America’s Conservation Enhancement Act will reauthorize or establish several important government wildlife conservation programs.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senators John Barrasso (R-WY) and Tom Carper (D-DE) released the following statement on the president’s signing of S. 3051, America’s Conservation Enhancement (ACE) Act, into law.
Barrasso and Carper serve as chairman and ranking member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW).
“President Trump has signed the most significant wildlife conservation and sportsmen’s law in decades,” said Barrasso. “The ACE Act will help protect elk, mule deer, bison and so many more amazing species in Wyoming. The law establishes a task force to address the growing problem of chronic wasting disease. It will compensate ranchers for lost livestock from predator attacks and help combat dangerous invasive species. Conservationists, hunters, anglers, and farmers all agree that the ACE Act is a win for the people of Wyoming and America’s wildlife. It’s a great example of what can be accomplished when Republicans and Democrats work together to get something done.”
“America’s Conservation Enhancement Act builds on our country’s long legacy of working together to conserve habitats and species,” said Carper. “This collaborative effort between federal agencies, local partners, and various stakeholders demonstrates that inclusive conservation yields lasting results. Now law, the ACE Act will support proven efforts to preserve important ecosystems in our country and promote innovative ways of addressing growing threats like invasive species and wildlife diseases. It is proof that progress to protect our planet and all of its creatures is possible.”
The ACE Act helps conserve wildlife and wildlife habitat, including by reauthorizing the North American Wetlands Conservation Act and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Establishment Act. It also addresses the threats of emerging wildlife diseases like Chronic Wasting Disease, protects livestock from predators, and combats invasive species. The legislation has received support from a broad group of stakeholders.
The ACE Act will:
- Reauthorize the North American Wetlands Conservation Act until 2025;
- Reauthorize the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Act until 2025;
- Reauthorize the Chesapeake Bay Program until 2025;
- Reauthorize the Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Watertrails network and the Chesapeake Bay Gateways Grants Assistance Program until 2025;
- Commission a study by the National Academy of Sciences regarding the pathways and mechanisms of the transmission of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in the United States;
- Establish a CWD task force to develop an interstate action plan for state and federal cooperation relating to the disease;
- Establish a program to provide grants to states and Indian tribes to compensate livestock producers for losses due to predation by federally protected species such as wolves or grizzly bears;
- Establish a Theodore Roosevelt Genius Prize for technological innovation to reduce –human-predator conflict using non-lethal means;
- Authorize funds to combat the threat of invasive species;
- Authorize the director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to issue depredation permits to livestock producers to allow for the taking of black vultures or common ravens under specified circumstances during calving or lambing season; and
- Encourage partnerships among public agencies and other interested parties for promoting fish conservation.
On January 9, 2020, the ACE Act initially passed the Senate.
On December 17, 2019, the EPW Committee unanimously passed the ACE Act at a business meeting.
On December 12, 2019, Barrasso and Carper introduced the ACE Act. Senators Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), John Boozman (R-AR), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), and Martin Heinrich (D-NM) are cosponsors of the bill.