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Blunt sponsors bill allocating $1.4B for wildlife conservation 

  

U.S. Senator Roy Blunt is working across the aisle on a bill to allocate nearly $1.4 billion a year to local wildlife preservation efforts across the country. 

The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act would send more than $21 million to the Missouri Department of Conservation each year to aid the state’s 603 species of concern. The department would use the funds to bolster existing plans to aid these species, with 15 percent earmarked for species already considered endangered or threatened. 

“Missouri is home to some of the best hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation our country has to offer,” Blunt said. “We can better protect our land, waterways, and wildlife by encouraging states, territories, and Tribes to make significant contributions to voluntary conservation efforts. I’m proud to help introduce this bill that will help preserve our nation’s wildlife for future generations.”

Tribal nations would also receive $97.5 million annually to bolster wildlife conservation efforts on their land. 

Blunt sponsored the bill alongside Democratic Senator Martin Heinrich of New Mexico. A similar version of the act was introduced in the U.S. House. 

“Our state agencies have the primary responsibility of conserving our treasured natural resources and with this dedicated funding, states and our many partners will be able to make sure our fish and wildlife are healthy for years to come,” Sara Parker Pauley, director of the Missouri Department of Conservation and president of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, said. “This bipartisan legislation transcends political boundaries and brings diverse stakeholders to the table to work on real conservation solutions. We thank Senators Blunt and Heinrich for their leadership and commitment to this important bill that benefits our nature, outdoor recreation, our overall health, clean air and water, and our economy.”

The bill received support from several conservation entities, including the Conservation Federation of Missouri; National Wildlife Federation; and Johnny Morris, CEO of Bass Pro Shops. 

“State fish and wildlife agencies have a solid track record of accomplishing remarkable recovery and restoration successes, but to ensure diverse fish and wildlife resources thrive for future generations we must restore habitat all across America by passing the bipartisan Recovering America’s Wildlife Act,” Morris said.

“This bill will be a boon to Missouri, recovering our wildlife, restoring our grasslands, and cleaning up our waterways — without adding new regulations,” said Conservation Federation of Missouri Executive Director Tyler Schwartze. “By leading on this bill, Senator Blunt will add to his legacy as a true conservationist.”