Two surveys over the past month point to strong support across political, social and demographic lines for the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, a potentially “game-changing” proposal to provide $1.4 billion a year to conservation efforts. state and tribal wildlife management.
The bill passed the House in June but is awaiting action in the Senate.
Supporters of the legislation hope the recent poll will help spur a vote in the Senate before the end of the session this winter.
The bill would provide $1.3 billion to state agencies and $97.5 million to tribes in annual funding dedicated to restoring habitat and restoring wildlife populations.
The funds would be used to execute state and tribal wildlife action plans on non-game species.
This is the fourth Congress in which the legislation was introduced. The previous three versions failed to pass either chamber.
But it is not for lack of popularity with voters.
Recent surveys from Data for Progress and Responsive Management show RAWA’s broad bipartisan appeal.
The Data for Progress poll, conducted Sept. 16-19 among 1,215 likely voters, found 86% backed RAWA, including 92% Democrats, 85% Independents and 83% Republicans.
The group conducted a similar poll in December 2021 which found that 84% of voters supported the bill.
The Responsive Management survey, conducted August 25-28 on a random sample of 1,002 US residents aged 18 and older, found that 70% of Americans support RAWA.
Information was collected through a combination of telephone interviews (including landline and cell phone numbers) and online.
The survey identified majority support for RAWA among all major demographic groups examined in the research, including men and women; younger, middle-aged and older residents; those at higher and lower levels of education; and those in urban, suburban and rural areas.
The bill was also backed by a range of outdoor recreation groups, including 80% wildlife watchers, 78% anglers, 77% birdwatchers and 70% hunters.
The findings underscore how a pro-wildlife bill can bridge the partisan divide even when Republicans and Democrats disagree on many issues.
The authors of the bill in the Senate are Sens. Roy Blount (R-Missouri) and Martin Heinrich (D-New Mexico). Critical for its passing chance, 16 Republican senators have signed on as co-sponsors. Support among Democrats is very strong.
“The results couldn’t be clearer: The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act is one of the few pieces of legislation that can unite this Congress and the American people,” said Mike Saccone, vice president of communications at the National Wildlife Federation. . “Inaction is the ally of extinction. Congress is expected to meet in the coming weeks to pass this historic bipartisan legislation and protect our shared wildlife heritage for future generations. »
A RAWA funding model shows that Wisconsin would receive about $20 million a year from the bill.
The proposal does not have “pay for” included in its current language, but senators would work on the issue. It could be passed as a stand-alone measure or included in a standing resolution, a broad appropriation bill to provide funding to government departments, agencies and programs.
RAWA supporters have argued that it makes financial and ecological sense to anticipate habitat loss and wildlife population crises rather than react with emergency measures.
Open house take-out eggs: The public is invited to open houses at two of the egg catch facilities operated by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to support the Lake Michigan salmon and trout fishery.
The Root River Steelhead facility in Racine will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on October 8 for guided tours and spawning demonstrations. Volunteers from Salmon Unlimited, Trout Unlimited and the Kenosha Sport Fishing and Conservation Association will provide educational fishing stations where visitors can try casting techniques and receive knot and fly lessons.
The facility is located at 2200 Domanik Drive, Racine.
The Besadny Anadrom Fishing Facility in Kewaunee will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on October 1 for salmon egg collection demonstrations, fishing demonstrations, guided tours and an adopt-a-sturgeon program. The Algoma Kewaunee Great Lakes Sport Fisherman will be offering wagon rides, and food and beverages will be available for purchase.
The facility is located at N3884 Ransom Moore Lane, Kewaunee.
MNR’s collection targets for the season are 750,000 brown trout eggs, 1 million coho salmon eggs and 2.5 million chinook salmon eggs. The eggs are supplied to the state hatchery system and the resulting fish are stocked as fry or yearlings.
For more information, visit dnr.wi.gov.