Governor Laura Kelly applauds Senators Jerry Moran and Roger Marshall and Representative Sharice Davids for their bipartisan support for the most important wildlife conservation bill in nearly half a century: the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (RAWA ). The bipartisan bill will spend $ 1.4 billion a year in locally-led efforts – including $ 17.6 million in Kansas – to help prevent extinctions and help endangered wildlife. More than 280 local species would benefit from the bill, including small grassland chickens, barn owls and swift foxes.
Since 2017, Kansas Wildlife and Parks has championed RAWA and its many benefits to endangered native Kansas wildlife and plants. The bipartisan bill requires state agencies to work with locally-led wildlife restoration efforts and interested Kansas partners to help conserve sensitive species in Kansas and keep them off protected lists. In Kansas, 98% of the land is privately owned and KDWP staff have the technical expertise and long-standing relationships with landowners that will help accomplish the tasks of improving habitat quality and reverse trends in habitat loss.
“The conservation of sensitive species in Kansas is a project on the bridge, requiring the vital collaboration of our federal delegation, our restoration and conservation organizations and our local landowners,” Governor Kelly said. âVoluntary programs like this give us the resources we need to support both landowners and cash. I appreciate the work of the Kansas Congressional delegation to create a healthy environment that supports all of our native species of plants, fish and animals.
The money to fund the Act comes from civil or criminal penalties and fines generated by violations of environmental and natural resource laws and regulations. At least 15 percent of the funds will be used to help species already designated as endangered or threatened. Federally recognized tribal nations, such as the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation and the Kickapoo Tribe of Indians of the Kickapoo Reservation in Kansas, would split $ 97.5 million per year to fund wildlife conservation efforts on the tribal lands.
âWe are facing a critical period with many sensitive species in precipitous decline. This is the most important wildlife legislation of the last fifty years because of the help it offers â, Brad Loveless, secretary of Kansas Wildlife and Parks said. âUltimately, helping species recover and stay off protected lists is in everyone’s best interest. By signing on as co-sponsors of the bill in the House and Senate, Rep. Davids and Senators Marshall and Moran are leading the way, and all of Kansas is grateful. “
âThe Kansas Wildlife Federation is delighted with the engagement of Senators Moran and Marshall and Rep Davids in this bipartisan process. The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act is a unique opportunity to do something great for wildlife and we thank these lawmakers for participating in this on behalf of all Kansans â, Jeff Seim, chairman of the board of the Kansas Wildlife Federation, said.