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:

  1. 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);
  2. 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);
  3. 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.

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:

Alabama:

Alaska:

American Samoa:

Arizona:

Arkansas:

California:

Colorado:

Florida:

Georgia:

Guam:

Hawaii:

Idaho:

Illinois:

Louisiana:

Massachusetts:

Michigan:

Minnesota:

Montana:

New York:

Northern Mariana Islands:

Oregon:

Tennessee:

Texas:

Utah:

Virginia:

Wisconsin: