Michael Marchand: (603) 271-3016
Nicola Whitley: (603) 271-3211
July 15, 2019
Concord, NH –– The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department wants you to know about the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (RAWA), a bill introduced in Congress that is considered the most important conservation legislation in decades.
An unprecedented collaboration (the Alliance for America’s Fish and Wildlife) of government, business, education, and conservation leaders have united to provide a solution for one of America’s greatest threats—the endangerment of our fish and wildlife. Scientists estimate that one-third of wildlife species in the United States are at risk of becoming threatened or endangered without much-needed funding for their conservation.
“All of us who are residents of New Hampshire have the responsibility to ensure that diverse fish and wildlife resources are managed for future generations,” said New Hampshire Fish and Game Executive Director Glenn Normandeau. “Our fish and wildlife are among our state’s most valuable resources. The maintenance of diverse and healthy wildlife populations and their habitats through science-based management, along with educating the public about these resources is a huge part of the Fish and Game mandate, and this funding would help enormously with this mission.”
The Alliance for America’s Fish and Wildlife’s purpose is to create a 21st-century funding model for critically needed conservation of our nation’s most precious natural resources—our fish and wildlife. This effort has expanded out of the strong partnership created by the Blue Ribbon Panel on Sustaining America’s Diverse Fish and Wildlife Resources, consisting of members representing the outdoor recreation, retail, and manufacturing sectors, the energy and automotive industries, private landowners, educational institutions, conservation organizations, sportsmen’s groups, and state and federal fish and wildlife agencies.
The solution to this wildlife challenge is passage of the bipartisan Recovering America’s Wildlife Act and was introduced by Representatives Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) and Debbie Dingell (D-MI). This legislation would dedicate $1.3 billion in existing revenue annually from the U.S. Treasury to State Fish and Wildlife Agencies to implement their State Wildlife Action Plans and an additional $97.5 million for tribal fish and wildlife managers to conserve fish and wildlife on tribal lands and waters.
New Hampshire’s Wildlife Action Plan identifies over 900 important actions for the wildlife and wildlife habitats of New Hampshire, only a portion of which have adequate existing funding to implement. For example, of the 500+ vertebrate species and the thousands of invertebrates that call New Hampshire home, 169 were identified as species of greatest conservation need in the Wildlife Action Plan, and 51 are listed as threatened or endangered in New Hampshire. Additional critical research and targeted conservation efforts are needed for many of these species. Ongoing efforts with the New England cottontail and Blanding’s turtle could serve as a model for other species conservation efforts.
“This funding would enable additional proactive conservation for species at risk, which is good for wildlife, good for business, and good for our communities,” said Mike Marchand, Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program Supervisor at NH Fish and Game. “It would facilitate additional future wildlife success stories such as those we currently celebrate like the bald eagle’s return from the brink of extinction and restoration of the wild turkey population in the state.”
The Pittman-Robertson and Dingell-Johnson acts originally provided critical funding for fish and wildlife at risk of extinction, but they are not a sustainable funding model for protection of all wildlife. Now there is an opportunity to pass legislation to protect our great natural heritage. The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act is an important opportunity to pass legislation to protect our great natural heritage.
Visit the Alliance for America’s Fish & Wildlife to learn more and support passage of the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act so that future generations may enjoy the same abundant fish, wildlife, and outdoor recreation opportunities that exist today.