Recovering America's Wildlife Act
STATEMENT FOR THE RECORD
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
PREPARED FOR THE HOUSE NATURAL COMMITTEE ON NATURAL RESOURCES
SUBCOMMITTEE ON FEDERAL LANDS HEARING ON
H.R. 4647 – Recovering America’s Wildlife Act
February 15, 2018
H.R. 4647, Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (RAWA), proposes to redirect $1.3 billion annually from existing revenue from energy and mineral development to States for fish and wildlife conservation. The funding would provide States with resources to implement state wildlife action plans—which all 50 States and six territories have developed—to support species of greatest conservation need identified in these plans. The bill would apportion the revenues to States to support continued wildlife-dependent recreation opportunities, to recover endangered and threatened species, to reduce the need to list species as threatened or endangered in the future, and to bolster collaborative, proactive fish and wildlife conservation activities, among other purposes.
The Department applauds and supports State conservation efforts. However, as drafted, the bill does not align with the Administration’s budget priorities. The 2019 President’s Budget proposes a Public Lands Infrastructure Fund (Fund), which would be used to address the maintenance backlog in America’s national parks, national wildlife refuges, and Bureau of Indian Education-funded schools. The Fund would be supported by 50 percent of increased Federal energy leasing and development activities over FY 2018 Budget projections.
The Department looks forward to working with Congress and the States on creative ways to enhance our collaborative fish and wildlife conversation efforts in a way that aligns with the Administration’s budget priorities.