Recovering America's Wildlife Act
Nationwide, experts have identified more than 12,000 Species of Greatest Conservation Need, including over 1,200 here in Texas. The majority of these are at-risk fish and wildlife — like many grassland birds, bees and butterflies, and freshwater species.
Unfortunately, America lacks a dedicated funding stream to conserve vulnerable wildlife and help prevent thousands of species from becoming endangered. The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act would be the most significant investment in wildlife conservation in a generation — it would fund proactive, voluntary efforts to address the nation’s looming wildlife crisis and conserve our natural heritage for future generations.
The Recovering America's Wildlife Act, S.1149, would provide $1.3 billion per year to states, and $97.5 million to tribal nations, from existing revenues to fund wildlife conservation, habitat management and restoration, outdoor recreation, and education programs. Of this, Texas would be eligible for more than $50 million per year to implement the Texas Conservation Action Plan and help stabilize the at-risk species in our state.
Slideshow of a few Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) in Texas.
There are 12,000 SGCN's across the country, including over 1,300 in Texas.
Each state has completed a Wildlife Action Plan designed to help recover species in decline and prevent the need for listing under the Endangered Species Act. Once a species becomes threatened or endangered, recovery becomes significantly more uncertain, more difficult, and more expensive. The Recovering America's Wildlife Act would provide the funding needed to effectively implement these strategic conservation plans. As such, it is supported by a wide range of business and conservation interests.
The Recovering America's Wildlife Act would also fuel our outdoor recreation economy, and protect nature’s benefits, such as clean rivers, pest control, and pollination services. In Texas, outdoor recreation directly contributes to 327,000 jobs, generates $14.4 billion in salaries and wages, and $3.5 billion in state and local tax revenue. The over $50 million per year in federal funds that Texas would be eligible to receive, coupled with a 25% non-federal match, would translate into new jobs, increased funding for conservation, support for habitat restoration, and numerous other benefits to Texas fish and wildlife.
Funding for Texas
Recovering would provide $1.3 billion per year nationally to states, including more than $50 million to Texas, to recover imperiled fish and wildlife species and restore habitats.
Photo: Rachel Rommel
No Tax Increase
The money would come from existing revenues, so there would be no new taxes. Preventative fish and wildlife conservation is a smart investment to protect nature's benefits, which supports our economy, agriculture, health, and quality of life.
The funds will be administered by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to fund qualified projects conducted by conservation organizations, land trusts, universities, nature centers, private landowners, and others.
Good for Business
This funding will create jobs, encourage nature tourism, and avoid expensive recovery costs when species are listed as threatened or endangered.
Funds from the Recovering America's Wildlife Act would be available through cost-share programs to manage brush and improve native rangeland conditions that benefit cattle as well as wildlife.
A portion of funding would go towards outdoor recreation and nature education programs that engage Texans in learning about wildlife and the local environment.
Photo: Carolyn Fannon