Michael Marchand: (603) 271-3016
Nicola Whitley: (603) 271-3211
July 21, 2021
Alliance for America’s Fish & Wildlife Brings Together Leaders of Outdoor Recreation, Tribes, Business, Sportsmen/women, Conservation and More to Secure Funding to Address Wildlife Crisis
Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department wants you to know about the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (RAWA), a bipartisan bill introduced in the House recently and yesterday in the Senate that’s considered the most important conservation legislation in a generation.
An unprecedented alliance of business, academic, tribal, and conservation leaders have united to provide a solution to one of America’s greatest threats—the decline of our fish and wildlife and their natural habitats. 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.
The bipartisan Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (RAWA) will dedicate $1.3 billion annually to state fish and wildlife agencies to implement their science-based 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. The goal is to provide dedicated funding so that state and tribal wildlife managers can proactively conserve fish and wildlife species of greatest conservation need before federal listing under the Endangered Species Act is warranted.
The Alliance for America’s Fish and Wildlife has expanded out of the strong partnership and recommendations created by the Blue Ribbon Panel on Sustaining America’s Diverse Fish & Wildlife Resources, consisting of members representing: the outdoor recreation, retail, and manufacturing sector; the energy and automotive industries; private landowners; educational institutions; sportsmen’s and other conservation groups; and state, tribal, and federal fish and wildlife agencies.
“We have a responsibility to ensure our diverse fish and wildlife resources are managed for future generations,” said Michael Marchand, Supervisor of the NH Fish and Game Department’s Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program. “The maintenance of diverse and healthy wildlife populations and their habitats through science-based management, along with educating the public about those resources, is a huge part of the Fish and Game mandate, and this funding would help enormously toward fulfilling this mission. This bill would provide critical funding for New Hampshire’s Wildlife Action Plan, which sets priorities for restoring and managing our wildlife, including threatened and endangered species,” said Marchand.
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, undersized culverts under roadways can block passage of aquatic wildlife such as fish, reptiles, and freshwater mussels, but can also result in flooding and damage to human infrastructure. Working in partnership with other state and federal agencies, municipalities, and non-profit organizations, we can reduce the impact of this threat.
Of the 500-plus vertebrate species and 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 New England cottontails and Blanding’s turtles could serve as a model for other species conservation efforts.
“This funding would facilitate additional future wildlife success stories,” said Marchand. “Our fish and wildlife are among our state’s most valuable resources, and proactive conservation is good for wildlife, good for taxpayers, good for business, and good for our communities. The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act would provide the needed resources for proactive conservation nationwide.”
The Pittman-Robertson and Dingell-Johnson acts originally provided critical funding for fish and wildlife on the brink 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.
Visit www.OurNatureUSA.com to learn more about the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act so that future generations may enjoy the same abundant fish, wildlife, and outdoor recreation opportunities that exist today.
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