The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (RAWA; H.R. 2773) is an incredible, once in a lifetime opportunity to drive reform of state wildlife management to be more ecologically-driven, democratic and equitable – but only if important changes are made to the bill.
RAWA would provide nearly $1.4 billion annually in new funding to the states, territories, and tribes to implement wildlife action plans for species with the greatest conservation needs. This funding is greatly needed.
However, as it is currently written, RAWA has several problems. The bill would flood states with new money, but that money would go to the same commissions and agencies that are currently in charge of maintaining the status quo. This is a recipe for disaster, especially in states like Idaho and Montana, which are hostile to wolves and other native carnivores. We need to hold state wildlife agencies responsible for using this money responsibly and spending it as intended on the species that need it most.
RAWA will be heard by the House Natural Resources Committee next week. Please take a moment to send a message to your member of Congress, especially if your representative is on the House Natural Resources Committee, urging them to support three important changes to RAWA:
- Require that states change the way wildlife commissions are constituted to ensure that the vast majority of the public who do not hunt are proportionally represented and have a voice in wildlife matters (currently, about 75% of state wildlife commission seats are occupied by hunters);
- Require that states receiving RAWA funding give their wildlife agencies management authority over all invertebrates and vertebrates so they can actually spend money on the species that need it most (most states have yet to do this);
- Strengthen accountability by requiring states to hold annual RAWA public meetings and post relevant documents on their wildlife agency websites.
New Mexicans: it is especially important that you contact your Congressional representatives below since all three House members are on the House Natural Resources Committee, and Senator Martin Heinrich just introduced RAWA in the senate.
- Melanie Stansbury (1st District)
- Yvette Herrell (2nd District)
- Teresa Leger Fernandez (3rd District)
- Martin Heinrich (U.S. Senator)
To find your member of congress, click here and enter your zip code. The members on the House Natural Resources Committee are listed below by state and district. You can click on their name to send an email showing your support for RAWA and asking them to recommend the three revisions listed above.
House Natural Resources Committee Members:
- Jerry Carl (1st District)
- Bruce Westerman (4th District)
- Jared Huffman (2nd District)
- Tom McClintock (4th District)
- Jay Obernolte (8th District)
- Jim Costa (16th District)
- Julia Brownley (26th District)
- Grace Napolitano (32nd District)
- Katie Porter (45th District)
- Alan Lowenthal (47th District)
- Mike Levin (49th District)
- Diana DeGette (1st District)
- Joe Neguse (2nd District)
- Lauren Boebert (3rd District)
- Doug Lamborn (5th District)
- Jody B. Hice (10th District)
- Ed Case (1st District)
- Russ Fulcher (1st District)
- Jesús G. “Chuy” García (4th District)
- Garret Graves (6th District)
- Lori Trahan (3rd District)
- Matt Rosendale (At-Large)
Northern Mariana Islands:
- Cliff Bentz (2nd District)
- Steve Cohen (9th District)
- Louie Gohmert (1st District)
- Blake Moore (1st District)
- Tom Tiffany (7th District)