Conservatives for Environmental Reform Statement on S. 826: The WILD Act

Seattle, WA — Conservatives for Environmental Reform has released the following statement:

Conservatives for Environmental Reform would like to offer an enthusiastic endorsement of the WILD Act. The WILD Act is a comprehensive and bipartisan plan for addressing the deterioration of fish and wildlife habitats in the United States. This legislation takes a four-part approach to improve habitats by reauthorizing Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program, amending the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act, reauthorizing the Multinational Species Conservation Fund, as well as introducing a prize competition for private citizens making advances in conservation strategies and technologies.

The Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to give financial aid and technical assistance to private land owners who have significant wildlife or fish on their property. The WILD Act mandates the reauthorization Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program from 2018 to 2022 and will receive $100 million annually. This effort will be aided significantly by the second section of the WILD Act which amends sections of the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act. These amendments will give the Federal Government increased ability to cooperate with states, localities and tribes to combat ecological threats.

Sections three and four of the WILD Act are essential in making sure the United States remains the world leader in conservation efforts and technology. Under this legislation, the Multinational Species Conservation Fund would be reauthorized, giving increased protection to Asian elephants, African elephants, tigers, rhinoceroses, apes and marine turtles amongst others. The overall budget for the reauthorization of Multinational Species Conservation Fund is relatively slim and will likely cost under $10 million annually. The bill’s final section deals exclusively with creating prize competitions for American citizens who make substantial advances in wildlife conservation, combatting invasive species, restoring endangered species and in the prevention of poaching. These prizes will be called Theodore Roosevelt Genius Prizes and at least one must be given out every year for each of the four categories. The Secretary of the Interior will have the discretion to give additional prizes if there is money in the budget and he or she deems it appropriate. 

We hope that the 115th Congress continues to craft effective legislation to deal with the many environmental challenges the United States of America.