Salt Lake City, UT – The Mule Deer Foundation (MDF) applauds the bipartisan Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senators Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and Roy Blunt (R-MO). The Senate version of the bill, already introduced in the House as H.R.2773, will dedicate $1.3 billion annually to state fish and wildlife agencies to implement science-based wildlife action plans and an additional $97.5 million to Tribes for conservation on tribal lands and waters. This will provide dedicated funding for proactive management of species of greatest conservation need in a voluntary, non-regulatory manner before federal listing under the Endangered Species Act is warranted.
By directing funds to implement State Wildlife Action Plans through the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, wildlife managers will have the resources to implement shovel-ready projects that immediately create jobs in a sector with exceptional return on investment, while protecting and conserving wildlife and supporting continued outdoor recreation opportunities. Proactive conservation like MDF’s Stewardship Initiative, habitat restoration on mule deer and black-tailed deer seasonal ranges and migration corridors, and wildfire prevention measures benefit the country’s natural infrastructure and wildlife. The strategic investment in fish and wildlife conservation through the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act will sustain the nation’s biodiversity and benefit the American public for generations to come.
“The Mule Deer Foundation has been a leader in the implementation of habitat conservation and restoration projects that affect big game migration corridors and seasonal ranges,” commented MDF President/CEO Joel Pedersen. “All of America benefits when we invest proactively in conservation, and the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act would provide strategic funding that ensures the health of our wildlife resources for the future. When coupled with job creation in the most rural areas that mule deer and black-tailed deer inhabit, this bill would also strengthen communities while benefiting wildlife across the country.”
Scientists estimate that one-third of wildlife species in the United States are at risk of becoming threatened or endangered without a significant increase in funding for their proactive conservation. State fish and wildlife agencies currently receive the vast majority of their funding for wildlife management through revenues from the sale of hunting and fishing licenses and gear. Ensuring a broader revenue stream will allow for a much needed increase in conservation efforts and the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act will provide this critical investment in the future of sustainable wildlife management. Healthy fish and wildlife populations and natural habitats drive many sectors of our economy, especially the $788 billion outdoor recreation industry, and the bill will support an estimated 330,000 jobs annually, while restoring natural resources.
The Mule Deer Foundation is the only conservation group in North America dedicated to restoring, improving and conserving mule deer and black-tailed deer and their habitat, with a focus on science and program efficiency. MDF is a strong voice for hunters in access, wildlife management and conservation policy issues. MDF acknowledges regulated hunting as a viable management component and is committed to recruitment and retention of men, women and youth into the shooting sports and conservation. Get involved in your state or become a member at www.muledeer.org or call 801-973-3940.
Contact: Jared Wire, Jared@muledeer.org