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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

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Day of action focuses on CT undocumented's healthcare needs; 7 jurors seated in first Trump criminal trial; ND looks to ease 'upskill' obstacles for former college students; Black Maternal Health Week ends, health disparities persist.

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Seven jury members were seated in Trump's hush money case. House Speaker Johnson could lose his job over Ukraine aid. And the SCOTUS heard oral arguments in a case that could undo charges for January 6th rioters.

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Fears grow that low-income folks living in USDA housing could be forced out, North Carolina's small and Black-owned farms are helped by new wind and solar revenues, and small towns are eligible for grants to boost civic participation..

Bipartisan Bill Could Help Save 600+ FL Wildlife Species

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Monday, April 17, 2023   

Conservation groups in Florida and around the country want Congress to pass bipartisan legislation to help states with wildlife conservation.

The Recovering America's Wildlife Act has just been reintroduced. It would dedicate $1.4 billion annually to state wildlife agencies and tribes to restore species with the greatest conservation need. In Florida, the gopher tortoise, Florida panther and nesting shorebirds would be among the species to benefit.

Sarah Gledhill, president of the Florida Wildlife Federation, said she does not want to see any of Florida's iconic species being mentioned as candidates for federal 'endangered' status.

"Because once those species are at risk of extinction, it becomes more timely, more uncertain of their recovery," Gledhill pointed out. "And most importantly to everyday citizens in Florida, more costly. "

The Recovering America's Wildlife Act would infuse about $38 million annually into Florida for the state's Wildlife Action Plan, to keep at-risk species from being listed as endangered. The Act was left out of the omnibus spending bill last fall because lawmakers in Congress could not agree on how to pay for it.

Mike Leahy, director of wildlife, hunting and fishing Policy for the National Wildlife Federation, said they have built a lot of momentum with the Recovering America's Wildlife Act as the conservation community works to attract new supporters. He emphasized the bill focuses on proactive and collaborative efforts to keep species from becoming threatened.

"You got a lot of partners in Florida that are working on joint projects like lagoon restoration, for example," Leahy explained. "You have federal agencies like the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, but then you have water management districts, the state agency, some of the universities down there, like University of Florida and Florida Atlantic University."

The bill would also dedicate around $98 million annually for wildlife conservation efforts by Native American tribes. The nation's 574 federally recognized tribes have managed lands and wildlife for years with limited federal funding for conservation.

Disclosure: The National Wildlife Federation contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Endangered Species and Wildlife, Energy Policy, and Water. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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