Recovering America’s Wildlife Act Would Bring $19 Million Per Year to Louisiana

The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, recently introduced to Congress, would bring $19 million per year to Louisiana to conserve more than 700 nongame fish and wildlife species and their habitats.

U.S. Representatives Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) and Debbie Dingell (D-MI) introduced House Bill 4647 (HR 4647), or the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, on Dec. 14. The legislation proposes to provide state fish and wildlife agencies with $1.3 billion annually to implement State Wildlife Action Plans. The source of funding is royalties and revenues collected from energy and mineral development on federal lands and waters.

“This legislation would bolster our Wildlife Action Plan which seeks to conserve our wildlife and its habitat,’’ LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet said. “Going from $600,000 to $19 million annually would give us the capacity to fully implement that plan for nongame and threatened species and habitat in our state.’’

It currently costs the American public hundreds of millions of dollars each year to restore threatened and endangered species, costs that could be avoided or greatly reduced if proactive conservation measures were implemented. Proactive conservation is good for wildlife, good for taxpayers, good for business and good for our communities. The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, supported by the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, would provide the needed resources for proactive conservation nationwide.

“In the Wildlife Action Plan we have species and specific conservation strategies,’’ said Amity Bass, LDWF Assistant Chief for Coastal and Nongame Resources Division. “We can also use it for land acquisition. That will help us on so many conservation fronts.’’

These critical efforts are supported by the Alliance for America’s Fish & Wildlife, whose purpose is to create a 21st-century funding model for critically needed conservation of our nation’s most precious natural resources, our fish and wildlife. This effort was built upon the strong partnership created by the Blue Ribbon Panel on Sustaining America’s Diverse Fish and Wildlife Resources, consisting of members representing the outdoor recreation, retail and manufacturing sectors, the energy and automotive industries, private landowners, educational institutions, conservation organizations, sportsmen’s groups, and state and federal fish and wildlife agencies.