National Wildlife Federation and Natural Resources Council of Maine news release
Senator Angus King has joined Senator Susan Collins in cosponsoring a bipartisan wildlife conservation bill, the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, that will inject $11.5 million into Maine annually to help at-risk wildlife species.
“The federal government plays a critical role in protecting threatened and endangered species.” said Senator Collins in a statement put out by Senator Heinrich’s office. “This legislation provides dedicated funding, which will help recover endangered species in Maine, invest in proactive, on-the-ground conservation, and preserve our wildlife for future generations.
“There are few greater joys than exploring Maine’s great outdoors, taking in untouched landscapes, and enjoying the sounds and sights of nature,” said Senator King in a statement. “The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act will provide essential resources to support America’s treasured habitats and expand conservation efforts for species, waters and lands in dire need of support.”
The funding in the bill, part of $1.4 billion available nationwide, would be used to help the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife implement its wildlife action plan which identifies 378 priority species, including Canada lynx, New England cottontail, Atlantic salmon and the yellow-banded bumble bee. These efforts complement programs already underway in Maine to protect at-risk species, such as the recent law expanding the state’s ecological reserves.
“Maine’s rich array of wildlife is part of our identity and way of life, but with climate change, development pressure, and other threats on our doorstep we can’t afford to take these species for granted,” said Melanie Sturm, Forests and Wildlife Director at the Natural Resources Council of Maine. “We’re thankful that Senators Collins and King are standing with Mainers to support wildlife restoration.”
The Wabanaki tribes would also receive funding from the bill, which would make $97.5 million available to federally recognized tribal nations annually.
Senators Collins and King cosponsored a similar bill last session. It passed out of committee but never received a floor vote, despite having 47 bipartisan cosponsors. A similar bill passed the House in June last year, with support from Representatives Pingree and Golden.
“There’s no such thing as a Republican salmon or a Democratic moose,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “This bill reminds us that wildlife conservation can still bring Congress together.”