Bipartisan Bill to Help Declining Wildlife Introduced in Congress
Bill would help at-risk species, create new jobs, provide outdoor recreation opportunities in Texas.
With as many as one-third of America’s fish and wildlife species on the brink of becoming threatened or endangered, a bill introduced in Congress in April — on Earth Day — seeks to reverse this trend while creating thousands of new jobs and investing in the outdoor recreation economy. The bipartisan proposal has nationwide support from conservationists, hunters, anglers, businesspeople and the outdoor recreation industry.
The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act would provide $1.4 billion to state and tribal wildlife conservation initiatives to support at-risk wildlife populations and their habitats. The funding would come from existing revenues and would not require any new taxes.
Texas would receive more than $50 million per year for projects to conserve vulnerable wildlife like the much-loved Texas horned lizard, the Guadalupe bass (our state fish) and many songbirds and coastal birds. This funding will also help species that are already endangered, such as sea turtles and whooping cranes.
The additional resources are urgently needed to aid fish and wildlife populations under increasing pressure from habitat loss, invasive species, emerging diseases and extreme weather events in Texas and throughout the country.
Texas is home to nearly 1,300 of the 12,000 species identified nationwide as Species of Greatest Conservation Need. The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to change the course of history for declining wildlife and help prevent wildlife species from becoming endangered.
When a species is in such bad shape that it qualifies for the “emergency room” measures of the Endangered Species Act, it’s much more difficult — and expensive — to recover. The time-tested principle behind the bill is that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
The Texas Alliance for America’s Fish and Wildlife is a coalition formed to support the federal wildlife bill. See the alliance website to learn more and to find out how you can help.
TPWD Staff | All images TPWD
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