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Wildlife Conservation Funding Bill Gets Hearing in U.S. House

Nearly 12,000 species, including the lynx, currently are at risk of becoming endangered or extinct across the country. (Pixabay)
Nearly 12,000 species, including the lynx, currently are at risk of becoming endangered or extinct across the country. (Pixabay)
December 4, 2019

DENVER – A bipartisan bill aimed at keeping wildlife populations healthy and off the endangered species list is set for markup this week by the U.S. House's Natural Resources Committee.

The Recovering America's Wildlife Act would allocate $1.3 billion to state wildlife agencies. Suzanne O'Neill, executive director of the Colorado Wildlife Federation, said the measure would bring $27 million to Colorado every year to protect some of the state's most iconic species, including "the golden eagle, greater sage grouse, greater sandhill crane, the lynx, our state fish – the greenback cutthroat trout – and many others."

State fish and wildlife agencies have estimated that nearly 12,000 species are at risk across the country, primarily because of loss of habitat from development. The legislation would help finance state plans created by a host of stakeholders, including conservation groups, scientists, ranchers and industry.

Collin O'Mara, president and chief executive of the National Wildlife Federation, said recent studies and the loss of 3 billion North American birds since 1970 have sparked new urgency to invest in preventing costly and disruptive endangered-species listings.

If passed, O'Mara said, the measure would be the most significant piece of wildlife legislation in more than a half-century, and would protect the full diversity of the nation's wildlife for future generations.

"So, at a time when most folks are pretty frustrated with Washington, this is one of those areas where Republicans and Democrats can still agree, because there really is no Republican whitetail deer or Democratic smallmouth bass," he said. "We all have a stake in having healthy wildlife."

The legislation also would dedicate more than $97 million to tribal wildlife conservation efforts. The Recovering America's Wildlife Act is co-sponsored by 157 representatives, including 40 Republicans. Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., sits on the committee expected to vote this week.

Text of the bill is online at, and the bird study is at

Disclosure: National Wildlife Federation contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Endangered Species & Wildlife, Energy Policy, Environment, Public Lands/Wilderness, Salmon Recovery, Water. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
Eric Galatas, Public News Service - CO