RALEIGH — U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., has voiced his support for funds to protect wildlife, especially species in danger of extinction.
The N.C. Wildlife Federation, a nonprofit dedicated to conserving wildlife, restoring habitat and promoting outdoor activity, announced Wednesday Sen. Tillis is co-sponsoring a bipartisan bill to fund locally led efforts to help prevent extinction and help wildlife thrive nationwide.
Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., introduced Senate Bill 2372, known as the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, July 15. The bill is currently before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.
N.C. Wildlife Federation CEO Tim Gestwicki said in the Wednesday announcement North Carolinians and others are “facing a looming wildlife crisis.”
“This is by far the most important piece of wildlife legislation we’ve seen in the past half-century,” Mr. Gestwicki said. “We thank Sen. Tillis for cosponsoring this fiscally responsible effort to help at-risk wildlife with collaborative, voluntary measures across every state, territory and tribal nation.”
The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act would send approximately $25 million to North Carolina each year to help the state’s 500 species of concern, including the Carolina northern flying squirrel, red-cockaded woodpecker and Appalachian cottontails.
The National Wildlife Federation’s Collin O’Mara said in the announcement saving the thousands of at-risk species “will require bold, bipartisan leadership and unprecedented collaboration.”
“We’re so grateful to Sen. Tillis for leading the way on the historic Recovering America’s Wildlife Act that will have an immediate impact saving species and creating jobs in North Carolina and all across the country,” Mr. O’Mara said.
Nationwide, the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act dedicates $1.4 billion annually to restoration efforts. At least 15% will be used to help species already considered endangered or threatened. Federally recognized tribal nations would share $97.5 million annually to fund wildlife conservation efforts on their lands.
Mr. Gestwicki said the NCWF hopes Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., will also support the bill.
He said Sen. Burr “previously led the charge for permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund” and the federation hopes he “will demonstrate that wildlife conservation is an issue that unites North Carolinians by joining Sen. Tillis in cosponsoring this commonsense bill.”
More than 100 North Carolina businesses and organizations signed a letter supporting the bill to our state’s congressional delegation.