‘Most Significant Wildlife Conservation Bill in Half A Century’ Ready for Votes in Senate

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An eagle hovers above a river, talons extended to catch a fish. Its wingspan is fully extended. Yellow grasses line the bank of the river in the background.

Recovering America’s Wildlife Act Will Help 141 at-Risk Species in Utah 

Salt Lake City (August 11, 2022) — The strongly bipartisan Recovering America’s Wildlife Act is now ready for floor votes in the Senate after being passed in the house. The sweeping wildlife conservation bill would direct nearly $1.4 billion annually to state and tribal wildlife agencies to protect thousands of at-risk species.  

“This bill will be a game-changer here in Utah,” said Brett Prettyman, Board President of the Utah Wildlife Federation “This funding will allow Utah to step in early to help wildlife at risk, before they are listed as endangered, saving the state hundreds of millions of dollars. This is a fiscally-responsible way we can ensure we pass our wildlife heritage down to our children and grandchildren.

The bill will send $21 million to the Utah Department of Natural Resources which the agency will use to implement its wildlife action plan. 141 local species would benefit – including the Bonneville cutthroat trout, boreal toad, and desert tortoise. The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act is a fantastic opportunity to unite Americans of all geographic locations, political persuasions, and educational levels – as our wildlife habitat is so unique and worthy of protecting. In a state facing ongoing drought conditions and mounting pressure on wildlife the secure funding base the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act provides will ensure Utah can protect its wildlife legacy.

“The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act is the most significant wildlife-conservation bill in half a century — and this brings it one tremendous step closer to becoming law,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “With more than one-third of all wildlife species in the United States already facing a heightened risk of extinction, we strongly support this historic legislation that matches the magnitude of America’s wildlife crisis.”

The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act will dedicate $1.4 billion annually to state wildlife agencies to implement their federal-approved wildlife action plans. This bill will also recognize the Tribal Nations’ wildlife management role on tens of millions of acres of land with $97.5 million in dedicated funding that would benefit the 8 Tribal Nations in Utah in their wildlife recovery work.

The bill has 42 cosponsors in the Senate – nearly half of them Republicans – and passed the house 231 – 190 with more than 170 cosponsors in the House. Senator Romney can make a difference for Utah’s wildlife legacy by supporting this bill.

“This bill isn’t a win for one party or the other, it’s a win for wildlife,” said Prettyman. “This is a cost-effective, consequential bill that every member of Utah’s delegation should vote for.” 

The bill was voted out of the Senate Environment and Public Works committee on April 7th with a strong bipartisan vote.

The bill passed out of the House Natural Resources committee in January with a 29-15 vote. The broad bipartisan support suggests the bill has a good chance of passing in both chambers if it were brought up for a vote. 

A recent Data for Progress nationwide poll of 1,199 likely voters found that 87 percent supported the bill, with only 7 percent opposed. 

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Contact: Isobel Lingenfelter, Utah Wildlife Federation, isobel@utahwildlifefederation.org