The U.S. House approves a major wildlife conservation spending bill

The U.

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NewsEditor
19 June 2022 Sunday 00:44
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The U.S. House approves a major wildlife conservation spending bill

The U.S. House voted 231 to 190 on Tuesday to pass a bill to preserve endangered species aEUR".

Recovering America's Wildlife Act would establish an annual fund of over $1.3 billion that would be distributed to all 50 states and territories. This money will go towards wildlife conservation. Although endangered species have been protected by the Endangered Species Act since 1973 and are now defined as such, it does not provide sufficient funding to proactively maintain their numbers.

Scientists and international organizations are urging scientists to take action about the rapid decline of species.

"Too many people don’t realize... roughly one-third our wildlife is at an increased risk of extinction," Debbie Dingell, a Democrat hailing from Michigan, said in a statement. She was echoing a recent study on climate change.

According to the U.S., more than 1,600 species are endangered or threatened in the United States. Fish and Wildlife Service, however, state agencies have identified over 7 times more species in dire need of conservation assistance as part of their wildlife action plans.

Collin O'Mara CEO of the National Wildlife Federation said, "The bottom line, when we protect wildlife, we save ourselves." He stated that species loss is a threat to everything, from the pollinators of plants to the sea life that protects coastlines from storm surge.

The bill would amend the 1937 Pittman-Robertson Act. This law was passed to address declining game and waterfowl species. According to the Pew Charitable Trusts, this law allows states tax hunting supplies in order to pay for habitat restoration and wildlife. However, the money that is available for non-game species cannot be used to tax hunting supplies.

The Act would also be more effective in conservation than the State Wildlife Grant Program (which awarded $56 million to states this year) which invests in threatened non-game species.

The biggest problem is how to finance this investment.

While supporters continue to work out the details, critics like Rep. Bruce Westerman (R.A.) called the current draft "regrettably flawed" as it would create a permanent spending program. He asked members to vote no.

The bill would require 15% of all conservation funds to be used for the restoration of endangered species.

The White House issued a statement Monday affirming its support for the bill's goals.

16 GOP cosponsors have signed on to Companion legislation in Senate.

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