Governor Laura Kelly applauds Kansas delegation members for their bipartisan support for wildlife conservation and extinction prevention

Governor Laura Kelly applauds Kansas delegation members for their bipartisan support for wildlife conservation and extinction prevention

Governor Laura Kelly congratulates Senators Jerry Moran and Roger Marshall and Rep. 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 dedicate $1.4 billion a year to locally-led efforts — including $17.6 million in Kansas — to help prevent extinctions and help wildlife species at risk. More than 280 local species would benefit from the bill, including small prairie chickens, barn owls and swift foxes.

Since 2017, Kansas Wildlife and Parks has been advocating for RAWA and its many benefits to native Kansas wildlife and plants that are at risk. 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 exclude them from protected lists. In Kansas, 98% of land is privately owned, and KDWP staff have the technical expertise and long-standing relationships with landowners that will improve habitat quality and reverse trends. to habitat loss.

“The conservation of sensitive species in Kansas is a real-world project, requiring vital collaboration from our federal delegation, our restoration and conservation organizations, and our local landowners,” Governor Kelly said. “Voluntary programs like this give us the resources we need to support both landowners and species. 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 law comes from civil or criminal penalties and fines generated by violations of environmental and natural resource laws and regulations. At least 15% 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 Indian Tribe of the Kickapoo Reservation in Kansas, would share $97.5 million a year to fund wildlife conservation efforts on tribal lands. .

“We 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,” Brad Loveless, Kansas Wildlife and Parks Secretary, said. “Ultimately, helping species recover and get off protected lists is in everyone’s 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.

“The Kansas Wildlife Federation is delighted with the commitment of Senators Moran and Marshall and Representative Davids to this bipartisan process. The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act is a unique opportunity to do something great for wildlife and we thank these legislators for being a part of it on behalf of all Kansans,” Jeff Seim, chairman of the board of the Kansas Wildlife Federation, said.

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