HR 4647 "Recovering America's Wildlife Act" Update

HR 4647 "Recovering America's Wildlife Act" Update

Publication date: 
May, 2018

On April 27, 2018, Christopher Mace, Ph.D. updated the Texas Environmental Grantmakers Group on the status of the “Recovering America’s Wildlife Act. 

In July 2016, Congressman Don Young of Alaska introduced a resolution that implements a Blue Ribbon Panel’s recommendation to secure and diversify America’s fish and wildlife populations. Originally HR 5650, and now renumbered HR 4647 says that diverse fish and wildlife populations are vital to our nation’s infrastructure and economy, and that it is in the interest of our country “to retain for present and future generations… a wide variety of fish and wildlife, to recover species of fish and wildlife…and to prevent fish and wildlife species from declining to the point of requiring Federal protection.” HR 4647 would allocate $1.3 billion annually from existing revenue sources to effectively implement all 50 state Wildlife Action Plans. Collectively, these plans identify and provide a roadmap to recover more than 12,000 nationally imperiled species, called Species of Greatest Conservation Need.

The Recovering America's Wildlife Act would allocate $1.3 billion from existing fees paid by energy corporations that explore or produce energy on federally owned land. These funds would go into an existing program designed to protect and manage wildlife, so no new government infrastructure would be needed. Currently, the US government collects about 12 billion annually from this revenue source, and those funds are not dedicated to any other program or project.

See attachments for more details.

Dr. Christopher Mace is the Aransas Bay Ecosystem Leader for the Coastal Fisheries Division of the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department and has held that position for the past 8 years.  Dr. Mace was selected last summer to help lead the state’s official response to the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act and continues to provide leadership support on this initiative to his Fisheries colleagues and the agency. The Coastal Fisheries Division manages the diverse marine fishery resources of Texas' four million acres of saltwater, which include the bays, estuaries, and the nearshore Gulf of Mexico.

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