The people's voice of reason

Katie Britt cosponsors bipartisan conservation legislation

On Friday, U.S. Senator Katie Britt (R-Alabama) has signed on as a cosponsor of the bipartisan Recovering America's Wildlife Act (S.1149), or RAWA. This legislation would make funds available for the management of fish and wildlife species of greatest conservation need as determined by state fish and wildlife agencies.

"Alabama is blessed with an abundance of wildlife and natural resources, and I will continue to support the preservation of our land and waterways for sportsmen and Alabama families to enjoy for generations to come," said Sen. Britt in a statement. "This bipartisan legislation will help ensure our great state remains Alabama the Beautiful long into the future."

Passage of RAWA would mean nearly $1.4 billion to fund local and state efforts to conserve the one-third of wildlife species in the U.S. currently at risk of becoming threatened or endangered. This bill is also expected to save taxpayer money by allowing states to implement proactive solutions to conserve those species and their habitats.

Chris Blankenship is the Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural resources (ADCNR).

"Many of America's most iconic game species were pressured to near extinction due to unregulated harvests a century ago," said Commissioner Blankenship. "Thanks to state and federal conservation efforts, we are blessed today with an abundance of native fish and wildlife throughout the country. The Recovering America's Wildlife Act will modernize the way conservation is funded in the United States and strengthen conservation efforts for nongame species as well. The broad public support for RAWA speaks to just how important it is to Americans to conserve our native fish, wildlife and habitats, while also providing access to outdoor recreation opportunities like bird and wildlife watching. Passage of this bill will be a win-win for everyone. We thank Senator Britt for her support of this important legislation."

If passed, ADCNR would receive approximately $25 million annually to implement its state wildlife action plan. The plan identifies 366 Species of greatest conservation need, including bald and golden eagles, a variety of bat species, Alabama sturgeon, black bear, the Eastern indigo snake and the gopher tortoise.

Proponents also claim that the legislation is projected to boost Alabama's outdoor recreation economy, which depends on healthy fish and wildlife populations. It would ensure more wildlife viewing opportunities and directly contribute to millions of jobs and billions in annual consumer spending nationally. With the passage of RAWA, Alabama could implement these projects immediately.

A similar version of the bill passed out of committee during the 117th Congress but never received a Senate floor vote, despite having strong bipartisan support. Senator Britt joins nine of her Republican colleagues in the Senate and nine Democrats and Independents in support of the current legislation.

RAWA has the support of the Alliance for America's Fish & Wildlife, whose goal is to modernize the funding model for critically needed fish and wildlife conservation.

Katie Britt was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2022.


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