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Vote highlights bipartisan support for fish, migratory bird, and wildlife habitat
The House Natural Resources Committee today passed two pieces of legislation to conserve habitat for fish, migratory birds, and other wildlife through effective partnerships and regional coalitions.
In a bipartisan vote, the Committee advanced the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (H.R. 925) and the National Fish Habitat Conservation Through Partnerships Act (H.R. 1747). Together the two bills create a model for conservation that is driven by local and regional engagement and stakeholder collaboration.
“These pieces of legislation showcase the very best of conservation,” said Whit Fosburgh, president and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “These bills invest in strong on-the-ground coalitions that are improving water quality, restoring habitat, and strengthening our ecosystems. Sportsmen and women are grateful for the Committee’s bipartisan work and urge the Senate to follow suit and advance this legislation.”
“We are elated that the National Fish Habitat Conservation Through Partnerships Act was passed out of the House Natural Resources Committee following yesterday’s subcommittee hearing,” said Ed Schriever, chairman of the National Fish Habitat Board. “We appreciate the leadership of Reps. Wittman and Veasey in helping to move this bill through the committee. This legislation will strengthen our efforts to protect, restore and enhance fish habitat and benefit fisheries through the grassroots efforts of our partnerships. We are grateful for the efforts of our partners to advance this legislation, including the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, American Sportfishing Association, Trout Unlimited, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, and American Fisheries Society.”
“The sportfishing industry is grateful to the House Natural Resources Committee for passage of the National Fish Habitat Conservation Through Partnership Act, which now moves to the House floor for consideration,” said Chad Tokowicz, the American Sportfishing Association’s inland fisheries policy manager. “Reps. Wittman and Veasey continue to demonstrate their leadership on behalf of our community. This bipartisan legislation will enhance coordination among federal, state, tribal and private entities that support healthy fisheries and create more opportunities for anglers to enjoy their favorite outdoor activity.”
Since its inception in 1989, North American Wetlands Conservation Act grants totaling more than $1.73 billion have leveraged $3.57 billion in contributions from partners to voluntarily protect, restore, enhance, and manage habitat for migratory birds and other wildlife. More than 6,200 conservation partners from small landowners to large corporations have teamed up on 2,950 NAWCA projects to benefit more than 30 million acres of habitat. Through the history of the program, NAWCA projects have been implemented in all 50 states.
Established in 2005 by states, federal agencies, businesses, anglers, and the conservation community, the National Fish Habitat Program has made investments in 840 fish habitat conservation projects across all 50 states. The National Fish Habitat Conservation Through Partnerships Act authorizes federal funding for this program and supports the 20 regional partnerships working across the country to conserve priority fish habitats and fish populations. Sportsmen and women can write their decision-makers to support this legislation here.
Top photo by Dr. F. Eugene Hester/USFWS.
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A community-based coalition calls for conservation measures to safeguard this one-of-a-kind recreational destination
The Greater Little Mountain Coalition released a film today highlighting local support for the conservation of its namesake area, just south of Rock Springs. The film features seven Sweetwater County residents expressing their views on the importance of the Greater Little Mountain Area, known by many as a recreational paradise for hunting, fishing, and outdoor activities.
Spanning from desert badlands to high mountain aspen and conifer groves, this area is home to productive trout streams and some of the most sought-after big game hunting opportunities in the state. Eastman’s Hunting Journal regularly ranks the area’s deer and elk units among its top five Wyoming hunts. Since 1990, conservation organizations and state and federal agencies have spent more than $6 million in on-the-ground projects to enhance and maintain these resources.
The majority of the Greater Little Mountain Area is public land administered by the Bureau of Land Management’s Rock Springs field office, which is in the process of revising the plan that guides management decisions for energy development, recreation, livestock grazing, wildlife, and other resources. The Greater Little Mountain Coalition has been actively engaged in the planning process and has proposed an approach that would ensure the region’s incredible fish and wildlife resources and open space are managed in a balanced way.
“The Coalition has been advocating for the Greater Little Mountain Area since 2008. With input from local hunters, anglers, and decision-makers, we submitted a proposal to be included in the draft Rock Springs Resource Management Plan,” said Josh Coursey, CEO of the Muley Fanatic Foundation. “This film shows the tremendous local support for our plan and we expect decision makers in D.C. to give it the serious consideration it deserves.”
For generations the Greater Little Mountain Area has been a favorite for sportsmen and sportswomen and a priority for conservation-minded hunters and anglers. The new film reveals the feelings that this area inspires in locals, as well as the thousands of others who have had the privilege to visit.
“Energy means a lot to Wyoming, and so does being able to hunt and fish in my backyard,” said Monte Morlock of the United Steelworkers. “It is possible to balance our outdoor way of life with development, and that’s exactly what we need to do in the Little Mountain area.”
The film also includes Sweetwater County commissioner Wally Johnson. “How much are we expected to produce and what are we expected to give up? Greater Little Mountain is an area I’m not willing to give up,” said Johnson.
In addition to Morlock, Coursey, and Johnson, the film also features Bruce Pivic of Infinity Power and Controls, local sportswomen Robin and Jessica Robison, and rancher Jackson Ramsay.
The Greater Little Mountain Coalition is an assembly of sportsmen conservation organizations, union members, miners, and more than 2,500 hunters, anglers and recreationists who seek to find balanced solutions that ensures the regions great hunting, fishing, and open space is conserved for future generations while supporting responsible energy development. The Coalition partners include: Bowhunters of Wyoming, Muley Fanatic Foundation, Southwest Labor Council, Steelworkers Union 13214, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, Trout Unlimited and Wyoming Wildlife Federation.
In the last two years, policymakers have committed to significant investments in conservation, infrastructure, and reversing climate change. Hunters and anglers continue to be vocal about the opportunity to create conservation jobs, restore habitat, and boost fish and wildlife populations. Support solutions now.Learn More