The Teaming With Wildlife Coalition and the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies Monday lauded Senators James Risch (R-ID) and Mary Landrieu (D-LA), and Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-MN) and Congressman Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) for their leadership in championing legislation that supports on-the-ground conservation to prevent fish and wildlife from becoming endangered.
The Congressional Awards presentation culminated the Teaming With Wildlife Coalition’s annual, two-day advocacy Fly-In on Capitol Hill to raise awareness of the State and Tribal Wildlife Grants Program, the only federal program providing funding to states and their partners to conserve the more than 12,000 species that are at risk of landing on the endangered species list.
“I recognize that I am receiving this award because of hardworking Idahoans who work to maximize every dollar of the state wildlife grant funding I’ve worked to secure and to keep species off of the endangered species list,” said Senator Risch.
“I’m very gratified by your recognition of me for, hopefully, what is our good contribution to your work to educate, promote and protect that which is wholesome, natural and good for the well-being of our country,” said Congressman Fortenberry.
The State and Tribal Wildlife Grants Program provides each state and territory with approximately $1 million annually to develop and implement their congressionally mandated State Wildlife Action Plans. The Plans assess the health of each state’s wildlife and habitats; identify the problems they face; and outline the actions needed to conserve them over the long term. Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism is currently working to update their state plan in cooperation of Kansasconservation organizations and interested individuals.
Since 2010, funding for the State and Tribal Wildlife Grants Program has been cut by more than 35 percent. In addition, further cuts to program lead to increased federal ESA listings and threaten the associated jobs and local economies tied the $45 billion wildlife recreation industry.
In addition to recognizing Members of Congress for their support of the State and Tribal Wildlife Grants Program, the Teaming With Coalition’s Steering Committee presented two awards to Coalition members.
The Virginia Conservation Network, an affiliate of the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), received the Teaming With Wildlife Member Achievement Award for outstanding achievement in supporting funding for state wildlife diversity conservation.
Approximately 100 attendees participated in the annual Teaming With Wildlife Fly-in held February 25-26 in Washington, DC. Fly-in advocates held meetings with Members and staff in more than 150 congressional offices.
For more information about Teaming With Wildlife and State Wildlife Action Plans, go to www.teaming.com.