With thousands of wildlife species moving toward endangerment or extinction a new bill making its way through Congress could give them relief by bringing together unlikely alliances between backers from the oil industry to environmentalists sourcing revenue to save their habitats through oil and gas royalties.
This legislation follows the recommendation of a diverse group of energy, business and conservation leaders. This group known as the Blue Ribbon Panel on Sustaining America’s Diverse Fish & Wildlife Resources determined that an annual investment of $1.3 billion in revenues from energy and mineral development on federal lands and waters could address the needs of thousands of species.
This bi-partisan bill called Recovering America’s Wildlife Act will dedicate $1.3 billion annually to state conservation efforts to prevent at-risk wildlife from becoming endangered. Currently, 80% of the funding for our state wildlife agencies comes from sportsmen’s fees such as hunting and fishing licenses and taxes on outdoor gear, for wildlife that are not hunted this would generate a similar dedicated funding stream. This bill will allocate funds via the Wildlife Conservation and Restoration subaccount of the Pittman Robertson Act. If passed this would be the most significant new investment in wildlife conservation in decades!
The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act would fully fund implementation of Michigan’s Wildlife Action Plan – a plan that was developed by partners to identify priorities for conservation efforts in Michigan. This funding would enhance and expand our partnership efforts to conserve Michigan’s unique wildlife.
The funds could also be used to help connect people with natural recreation efforts such as wildlife viewing, nature photography and developing trails and wildlife education efforts.
We’ve had great success in the past when we’ve come together and focused conservation efforts. Kirtland’s warbler, lake sturgeon, peregrine falcons and osprey are still around and thriving today due to those collective efforts!