This past November, the Recovering Americas Wildlife Act (S.3223) marked a significant milestone in its journey to becoming law and opening a pathway for powerful conservation efforts. The bill, which would re-direct an existing $1.3 billion per year from general federal use to fund state-based wildlife conservation had a positive hearing in the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, clearing a procedural hurdle allowing it to advance in that chamber. The House version of the bill (H.R.4647) also had a hearing in the Natural Resources Committee earlier in the year, and wrapped up the session with an impressive 116 bipartisan cosponsors.
Bat Conservation International, and our partner organizations in the Alliance for Americas Fish and Wildlife, see the bill as an essential tool for proactive conservation work and achieving the objectives of state conservation management plans.
This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to secure funding to protect species from becoming threatened or endangered, says Mylea Bayless, BCIs Senior Director of Network and Partnerships. We have a chance to stop the declines of many species and give the states the flexibility to protect sensitive wildlife populations without federal intervention. Its a critical piece of legislation.
An estimated 18 percent of bat species are at risk of extinction in the United States, and nearly one-third of bat species are on the decline. As such, powerful legislation like the Recovering Americas Wildlife Act bill is a rare chance to create lasting protection for bats and the habitats upon which they depend throughout the entire United States.