- State Coalitions
- Wildlife Action Plans
- Wildlife Funding
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The Wildlife Conservation and Restoration Program (WCRP), created by Congress in 2000, authorizes federal funding to State fish and wildlife agencies for wildlife conservation and related recreation and education. While the program is on the books, it is not currently receiving any funding. The Teaming With Wildlife (TWW) coalition is working to find a permanent, stable funding source for the Wildlife Conservation and Restoration Program.
The Teaming With Wildlife Act
The proposed Teaming With Wildlife Act would provide a reliable and increased amount of funding for preventing wildlife from becoming endangered. The bill would dedicate a portion of existing federal revenue from on-shore and off-shore oil and mineral development activities to the Wildlife Conservation and Restoration Program.
Climate Change Legislation
Climate Change and Wildlife
From the highest peaks to the driest deserts to aquatic environments, habitats across our country have specific conditions that meet the needs of wildlife. Wildlife require certain habitat elements, including the right temperatures, fresh water, food, and places to raise their young. These elements are being altered by climate change and are putting our nation’s wildlife in jeopardy. For example, warmer water temperatures cause population declines for trout, salmon, and other cold-water species. Larger floods increase erosion, reducing water quality and degrading aquatic habitat. Because States have authority over wildlife management, they can play a major role in adapting wildlife conservation to the changing climate. To help States address this, the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies developed Voluntary Guidance for States to Incorporate Climate Change Into State Wildlife Action Plans and Other Management Plans.
Congress has also made attempts to address the impact of climate change on wildlife by introducing legislation that would fund WCRP. In November 2011, the Senate introduced the Safeguarding America’s Future and Environment Act (SAFE) Act, S.1881, climate change adaptation legislation that would enact natural resource adaptation planning to reduce long-term costs for State fish and wildlife agencies. The bill would encourage States to prepare natural resources adaptation plans. The proposed legislation would establish planning requirements, identify specific federal programs through which natural resource adaptation would be undertaken, and require the development of a coordinated national adaptation strategy. The proposal has garnered broad support from sportsmen, outdoor industry, and conservation groups, including the American Canoe Association, American Rivers, American Whitewater, Conservation Law Foundation, Defenders of Wildlife, Earthjustice, Endangered Species Coalition, League of Conservation Voters, National Parks Conservation Association, National Wildlife Federation, Outdoor Alliance, Outdoor Industry Association, Restore America’s Estuaries, Sierra Club, The Trust for Public Land, The Wilderness Society, Trout Unlimited, Wildlife Conservation Society, Winter Wildlands Alliance, and World Wildlife Fund.
Several other pending bills to address global climate change include funding for the Wildlife Conservation and Restoration Program in order to help fish and wildlife agencies protect fish and wildlife and their habitats as they are affected by climate change. These bills would provide funding from the auction of “credits” for allowable emissions of climate change pollution. Because this funding is based on new revenues, it would not increase the federal deficit and would not come at the expense of other federal funding. These bills could generate from $500 million to more than $1 billion for wildlife conservation.
Conservation and Reinvestment Act
The Conservation and Reinvestment Act (CARA), HR 701, was an historic conservation bill that almost passed Congress in 2001, after years of work by a national coalition of conservation supporters. CARA would have guaranteed $3.1 billion a year in funding for state, federal, and local conservation programs by dedicating a portion of existing federal revenue from oil and gas development. Title III of the law would have provided $350 million a year for the Wildlife Conservation and Restoration Program. A comparison of CARA and TWW principles shows that CARA is in alignment with the seven principles of Teaming With Wildlife (TWW).
Needs Assessment for Wildlife Diversity Conservation
The publication, A Bridge to the Future: The Wildlife Diversity Funding Initiative (1991), describes the need for and benefits of a nationwide Wildlife Diversity Program and highlights projects that could be done if funding was available.
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