members of the Alliance for America’s Fish & Wildlife sent a sign-on letter to U.S. House and Senate leadership
in support of including the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act in the infrastructure package. This proved effective, and a nice compliment to the congressional sign-on request letter that was sent several weeks earlier and asked for a “restoration and resilience jobs” title in an upcoming economic recovery package. We’ll continue to use this letter as an outreach tool to build on this broad base of support as we transition to the Senate and appreciate partners weighing in at key decision points in the campaign. We appreciate all the great work that Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever do with their many supporters. Thanks for all you do for conservation and feel free to contact Sean Saville with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo by Dwight Dyke