Chairman Barrasso is Working to Conserve Wildlife
America's Conservation Enhancement (ACE) Act
U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), joined with Committee Ranking Member Tom Carper (D-DE) to introduce America’s Conservation Enhancement (ACE) Act. The bipartisan legislation will reauthorize or establish several important government wildlife conservation programs. The ACE Act helps conserve wildlife and wildlife habitat. It addresses the threats of emerging wildlife diseases and invasive species, while also protecting livestock from predators.
The ACE Act passed the Senate unanimously on January 9, 2020. The legislation has received broad support from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, the Wyoming Stock Growers Association, Ducks Unlimited, National Wildlife Federation, and many others.
The ACE Act Will Protect and Restore:
Livestock Chesapeake Bay
Ducks Mule Deer
Specifically 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 2024;
- 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;
- Protect the use of lead tackle;
- 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.
What They're Saying About the ACE Act
“The Wyoming Stock Growers Association commends Senator Barrasso for the inclusion of critical provisions in the “America’s Conservation Enhancement Act” that address the impacts of certain wildlife species on livestock. The provision for depredation payments related to the depredation of livestock by listed species targets losses that cannot be eliminated by the use of non-lethal control methods while sharing a burden that to date has been carried solely by the State of Wyoming. We applaud the establishment of a system for the direct permitting of raven “take” by livestock producers facing depredation on calves and lambs. AIn addition, the focus on CWD is timely as this devastating wildlife disease impacts the state’s ability to manage its wildlife populations on both private and public lands.” – Jim Magagna, executive vice president of the Wyoming Stock Growers Association
“I write to convey the Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s support of the America’s Conservation Enhancement (ACE) Act. I want to thank you for your leadership regarding wildlife related issues that affect Wyoming. I understand this bill would establish the chronic wasting disease (CWD) task force that I testified on earlier this month. The Department is committed to furthering our understanding of CWD, and greatly supports the formation of a task force to address the issue, as this is a national problem that will continue to affect all of us into the future.” – Brian Nesvik, director of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department
“At a time when one-third of wildlife species are at heightened risk of extinction, Chairman Barrasso and Ranking Member Carper are again affirming that our leaders can rally behind common-sense, bipartisan investments to restore wildlife populations and conserve our outdoor heritage. The ACE Act confronts systemic challenges facing wildlife by restoring essential wildlife habitat like wetlands and the Chesapeake Bay, eradicating wildlife disease especially Chronic Wasting Disease, removing invasive species, and engaging the next generation of sportsmen and sportswomen. While we still have much more work to do, this important, bipartisan legislation shows that even though gridlock pervades much of our nation’s capital, wildlife conservation stands out as a rare area for bipartisan collaboration.” – Collin O’Mara, President and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation
“On behalf of the 750,000 members of Ducks Unlimited, we proudly support S. 3051, America’s Conservation Enhancement Act, introduced by Chairman Barrasso and Ranking Member Carper. This important wildlife package includes reauthorization of the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA), the Chesapeake Watershed Investments for Landscape Defense (Chesapeake WILD) Act, the Pittman-Robertson Modernization Act, and reauthorization of the Chesapeake Bay Program, among other provisions. Measures like these support the conservation of wetlands and waterfowl habitat for landowners, farmers, hunters, anglers and all kinds of outdoor enthusiasts across the country for years to come.” – Dan Wrinn, National Director of Government Affairs for Ducks Unlimited
This bill contains pieces of legislation that are vitally important to our state fish and wildlife agency members, our conservation partners, and for sustaining our collaborative approach to fish and wildlife conservation throughout the country. The Association strongly supports S. 3051 and is pleased to see included therein the Modernizing the Pittman-Robertson Fund for Tomorrow’s Needs Act, the National Fish Habitat Conservation Through Partnerships Act, the North American Wetlands Conservation Act and other highly beneficial provisions.” – Kelly Helper, president of the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies
Stakeholders Who Support the ACE Act
U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), joined with committee ranking member Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE), to reintroduce S. 268, the Wildlife Innovation and Longevity Driver (WILD) Act. The WILD Act is also cosponsored by Sens. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Cory Booker (D-NJ), John Boozman (R-AR), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).
The WILD Act will promote wildlife conservation, assist in the management of invasive species, and help protect endangered species. The bipartisan legislation will reauthorize government conservation programs. It will also establish prize competitions to prevent illegal poaching and trafficking, manage invasives, promote conservation, and protect endangered wildlife. Companion legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives by Reps. Alan Lowenthal (CA-47) and Don Young (AK-1).
The WILD Act Will Help Protect:
Asian Elephants African Elephants
Click here to view a livestream of Asian Elephants.
Tigers Great Apes
Marine Turtles Rhinoceros
Click here to view a livestream of Marine Turtles.
The WILD Act Will Help Manage Invasive Species
An “invasive” is a species that isn’t natural to an area but when it is introduced, causes harm to local wildlife. Invasive species have led to other species being placed on the endangered species list. Plant invasive species have also exacerbated serious fires. The WILD Act will help manage invasive species like:
Burmese Python Asian Carp
Salt Cedar Cheatgrass
Specifically, the WILD Act will:
- Reauthorize and fund the Department of the Interior’s Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program until fiscal year 2023;
- Require federal agencies to implement strategic programs to control invasive species;
- Reauthorize legislation to protect endangered species such as elephants, great apes, turtles, tigers, and others;
- Establish monetary-prize competitions for technological innovation in the following categories:
- the prevention of wildlife poaching and trafficking;
- the promotion of wildlife conservation;
- the management of invasive species;
- the non-lethal management of human-wildlife conflicts; and
- the protection of endangered species.
To view full text of the legislation, click here.
What they are saying about the WILD Act:
“We must be good stewards of our wildlife,” said Barrasso. “The WILD Act is bipartisan legislation to protect threatened wildlife and manage invasive species. This conservation legislation will help combat illegal poaching in America and around the world. Last Congress, the WILD Act passed the Senate unanimously. This Congress, I expect it will be signed into law."
“Around the world, a variety of threats continues to challenge wildlife conservation efforts,” said Carper. “The WILD Act would help make the United States a global leader on wildlife conservation by encouraging innovation in protecting endangered species, better managing human-wildlife conflicts, and preventing poaching and wildlife trafficking. I’m proud to lead with Chairman Barrasso in this effort in Senate, and with Congressmen Lowenthal and Young in the House, and I’m hopeful that our colleagues on both sides of the aisle will join us in supporting this bipartisan effort.”
“The WILD Act supports animal conservation efforts and includes a reauthorization of the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Act I originally authored in 2006,” Inhofe said. “Private landowners have a vested interest in the conservation of species and are the first line of defense for the protection of fish and wildlife habitats. The Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program has been successful in bringing private, local and federal stakeholders together to improve over 300,000 acres of wildlife habitat in Oklahoma alone. I look forward to working with my colleagues to move the WILD Act through the Senate swiftly and reauthorize this successful program.”
“Democrats and Republicans recognize the value of conserving wildlife habitats in our states and around the globe,” said Whitehouse. “We also recognize the need to spark innovative solutions to growing threats like the spread of invasive species and illegal wildlife trafficking. I look forward to working with my bipartisan cosponsors to win Senate approval of this bill.”
“The National Wildlife Federation believes that collaborative conservation and innovation are essential to ensuring that wildlife thrive in our rapidly changing world,” said Collin O’Mara, CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “We are proud to support the WILD Act, sponsored by Chairman Barrasso and Ranking Member Carper — as well as Rep. Lowenthal and Rep. Young — which will spur unprecedented conservation partnerships and unleash innovation to overcome some of the greatest threats facing wildlife.”
“This bipartisan legislation will strengthen wildlife populations and promote conservation across the country,” said Whit Fosburgh, president and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “This bill supports our nation’s robust hunting and fishing economy by reauthorizing important conservation initiatives such as the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program and advancing new initiatives to tackle invasive species. We want to thank Chairman Barrasso and Ranking Member Carper for working together to push this bill forward.”