WASHINGTON – Legislation backed by U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) to invest in conservation work in Arkansas and support some of the best stewards of our natural resources – farmers and ranchers – advanced through a key Senate committee last week and is one step closer to Senate passage.
The Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee approved the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (RAWA), legislation to safeguard the long-term health of fish and wildlife habitat in the Natural State and all across the country.
“Arkansas is home to some of the best outdoor recreation opportunities in the country. Investing in the preservation of wildlife and habitat ensures future generations can participate in these popular pastimes through collaborative conservation efforts. I’m pleased to have bipartisan support for Recovering America’s Wildlife Act and will work to secure Senate passage,” said Boozman, a senior member of the EPW Committee.
Wildlife agencies across the country have identified more than 12,000 species in greatest need of conservation assistance. Arkansas is home to 377 of those endangered and threatened wildlife. This legislation would make Arkansas eligible for more than $15 million annually to fund habitat restoration and conservation.
At Boozman’s urging, the EPW Committee held a hearing on this legislation in December.
The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act is supported by more than 1,500 organizations including the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Ducks Unlimited and the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation.
“RAWA is the biggest conservation opportunity in at least a generation. For a state known as "The Natural State" and with $9.7 billion in annual consumer spending in outdoor recreation, the benefits would be tremendous. RAWA would benefit not only at-risk threatened and endangered species, but also our hundreds of thousands of sportsmen for generations to come. We are proud and grateful for Senator Boozman's leadership in the Senate to ensure this bill bolsters the Arkansas outdoors as much as possible and eventually becomes law,” said Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Director Austin Booth.
“The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act will have a significant impact on the recovery of threatened and endangered species everywhere,” said Dan Wrinn, Ducks Unlimited National Director of Government Affairs. “Senator Boozman’s efforts to help guide this important legislation through the Environment and Public Works committee have been instrumental in reaching this important step for wildlife conservation, and we look forward to seeing this historic legislation pass the House and Senate soon.”
“The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act represents a pragmatic, cost-effective effort to conserving nearly 12,000 fish, wildlife, and plant species before more burdensome measures are necessary. This legislation is a win-win for America’s sportsmen and women, businesses, private landowners, and other stakeholders,” said Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) President and CEO Jeff Crane. “CSF applauds Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus Vice Chair Sen. Boozman for cosponsoring and helping champion this landmark legislation.”