Updated: Jun 17
Painted bunting, Photo: TPWD
Late spring is in swing -- birds have been singing loud and proud, frogs are chorusing, and wildflowers are still out in force.
During these challenging times, we hope you've had the opportunity to spend time in nature, with all the benefits it brings. We're so thankful for our Alliance members who have offered ways to connect with wildlife and outdoor learning through online presentations and virtual activities too.
Many of you have asked, so we'd like to give an update on the Recovering America's Wildlife Act. As I'm sure you're aware, Congress has been focused on stimulus packages to provide financial assistance for individuals, businesses, and non-profits as we face this unprecedented economic and public health crisis. In the months to come, there's likely to be additional stimulus legislation which may include infrastructure and other activities that can help reignite the economy.
Many legislators and conservation organizations are making a strong argument to include a "resilience" section in a stimulus package, including projects such as would be funded by the Recovering America's Wildlife Act. They are linking conservation and restoration to jobs and the economy, as well as the role nature has in the health and well-being of people. The outdoor economy is taking a hard hit with stay-at-home restrictions, and some parks and other areas have been closed. Yet now more than ever, American's are seeking outdoor spaces for much-needed respite.
We strongly believe that bipartisan wildlife conservation legislation, like the Recovering America's Wildlife Act, should be passed, as it would bring numerous benefits to people and wildlife. In a recent letter to House and Senate Leadership, it's noted that,"Passage of the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act has the potential to create between 23,800 and 33,600 jobs every year, while adding $3.36 billion of national economic output. All of this would lead to a net positive gain of $1.96 billion annually to the Gross Domestic Product." When we're able to be in full recovery mode, shovel-ready jobs such as habitat restoration and management, wildlife watching infrastructure, and other conservation and recreation efforts can help jump start the economy.
Passage of the Recovering America's Wildlife Act will fund these types of programs - and so much more.
A big thanks for your continued support!
A whoop whoop for whooping cranes! A recent update from Aransas National Wildlife Refuge -- winter whooping crane survey results found the population remained stable at an estimated 506 birds, including 39 juveniles and 192 adult pairs. Let's hear it for the whoopers! Photo: TPWD
On May 19th, there was a Texas sea turtle "arribada" -- 41 Kemp's ridley nests were found on the Texas coast! So far this year, 176 Kemps ridley nests have been documented in Texas. Arribada, or "arrival by sea", refers to the synchronized, large-scale nesting of some sea turtle species, like the endangered Kemp's ridley.
We Need a New Tree Army
Recovering America's Wildlife Act gets a mention in this widely-shared New York Times op-ed about investing in restoration as a way to create new jobs and stimulate the economy.
Photo: Open Parks Network/Creative Commons
Bats Are Important But Some Face Uncertain Future
The Tyler Morning Telegraph talks to a Texas Parks & Wildlife bat specialist about the impact of white-nose syndrome on Texas bats. He notes that passing Recovering America's Wildlife Act can help.
Photo: Nyta Brown, TPWD