Cuts to Wildlife Grants Underscore Urgent Need for Mandatory Conservation Funding

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The funding Congress is expected to approve this week for the State and Tribal Wildlife Grant program — at a moment when America’s wildlife crisis is accelerating — underscores exactly why Congress needs to pass mandatory funding for state, territorial, and Tribal wildlife conservation. The legislation reduces the funding available in FY24 for essential state and Tribal wildlife conservation funding by more than $1.4 million below what Congress approved for the current fiscal year.

“America’s wildlife are in the crisis, with more than one-third of species in the United States at heightened risk of extinction. The appropriations process affirms what states, Tribes, and territories have been saying for years: They need dedicated, consistent federal funding to ensure the fish, wildlife, and plants that support local jobs, hunting and angling, and our outdoor heritage thrive for future generations,” said Mike Leahy, senior director of wildlife, hunting and fishing policy at the National Wildlife Federation. “Congress should heed the calls of states, Tribes, and territorial leaders and pass the bipartisan Recovering America’s Wildlife Act.”

The consolidated appropriations bill that Congress is expected to approve this week will provide only $66.2 million for state and territorial wildlife conservation grants and only $6.1 million for Tribal wildlife conservation grants. Congress approved $67.6 million for state and territorial wildlife grants and $6.2 million for Tribes in its FY23 appropriations bill

The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act would give the states and territories up to $1.3 billion a year to implement their Wildlife Action Plans — their science-based blueprints for protecting at-risk wildlife and plants. Collectively these plans identify more than 12,000 species of plants and animals in need of assistance.

The State Wildlife Grants Program is the current federal funding for implementing these plans. The proposed level of funding is just 5 percent of what would be needed to implement these federally-mandated plans in a meaningful way.

Visit the National Wildlife Federation Media Center at NWF.org/News.



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