Federal Update: Partnerships Are Important
New York’s game species are literally losing ground, as human development and climate change is restricting their native habitats. In a new report, the National Wildlife Federation found game species across the country lost, on average, 6.5M acres of habitat over the past two decades.
Per the report, between 65 and 82M acres of America’s national forests need restoration. In addition to the 30×30 plan outlined in Biden’s America the Beautiful initiative, Congress is considering the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, (RAWA), which would allocate nearly $1.4B annually to states to implement habitat restoration and conservation strategies.
If fully funded, RAWA would deliver about a 25 percent increase to states, tribes and territories in their wildlife agency budgets. States would be required to contribute a 25 percent match. The money would be allocated among the states by formula, based on a state’s size, population and the number of species it contained that were listed as threatened or endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act.
In the 117th Congress (2021-22), RAWA has been introduced in the House (H.R. 2773) by Representatives Debbie Dingell (D-MI) and Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE). It passed the House Natural Resources Committee on January 19, 2022. RAWA was introduced in the Senate (S. 2372) by Senators Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and Roy Blunt (R-MO). It was amended and passed by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on April 7, 2022. Since they now contain different language, if the bills pass both chambers they will have to be reconciled in a joint committee.
New York State: A Once in a Generation Opportunity
The $4.2B Clean Water, Clean Air and Green Jobs Bond Act will appear on the November ballot this year
New York’s natural resources provide us with what we need most: clean water to drink, clean air to breathe, food for our families and places to explore the great outdoors. On November 8, New York voters have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to protect clean drinking water, conserve wildlife habitat, reduce pollution and modernize infrastructure through an environmental measure on this year’s general election ballot. If approved by voters, the $4.2B Clean Water, Clean Air, and Green Jobs Bond Act will help communities throughout the state make crucial upgrades to roads, water pipes, septic systems and water treatment plants and keep pollution out of our bays, harbors and drinking water. The Bond Act would also support nearly 100,000 local jobs and protect and restore natural habitats by supporting family farms, conserving forests and improving habitat for birds, fish and other wildlife.
The Land Alliance is a member of the coalition who will be actively supporting the passage of this important legislation. We hope we can count on you to vote yes in November. More information to follow.