(COLUMBUS, Ohio)— Ohio Governor Mike DeWine joined governors from Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Minnesota in sending a letter to members of the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources in support of the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act.
The bill would dedicate almost $1.4 billion for fish and wildlife conservation efforts across the country.
“Future generations should have the opportunity to enjoy Ohio’s wildlife and wild places,” said Governor DeWine. “It’s our responsibility to take proactive measures that will protect and conserve these vital and vulnerable resources.”
The bill would provide approximately $1.3 billion for state-level conservation and $97.5 million to tribal nations annually to recover and sustain healthy fish and wildlife populations. Funds would be used to accelerate the recovery of more than 12,000 species by implementing the strategies identified in each state’s congressionally-mandated State Wildlife Action Plan.
“It’s critical that we take action to protect the future of wildlife in Ohio,” said Mary Mertz, director of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. “If passed, this funding would help our state to conserve its great diversity of species and ensure that future generations can enjoy abundant fish, wildlife and outdoor recreation opportunities.”
Ohio currently receives approximately $1.4 million in federal funding per year to protect, restore, and manage the state’s most at-risk species. Under the current proposal, Ohio’s portion of the funding would increase to an estimated $28 million annually, with a required non-federal match of approximately $9 million annually.
According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Ohio has 94 species considered at risk of extinction, either globally or nationally, and another 400 species identified as in-need. Once a species declines to the point of being listed, it is very difficult to recover. Taking proactive and collaborative measures to maintain and recover populations before they become at-risk can save taxpayer resources and allow businesses to operate with more regulatory certainty and reduced risk.
Other governors who also signed the letter include J.B. Pritzker (Illinois), Gretchen Whitmer (Michigan), Tim Walz (Minnesota), Tom Wolf (Pennsylvania) and Tony Evers (Wisconsin). The letter was sent to the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources chairman, Rep. Raúl Grijalva, and ranking member, Rep. Rob Bishop.