This week, the United States House of Representatives is expected to hold a floor vote on the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (RAWA).
Sponsored by Michigan Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-12), RAWA would provide some of the most meaningful conservation funding in a generation: nearly $1.4 billion to support the Wildlife Conservation Restoration Program for states, territories and tribal nations to provide proactive efforts to prevent wildlife from becoming endangered.
MUCC wrote a blog on RAWA when it passed out of committee in January.
The bill has a staggering 194 co-sponsors — ten from right here in Michigan. RAWA was first introduced in 2017 after conservation and business leaders saw a need to create a new permanent funding mechanism for wildlife conservation, and it has had bipartisan support since its inception.
Under RAWA, Michigan could see an estimated $27 million for the protection of vulnerable species like lake sturgeon. This is a substantial amount of money that would go a long way in the hands of state agencies.
Many of the projects RAWA could fund are currently being paid for with license dollars, and RAWA could help subsidize nongame management freeing up hunter and angler dollars to be used for our highest priority game species.
Non-game habitat projects would also benefit game species, for example the Golden Winged Warbler and woodcock share much of the same habitat, and woodcock would benefit from efforts to create or sustain warbler habitat.
There is optimism that even in this world of partisan gridlock in Washington D.C., legislators can find common ground and get RAWA passed.
This bill presents a generational opportunity to secure lasting and meaningful funding to protect our most vulnerable species, and is on par with other great conservation successes like the Pittman-Robertson and Dingell-Johnson acts.