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Department of Game and Fish announces support for Recovering America’s Wildlife Act

New Mexico Department of Game and Fish
Public contact, Information Center: (888) 248-6866
Media contact, Tristanna Bickford: (505) 476-8027
tristanna.bickford@state.nm.us

OCT.FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, OCT. 20, 2021:

Department of Game and Fish announces support for Recovering America’s Wildlife Act

SANTA FE – The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish applauds the introduction of the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (RAWA), which could transform wildlife management in New Mexico. The legislation, as well as House of Representatives companion bill, was introduced by U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich and is co-sponsored by 158 bipartisan legislators, including U.S. Senator Ben Ray Lujan and U.S. Representatives Teresa Leger Fernández and Melanie Stansbury.

RAWA would bring approximately $28 million federal dollars to New Mexico for species that currently lack the necessary funding for management. The legislation would support the state’s Wildlife Action Plan and the Species of Greatest Conservation Need identified in the plan. Management actions to benefit species such as Jemez Mountain Salamander, burrowing owl, Bendire’s thrasher, lesser prairie chicken, Gila monster, pinyon jay, black-footed ferret, Rio Grande chub, Pacific marten and the Gila trout, to name only a few, could be funded through this legislation.

“We are excited that New Mexico’s Senators and Representatives recognize the importance of our state’s wildlife and wild places and are advancing this transformational legislation in congress,” said Director Mike Sloane. “New Mexico is fortunate to have incredibly diverse wildlife that can only benefit from this funding.” Sloane also noted that in order to be eligible for the full funding, the legislation requires the state to provide $9.0 million in state matching funds.

“Protecting America’s fish and wildlife habitat means conserving the creatures we love before they ever become imperiled,” said Senator 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. I’m pleased to have so many of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle joining Senator Blunt and me in this effort.”

RAWA is the most significant wildlife conservation legislation in nearly half a century. Providing permanent funding for a broad array of species in need of additional support will secure persistence of these species for future generations.

“As the climate crisis continues to threaten our way of life, our country cannot lose sight of the countless endangered species that are also at risk,” said Senator Luján. “That’s why I’m proud to join Senator Heinrich to introduce legislation to protect endangered species and provide critical resources to prevent other wildlife from facing extinction.”

“New Mexicans know the important value of wildlife to our natural world and the deep significance it carries for our cultural heritage. This bill will allow us to provide state fish and wildlife agencies the necessary tools to implement science-based recovery and support plans,” said Representative Leger Fernández. “We need to consult local communities because that’s the best way to ensure a successful recovery program. I will continue to advocate for comprehensive legislation and an approach that protects our wildlife and their habitat consistent with our community values.”

“Restoring the threatened and endangered species that are integral to our landscapes and cultures requires all-hands on deck. That’s why I am proud to co-sponsor the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, which would allocate millions of dollars to state, Tribal and other partners to deploy innovative solutions to wildlife recovery,” said Congresswoman Stansbury. “This bipartisan legislation represents the best in conservation policy, and I am proud to join Senator Heinrich and the New Mexico delegation in this effort to restore the wildlife and wild systems of New Mexico and our country.”

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