Senators Heinrich and Blunt build bipartisan support for proactive, on-the-ground investments to support the long-term health of fish and wildlife and their habitat across America
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) are one step closer to getting the bipartisan Recovering America’s Wildlife Act across the finish line.
Today, the landmark conservation legislation was voted out of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) with bipartisan support. The legislation now heads to the Senate Floor for consideration. The House legislation advanced out of the House Natural Resources Committee in January.
Senators Heinrich and Blunt held a conference call for reporters to discuss the progress. A recording of their remarks can be found here.
“The outdoors have once again proven to be a real uniting force. I’m so proud of the bipartisan leadership and widespread support that is moving the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act forward. Senator Blunt has been a great partner and EPW Chairman Tom Carper and Ranking Member Shelley Moore Capito helped us advance this landmark conservation legislation. I am confident that if we can keep up our momentum, we will pass this bill through the full Senate with broad, bipartisan support,” said Heinrich, member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. “Without enough resources, state, and Tribal wildlife agencies have been forced to pick and choose which species are worth saving. Instead of doing the proactive work that is necessary to maintain healthy wildlife populations on the front end, they have been forced into using reactive measures to rescue species after they are listed as threatened or endangered. We urgently need to change this paradigm and save thousands of species with a solution that matches the magnitude of the challenge. The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act offers us a constructive path forward. Passing RAWA into law will mean our grandchildren will be able to experience the same rich and abundant American wildlife—from bumblebees to bison—that we have been so lucky to grow up with.”
“Protecting habitats and wildlife is not only important to states like Missouri – with some of the best hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation in the country – it’s important to communities all across the nation,” said Blunt. “By encouraging states, territories, and Tribes to make significant contributions to voluntary conservation efforts, we can preserve our nation’s wildlife for future generations. I would like to thank the Environment and Public Works Committee for advancing RAWA, and I will continue working with my friend Senator Heinrich to get this landmark legislation to the president’s desk.”
“Today, our committee took a step forward in advancing impactful, bipartisan conservation legislation,” said EPW Chairman Carper. “The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act seeks to address the pervasive and growing threat of biodiversity loss, which scientists warn could dramatically worsen in the years ahead without action. I appreciate the strong leadership that Senators Heinrich, Blunt, and Capito demonstrated as our committee contemplated this legislation, and I look forward to working with them, and other proponents, to find a way to pay for this important investment and to take additional action to stem our biodiversity loss crisis. Much like successful species conservation, legislating is a shared responsibility.”
“An integral part of West Virginia is our natural landscape and native wildlife,” said EPW Ranking Member Capito. “I was proud to support the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, which will provide a historic investment to help states with their species recovery efforts. I thank my colleagues, Senators Blunt and Heinrich, for leading this legislation to provide our state fish and wildlife agencies with more resources to conserve at-risk species.”
Senators Heinrich and Blunt’s legislation invests in proactive, on-the-ground conservation work led by states, territories, and Tribal nations to support the long-term health of fish and wildlife and their habitat all across America. These locally-driven, science-based strategies would restore populations of species with the greatest conservation need.
Since introduction in July 2021, the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act has gained significant momentum with 32 bipartisan sponsors and cosponsors, and is backed by over 60 Tribes and 1,500 organizations representing state fish and wildlife agencies, sportsmen and women, conservation groups, and industry associations and businesses.