Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (RAWA) has been reintroduced!

The Bipartisan Recovering America’s Wildlife Act Has Been Reintroduced

This Landmark bipartisan bill would be the most significant investment in wildlife and habitat conservation in a generation.

Last year, as 2022 came to an end, we barely missed the opportunity to include RAWA in the omnibus spending bill, but with the work of organizations throughout the country we have a second chance.  U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) reintroduced the bipartisan Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (RAWA). This legislation invests in proactive, state-led on-the-ground conservation. These locally driven, science-based strategies will support the long-term health and wildlife throughout the Hoosier state.

“Protecting America’s fish and wildlife habitat means conserving the creatures we love before they ever become imperiled,” said Heinrich. “After all, our children deserve to inherit the full breadth of American wildlife, from bumble bees to bison, that we know today. This legislation will make that possible.”  “Passing RAWA into law will mean our grandchildren will be able to experience the same rich and abundant American wildlife—from bumblebees to bison—that we have been so lucky to grow up with” continued Heinrich.

“Today, we are facing another crisis with too many fish and wildlife being placed on the endangered species list, negatively impacting businesses, farmers, and landowners. This situation must be avoided at all costs, and RAWA gives state and tribal wildlife commissions the tools needed to perform proactive, on-the-ground conservation to prevent threatened species from becoming endangered,” said Tillis.

U.S. Representative Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) will be leading the legislation in the House. “RAWA has always been a bipartisan effort. The United States is facing an unprecedented biodiversity crisis, and we have a conservation, economic, and moral obligation to act in order to protect and recover America’s wildlife for future generations. I have been proud of the support we’ve built behind RAWA from a broad, bipartisan coalition since its first introduction in 2016, and I’m optimistic about the progress we can make this year. We look forward to a strong, bipartisan reintroduction in the House in April. Protecting our nation’s vast and diverse wildlife isn’t a partisan issue, it’s our responsibility, and we won’t stop working until this bill becomes law,” said Dingell.

The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act would immediately become the most important funding mechanism for States, territories, and Tribes. This bill will greatly increase Indiana’s ability to conserve those species that are most at risk in the Hoosier state.  Existing federal funding support is insufficient and does not allow our Department of Natural Resources to perform the vital work needed to recover the wildlife of our state.  RAWA would give Indiana wildlife up to $18 million annually to help stave off the threats the currently face.  RAWA would fundamentally transform the way Indiana is able to aid our wildlife, protecting species that continue to decline and have little chance of receiving aid under our currently reality.  This bill would unleash a new era of conservation for bobwhite quail, migrating waterfowl, loggerhead shrike, Blanding’s turtles, lake sturgeon, osprey, banded pigmy sunfish, cerulean warblers, green salamanders and timber rattlesnakes.  These species, which are vital to a functioning environment, are often not those that receive attention, but RAWA will allow us to protect them for future generations.

This collaborative, nonregulatory, locally driven approach of the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act should appeal to the common-sense conservatism of Sens. Todd Young and Mike Braun. We’re hopeful that each member of the Indiana delegation will support it once it is on the floor.  Indiana needs RAWA!