During the waning days of the 2022 U.S. Congress, America’s wildlife missed out when legislators failed to include the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (RAWA) in the year-end spending package.
While it was down to the wire, ultimately some of the issues related to funding stalled the bill and prevented it from passing. Specifically, a proposal to close a crypto-currency tax loophole proved to be too high a hurdle for congressional negotiators, and as a result, RAWA was not included in the final package.
RAWA would have provided Idaho up to $15-18 million annually to implement its State Wildlife Action Plan (SWAP), which was developed by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game with public input. In Idaho and across the country, RAWA would have dedicated funding $1.4 billion per year for recovery of imperiled species. It also would have provided Tribal nations nearly $100 million annually to fund wildlife efforts on roughly 140 million acres of land.
So where do we go from here?
There remains strong support for wildlife funding, and polls showed that RAWA enjoyed the support of roughly 85% of likely voters in America. With bi-partisan support, we expect a similar bill to be reintroduced in the early days of the 2023 session.
It’s not uncommon for bills to be reintroduced, and while it was disappointing to see hopes for the bill dashed at the last minute, we are optimistic that the chances for RAWA will improve in the new year.
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