Recovering America_s Wildlife Act

Recovering America_s Wildlife Act

David Sparks Ph.D.
David Sparks Ph.D.
Averting a looming mass extinction crisis, the bipartisan Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, will be the most significant investment in wildlife conservation in a generation. The bipartisan bill will fund proactive, voluntary efforts led by the states, territories and tribal nations to prevent wildlife from becoming endangered. If it passes, Arkansas and all states combined will receive $1.4 billion annual conservation funding to help birds and other wildlife before they face more dire risks. Read the state-by-state breakdown of dedicated wildlife funding. 

Dr. Bruce Stein, chief scientist for the National Wildlife Federation said:

Money to the states. $1.3 billion from this bill will be spent by state fish and wildlife agencies, in partnership with state-based conservation entities. The state agencies will use the money to implement their pre-existing, congressionally mandated State Wildlife Action Plans.

Better for hunters and anglers. Currently, 80 % of the funding for our state wildlife agencies comes from state hunting and fishing licenses and permits as well as federal excise taxes on gear. This funding model has worked for decades but is no longer enough on its own.

Connecting people with nature. A small portion of the funds will go to wildlife education efforts and increasing access to public lands. 

A history of success. State fish and wildlife agencies have had great success in restoring other species that were once on the brink – like bald eagles, peregrine falcons, white-tailed deer, turkey, elk, striped bass, and more.

Tribal lands. The legislation would dedicate nearly $100 million annually for tribal wildlife conservation efforts. The First Nations own or influence the management of nearly 140 million acres.

An economic boost. Americans spend $140 billion dollars on wildlife-focused recreation every year. The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act will result in more recreational opportunities for all Americans, as a portion of the funds can be used for increasing public access to the great outdoors.

Benefits people and wildlife. Diverse fish and wildlife and their habitats provide important contributions like clean water and air, flood prevention, pollination, and carbon capture.

The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act Restores Our Outdoors Heritage

Bipartisan Conservation Funding to Prevent Birds from Extinction Dangers

New Study: 3 Billion Birds Lost

Research Shows Urgent Need for Increased Wildlife Funding

WASHINGTON — A new study in the journal Science has found the cumulative loss of nearly three billion birds since 1970, a decline of approximately 29%. The staggering net loss of birds shows the need for Congress to increase funding for wildlife conservation by passing the bipartisan Recovering America’s Wildlife Act.

“The dramatic declines in bird populations documented in this study are deeply concerning, but not surprising. We are seeing similar declines in wildlife populations across North America and around the world,” said Bruce Stein, chief scientist for the National Wildlife Federation and author of the book Precious Heritage: The Status of Biodiversity in the United States.

“Grassland birds have been hit especially hard, a result of the ongoing conversion of our native grasslands to agriculture. The strong improvements in waterfowl numbers demonstrate that when we invest in conservation — and have strong policies to protect and restore wetlands and other habitats — we can make a meaningful difference. The Administration's efforts to weaken legal protections for wetlands could, unfortunately, reverse this progress.

“Right now, most birds and other wildlife species in trouble do not have the kind of consistent, dedicated funding that waterfowl have benefited from. The bipartisan Recovering America’s Wildlife Act would be a game-changer for birds by investing nearly $1.4 billion each year in proactive conservation strategies. This new study highlights the urgency of addressing America's wildlife crisis by ramping up conservation investments and defending the laws that protect wildlife and their habitats.”

A September 2019 study published in the journal Science found three billion North American birds have vanished since 1970 as bird populations in the United States and Canada have declined by 29 percent, or almost 3 billion birds, signaling a widespread ecological emergency. America’s wildlife is in crisis, and this report shows staggering declines in bird populations from iconic songbirds including meadowlarks, swallows, finches, warblers and sparrows, the findings revealed tremendous losses across diverse groups of birds and habitats. And it is not just birds—scientists are seeing similar declines in wildlife across North America and around the world.


Once a species reaches the point of needing the protection of the Endangered Species Act, recovery becomes significantly more uncertain, more difficult and more expensive. Proactive efforts taken earlier in a species’ decline are more likely to be successful, cost less money, and are less likely to be controversial.  Please read the National Wildlife Federation’s factsheet.



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