Crucial wildlife bill being considered by Congress

WASHINGTON, DC — A wildlife bill supported by the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) has been introduced in the House. Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (RAWA) (H.R.3742) is bipartisan legislation that would dedicate $1.3 billion in existing revenue annually from the U.S. Treasury to State Fish and Wildlife Agencies to implement their State Wildlife Action Plans and an additional $97.5 million for tribal fish and wildlife managers to conserve fish and wildlife on tribal lands and waters. 

State Wildlife Action Plans are congressionally mandated plans that outline proactive solutions to conserve those species in greatest need and prevent wildlife from becoming threatened or endangered. 

If this bill passes, it could mean as much as $35 million a year for NDOW to fund certain aspects of law enforcement activities, conservation education, recreation, as well as the full implementation of the Nevada Wildlife Action Plan and the 256 species and 22 key habitats the plan prioritizes in a proactive, non-regulatory manner. 

“This would be a game changer for wildlife management in Nevada,” said Tony Wasley, Director of the Nevada Department of Wildlife. “The funding would allow us to more effectively implement our State Wildlife Action Plan, which serves as a blueprint for restoring and managing some of Nevada’s most important species.” 

RAWA has been widely endorsed in the Silver State with the Nevada Legislature passing a joint resolution in support of this during the last session. Additionally, the Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners passed a resolution in support of this effort. 

“Our existing funding model can no longer keep up with the needs of the full array of fish and wildlife in this country,” said Executive Director of Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Ron Regan. “This bill will allow all Americans to become investors in conserving our nation’s fish and wildlife heritage.”