Passage of Recovering America’s Wildlife Act a Critical Step Forward
The Mule Deer Foundation (MDF) thanks the U.S. House of Representatives for today’s bipartisan vote of 231-190 to pass the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (RAWA, H.R. 2773). If passed by the Senate and signed into law, the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act would dedicate $1.3 billion to state agencies and $97.5 million to Tribal Nations every year to recover and sustain healthy fish and wildlife populations. This significant investment would benefit the more than 12,000 species of greatest conservation need identified in state wildlife action plans—including mule deer. Funding will be used to implement on-the-ground efforts such as land conservation, habitat restoration, fighting invasive species, reintroducing native species, tackling emerging wildlife diseases, and improving conservation education and outdoor recreation.
Following is a statement by MDF President/CEO Joel Pedersen:
“Securing increased funding for state fish and wildlife conservation efforts has been a top priority for the conservation community for decades, and the Mule Deer Foundation is proud to be part of the coalition of thousands of organizations supporting the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act. Today’s vote by the U.S. House of Representatives to pass RAWA is a critical step toward finally enacting dedicated funding to help proactively address the conservation needs of our nation’s wildlife species. We know that the increased investment in wildlife conservation will help to ensure that declining species are addressed well before they need to be listed as threatened or endangered. In addition, funding will be available for improving conservation education and recreational access to actively engage all Americans in the outdoors.
Mule deer and black-tailed deer have been identified by most western states as species of greatest conservation need within their State Wildlife Action Plan. MDF has worked closely with our state agency partners on habitat conservation and restoration that will benefit deer and the hundreds of other species that also utilize these habitats. The increase in funding through RAWA will go a long way to addressing these and the many other conservation needs across the country.
MDF thanks all the members that voted in support of this historic legislation and specifically the congressional champion of this legislation, Representative Debbie Dingell (D-MI), for her leadership on this bill. We urge the U.S. Senate to take up their version of the bill, S. 2372, and enact this legislation this year.”
The Mule Deer Foundation is the only conservation group in North America dedicated to restoring, improving and protecting mule deer and black-tailed deer and their habitat, with a focus on science and program efficiency. MDF is a strong voice for hunters in access, wildlife management and conservation policy issues. MDF acknowledges regulated hunting as a viable management component and is committed to recruitment and retention of youth into the shooting sports and conservation. Get involved in your state or become a member at www.muledeer.org or call 1-888-375-3337.