Dear Members of Congress,
Our coalition of diverse organizations including student professional societies, Greek organizations, campus sports teams, national non-profits representing students, and many more. We collectively represent young Americans from across the country. We are writing to respectfully request your cosponsorship of the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act — S.2372 introduced by Sens. Heinrich (D-NM) and Blunt (R-MO) and H.R. 2773 introduced by Reps. Dingell (D-MI) and Fortenberry (R-NE).
The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act would help recover and conserve species at risk by investing $1.3 billion annually for states and $97.5 million for tribal nations for on-the-ground conservation projects. The legislation funds the implementation of the congressionally mandated State Wildlife Action Plans, which outline specific, science -based conservation actions necessary to recover and sustain healthy fish and wildlife populations. Similarly, Indian Tribes will be able to expand successful conservation efforts on their lands, which provide vital habitat for hundreds of fish and wildlife species, including more than 500 species that are listed as threatened or endangered. It also will support much needed investments in continued economic growth and job creation in Tribal communities. The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act would be the only federal conservation program that guarantees sustained funding to Indian Tribes and state agencies for the proactive conservation of at-risk species.
This legislation represents a smart, future focused investment that will play a key role in addressing the economic crisis facing the country. The bill will create a significant number of jobs, help continue to grow the outdoor economy, and bring support to key sectors such as agriculture and forestry – all while supporting the conservation of America’s fish, wildlife, and habitats. The Senate bill identifies a source of funding for the legislation to come from environmental fines and penalties that would not otherwise be allocated for a specific purpose.
This common-sense, fiscally responsible solution has 28 bipartisan Senate cosponsors and more than 130 cosponsors on the House bill.
One-third of the fish and wildlife species in the United States are at risk of becoming threatened or endangered. The challenges facing our nation’s fish and wildlife are daunting, but this legislation provides a solution. The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act will provide state fish and wildlife agencies and Indian Tribes with dependable, dedicated resources to address more than 12,000 species in need of proactive, voluntary conservation before a listing as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act is warranted.
Taking measures to restore species before they are on the brink of extinction and ensuring healthy populations will help save taxpayer dollars and prevent these species from needing costly “emergency room” measures under the Endangered Species Act – truly an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Rather than defaulting to regulation and litigation, this bill saves America’s imperiled wildlife through collaborative and constructive voluntary partnerships. This collaborative approach to conservation is good for wildlife, good for taxpayers, good for landowners, good for business, and good for future generations.
Further, this bill builds on the successful restoration track records of the state fish and wildlife agencies which for more than eight decades have actively managed many game species from the brink of extinction and restored them to sustainable populations across vast landscapes through the dependable, dedicated resources of the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Program and the Dingell-Johnson/Wallop-Breaux Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Safety Trust Fund.
Increasingly, Americans from all walks of life have turned to the outdoors for physical and mental well-being during this pandemic. Creating thousands of jobs immediately, restoring natural resources infrastructure, increasing access to the outdoors, and reducing long-term costs through enactment of the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act will serve to unify Americans and elected officials that represent these diverse constituencies.
Thank you for your consideration of our request to join this effort by becoming a cosponsor of the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act.
We thank you for your support of America’s fish and wildlife and look forward to working with you to enact this groundbreaking legislation.
Aaron Boockvar-Klein, President, Students for Clean Energy
Abdor Rahman Ahmed, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences Representative, Rutgers University Student Assembly*
Adnan Akbar, Student Body Treasurer, Rutgers University Student Assembly*
Akshaya Balaji, Chair, Maryland PIRG Students, University of Maryland – College Park
Alex Thorpe, Student Chair, Clean Water Working Group of the University of Virginia*
Alyssa Guarino, President, Florida PIRG Students at University of South Florida
Andres Cubillos, President, Florida PIRG Students at Florida State University
Arianna Maddox, MASSPIRG Students Statewide Board of Directors Chair, UMass – Boston
Ashley Cheung, Sustainability Chair, Associated Students of Madison*
Awad Shawl, Big Ten Liaison, Rutgers University Student Assembly*
Bita Mosallai, President, Arizona PIRG Campus Action, University of Arizona
Carolyn Sicbaldi, Student Senate Treasurer, Student Government Association, Holyoke College
Carrie Walker, Chair, Florida PIRG Students at Eckerd College
Chora Belle Welling, New Member Liaison, Florida State University Climbing Club
Clare O’Reilley, President, Virginia PIRG Students at the University of Virginia
Dina, Co-President, Students Giving Back, Wayne State University
Efe Oboh-Idahosa, Corresponding Secretary, Student Government Association, UMass – Dartmouth
Erie Mitchell, Officer, Young Democratic Socialists of America at North Carolina State University
Evan Worden, President, The Marine Biology Club of University of South Florida
Fanny Riand, Core Member, Sunrise Chapter at UMass Amherst*
Fatema Shalabi, President, English Majors Association, University of California – Riverside
Fernando Gaxiola, President, PENNPIRG Students at Temple University
Ivy Jacobson, Residential Sustainability Student Assistant, Office of Sustainability, University of California – Riverside
Jaylen McGee President, University of West Florida Student Environmental Action Society
Jessie Aguirre Wright Hall Representative, Clark University Student Government Association*
Joshua Ringling, Vice President, Environmental Engineering Society*
Kaitlyn Connors, Chairperson, Animal Advocates of Smith College
Kate Llerandi, President, SustainableUCR (University of California – Riverside)
Katherine Smith, State Organizer , Kentucky Student Environmental Coalition
Kristen Lien, Prose Editor in Chief, Mosaic Art and Literary Journal, University of California – RIverside
Khushi Vora, NJPIRG Students Statewide Board of Directors Chair, Rutgers University – New Brunswick
Lily Herling, Executive Board, Campus Leaders For Energy Action Now (CLEAN)
Lorenzo Ramos, Secretary and Social and Marketing Chair , Delta Psi Alpha Multicultural Co-Ed Fraternity Incorporated, University of Illinois – Chicago
Luna Wang, President, Chinese Undergraduate Students Association (CUSA), NC State University
Lyralee Ayala Programming Director, Greek Council, Salem State University
Maanvi Nagireddy, President Temple, University One Health Club
Macie Jones President, Undergraduate Student Government, UMass – Boston*
Mason Decker, Chair, Illinois PIRG Students at DePaul University
Matthew Almendras, President, Illinois PIRG Students at the University of Illinois – Chicago
Michael Mischley, Secretary, College Democrats of Massachusetts*
Michelle Duong, Secretary, Clark University Club Volleyball
Morgan Mark, President, Rutgers Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society
Nashimia Akhtar, President, PIRG in Michigan Students, Wayne State University
Nicholas Roberts, Co-President, College Democrats, University of California – Riverside
Nicklaus Lo, Vice President, Chess Club, University of California – Riverside
Nicole Lopez, Student President, Students for Immigrant Rights and Equality
Nikhil Sadaranganey, President, Rutgers University Student Assembly
Noah Upchurch, Director of Environmental Policy, North Carolina Young People’s Alliance*
Ria Coen Gilbert, CALPIRG Students Statewide Board of Directors Chair, University of California – San Diego
Ricky Nieto, Vice President, Phi Alpha Delta, Boston University
Ronan Alesandro, Signer, University of Massachusetts Collegiate Club
Selena Flot, President, TexPIRG Students at the University of Texas – Austin
Simone Perciballi, Member, Phi Delta Epsilon International Medical Fraternity*
Summer Vishnu, Co- Director of the Environmental Responsibility Committee, Eckerd College Organization of Students*
TJ Pinedo, Member, University of Illinois – Springfield Christian Student Fellowship*
Zachary Baranowski, Secretary, Clark University Jazz Workshop
* Indicating support as an individual, title for identification purposes only