July 24, 2018

Manchin Introduces Recovering Americas Wildlife Act with Bipartisan Group of Senators

Washington, D.C. – As a Co-Chair of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) introduced the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, legislation that would help sustain fish and wildlife populations throughout the country.

“In West Virginia hunting, fishing and outdoor activities are family traditions deeply ingrained in who we are as a state. The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act will ensure we continue to promote our state’s unique wildlife and preserve our rich outdoor traditions. That’s why I am proud to introduce this bipartisan bill to make West Virginia even more wild and wonderful,” Senator Manchin said.

“We applaud the Senate Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus leaders Senators Risch, Manchin, and Heitkamp, as well as Caucus Member Senator Alexander for introducing this important piece of legislation. America’s hunters, anglers, recreational shooters, and boaters have been the primary funders of state-based conservation efforts to this day. This legislation will complement the contributions of sportsmen and women to ensure healthy fish and wildlife populations for future generations to enjoy,” said Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation President Jeff Crane.

“There are more than 600 species of wildlife in West Virginia that are in need of help right now. Many of us grew up listening to whippoorwills at night and fishing for brook trout by day—but both of these species have seen dramatic declines. Without action, future generations of West Virginians won’t have these classic wildlife experiences,” said Angie Rosser, the executive director of West Virginia Rivers Coalition. “That is why I’m so grateful to Senator Manchin for championing this commonsense proposal that sets to increase funding for state-led, voluntary efforts to help species in trouble.”

Senator Manchin was joined by Senators Jim Risch (R-ID), Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND). By redirecting existing federal resources to state-led wildlife conservation efforts, this legislation enables state agencies and their partners to work to conserve state species of greatest conservation need, as identified in their State Wildlife Action Plan, before more costly and restrictive action is needed under the Endangered Species Act. These enhanced conservation efforts will preserve sportsmen’s access to lands and wildlife-associated recreation long-term.

State fish and wildlife agencies have identified roughly 12,000 species in need of proactive conservation efforts in the United States, due to habitat loss, invasive species, and other contributing factors. This legislation provides states with greater authority to address their conservation needs before a species becomes endangered in the first place, and expedites recovery efforts for those species already listed.