162 State Legislators Call on Congress to Provide Dedicated Federal Support for Wildlife Recovery
Washington, D.C. – Today, 162 members of the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators, representing 36 states and territories, sent a letter to Congressional leadership urging dedicated funding to protect and recover endangered and threatened species at the sub-national level. Proactive conservation measures are crucial to address the nation’s ongoing wildlife and biodiversity crisis.
States have identified more than 12,000 species at risk of extinction without intervention. The threats these species face are projected to increase due to climate change and the increasing rates of habitat loss. Under the current federal program, states receive only a tiny fraction of what is needed to save these and future species threatened with extinction.
The loss of wildlife is a direct threat to the country’s well-being and economy. More than 140 million Americans engage with the outdoor economy to make it the 4th largest sector for annual consumer spending, generating $862 billion annually through hunting, fishing, birding, hiking, tourism, and other outdoor activities. It supports 4.5 million direct jobs and generates $124.5 billion in federal, state, and local tax revenue. In addition to motivating people to get outside, wildlife also provide countless ecosystem services, from pollinating agricultural crops to helping purify water and sequester carbon.
“The science is clear, America’s wildlife faces great risks across the board.” Said North Carolina State Representative Pricey Harrison. “Increased and dedicated funding for wildlife conservation will help ensure that current and future generations can enjoy the wonders and benefits of America’s wildlife.”
Protecting species today means spending less in the future. Conserving species at the state and tribal levels could reduce the need for protection under the stricter federal Endangered Species Act.
The benefits of protecting America’s wildlife for business, taxpayers, and the country are clear.
North Carolina State Representative Pricey Harrison spearheaded this letter. The full letter can be viewed here.
Created by and for state legislators, the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that organizes over 1,200 environmentally-committed state legislators from all 50 states and both parties. NCEL provides venues and opportunities for lawmakers to share ideas and collaborate on environmental issues.