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N.C. senators co-sponsor critical wildlife bill

N.C. senators co-sponsor critical wildlife bill

North Carolina Senators Thom Tillis and Richard Burr are among the 28 cosponsors on a bill that the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is calling “the most significant wildlife conservation bill in nearly half a century.”

The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act would devote $1.4 billion annually to locally led efforts — including more than $20 million to North Carolina — to help prevent extinctions and help at-risk wildlife species. At least 15% of the funds would be used to help species already designated as endangered or threatened. Federally recognized tribes like the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians would share an annual $97.5 million for wildlife conservation efforts on tribal lands. 

“If this bill passes, we’ll be able to significantly help at-risk wildlife through collaborative, voluntary efforts across every state, territory and tribal nation,” said Shannon Deaton, chief of the Wildlife Commission’s Habitat Conservation Division. “Nearly 500 North Carolina native species would benefit from the bill, including the gopher frog, bog turtle and hellbender. Together, with over 150 partners, we are shaping the reality of our conservation blueprint.”

“States have struggled to meet all of the conservation needs outlined in State Wildlife Action Plans,” Deaton added. “The goals are daunting and the resources to meet the needs are limited, but the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission and our partners are ready to put projects on the ground. We all want the same result — to keep common species common.” 

The House version has 131 cosponsors representing both parties. This list includes eight North Carolina representatives — David Rouzer, Deborah Ross, Patrick McHenry, David Price, Katy Manning, Richard Hudson, Alma Adams and G.K. Butterfield. 

The House version was introduced in April and the Senate version in July, with no action of any kind since July. However, the Wildlife Commission said it expects to see the bill considered further in November. 

Full bill information is available at congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/2773

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