Sen. Debbie Stabenow has signed onto a bipartisan wildlife conservation bill, the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, that would dedicate $1.4 billion annually to locally-led efforts to help at-risk wildlife species nationwide.
“We’re facing a looming wildlife crisis, and this is the most important piece of federal wildlife legislation in the past 50 years,” said MUCC Executive Director Amy Trotter. “We thank Senator Stabenow for co-sponsoring this bold, bipartisan effort to help at-risk wildlife with collaborative, voluntary measures across every state, territory and tribal nation.”
The bill, if passed, will send $27 million to the Department of Natural Resources which the agency will use to implement its wildlife action plan. Roughly 301 local species would benefit – including the Karner blue butterfly, lake sturgeon and common loon.
Department of Natural Resources Director Dan Eichinger said the federal funding will be critical to ensuring Michigan’s game and nongame species thrive in the future.
“Funding provided under the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act is a once in a generation opportunity for wildlife conservation,” Eichinger said. “That level of support will enable Michigan to help and protect more of the unique fish and wildlife communities that are intertwined with Michigan’s outdoor heritage and natural landscape.”
“Saving the thousands of at-risk wildlife species will require bold, bipartisan leadership and unprecedented collaboration,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “We are so grateful to Senator Stabenow for leading the way on the historic Recovering America’s Wildlife Act that will have an immediate impact – saving species and creating jobs in Michigan and all across the country.”
Nationwide, the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act dedicates $1.4 billion annually to locally-led wildlife restoration efforts. At least 15 percent of the funds will be used to help species already designated as endangered or threatened. Federally recognized tribal nations would share $97.5 million annually to fund wildlife conservation efforts on tribal lands.
The majority of Michigan U.S. House representatives are among the more than 100 bipartisan supporters of the House version of the legislation.