Acting one way to preserve the state’s wildlife

The state of Arkansas adopted the nickname “The Natural State” in 1995 and for good reason: the undeniable beauty of our land, its clear lakes and streams, and the abundance of natural wildlife. We have the opportunity to build on this important legacy. Congress aims to strengthen conservation efforts through the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, which would allow us to better protect the environment and preserve our natural resources for future generations so that we can continue to live up to our nickname. very appropriate.

One of the reasons I’m proud to be a co-sponsor of the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act is that it would provide actors on the ground, such as farmers and ranchers, conservation organizations, state authorities and tribal governments, the resources they must pursue concerted conservation efforts in their regions.

Our outdoor recreation opportunities are well known, and this legislation would protect the long-term health of fish and wildlife habitat in Arkansas – and across the country – by investing in the conservation efforts of more than 12,000 species. of wild animals and plants that we know need to be preserved. These conservation tactics would improve Arkansas education and recreation projects.

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission describes this legislation as “an unprecedented opportunity to maintain the benefits of our natural world.”

Arkansas would be eligible to receive $ 15 million per year, which would be distributed to state agencies, conservation organizations and universities, while also allowing us to expand and complement the work of the action plan. for our state’s wildlife. This strategy has served as the foundation for wildlife conservation, helping to facilitate the implementation of proactive and voluntary approaches through federal and state agencies since 2005.

With the decline in the number of hunting and angling license buyers over the past decade, natural resource management has come under threat. According to a recent study by the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, nearly 60% of the $ 3.3 billion in conservation funds allocated to national wildlife agencies come from activities related to hunting and fishing. either directly through the sale of licenses, labels and stamps, or indirectly. through federal excise taxes on recreational hunting and shooting and angling equipment. The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act will help provide sustainable funding for natural resource management.

Our branded natural resources are a gift, but they also offer economic benefits. For example, as Arkansans, we pride ourselves on being a premier duck hunting destination, where we see over 100,000 waterfowl hunters each year who contribute $ 1 million each day of the hunting season. duck to the state economy. All of this is happening in rural communities. As an outdoor enthusiast, I am proud to defend and support legislation that strengthens our country’s wetlands and enhances waterfowl habitat.

Support for this legislation is gaining ground. In addition to the bipartisan support of more than 30 senators, the Committee on the Environment and Public Works held a hearing in early December to examine our bill. This is a crucial step forward so that we can make improvements and gain the support of committee members to move the bill through to the Senate.

The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act will build on recent conservation successes. Last year, Congress passed and the president enacted the Great American Outdoors Act and the America’s Conservation Enhancement Act (ACE). The two landmark bills helped improve our country’s struggling conservation work and underscored just how broad the consensus is around the need to protect our natural resources.

We can be proud of the recent successes of our conservation efforts. However, we must continue this progress by supporting ideas such as the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act so that our natural resources are available to be observed and enjoyed for years to come.

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