The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (RAWA) is a bipartisan effort focused on funding the conservation or restoration of wildlife and plant species of greatest conservation need; the wildlife conservation strategies of states, territories, tribes, and the District of Columbia; and wildlife conservation education and recreation projects. The House passed the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (H.R.2773) last year and the Senate bill (S.2372) had 47 bipartisan cosponsors in the 117th Congress.
The North American Invasive Species Management Association (NAISMA) supports RAWA because it will provide critical resources to wildlife professionals tasked with conserving the diversity of America’s native species. Invasive species pose one of the largest threats to wildlife and have contributed to the need to list more than 42 percent of the organisms currently listed under the Endangered Species Act. For example, the Channel Islands faced an ecological collapse due in part to invasive feral hog populations. A recovery program involving removing the invasive pigs successfully saved endemic island foxes; fox subspecies listed as endangered were delisted in fewer than two decades.
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Invasive species create an estimated $137 billion annual strain on the U.S. economy. Among other provisions, RAWA could provide $97.5 million annually to fund proactive wildlife conservation efforts on tribal lands and $1.3 billion in dedicated funding annually for the implementation of state fish and wildlife agencies’ wildlife action plans (SWAPs). The majority of SWAPs already identify the need to prevent, control, and manage invasive species to protect native and imperiled species, maintain outdoor recreation, sustain industry, and protect our nation’s water and food supplies.
RAWA will enable our fish and wildlife agencies to address more than 12,000 species in need of conservation before a listing as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act is required. It will also put Americans back to work across the country safeguarding our natural resources and infrastructure. NAISMA encourages prioritization of RAWA funds to prevent and manage invasive species on public lands and waters.
You can take action by contacting your U.S. Representative and Senator to encourage them to cosponsor and reintroduce RAWA in the 118th Congress. Ask them to work to advance and pass this critical piece of legislation for American’s wildlife and natural spaces.
See more from NAISMA Government Relations.
NAISMA has joined the Alliance for America’s Fish & Wildlife.
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