WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senators John Barrasso (R-WY) and Tom Carper (D-DE) released the following statements after the House of Representatives passed America’s Conservation Enhancement (ACE) Act. The legislation will now go to President Trump’s desk to be signed into law.

Barrasso and Carper serve as chairman and ranking member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW).

“Congress has passed the most significant wildlife conservation and sportsmen’s legislation in decades,” said Barrasso. “For us in Wyoming, it will protect critical habitat, fight chronic wasting disease, conserve species, and compensate ranchers for predator attacks. The ACE Act will help states and tribes manage species better. These measures will help preserve America’s incredible wildlife for hikers, landowners, farmers, hunters, anglers and other outdoor enthusiasts. The legislation has the support of conservationists, sportsmen, and farmers alike. It’s a great example of working across party lines to get something done. I am thankful to Ranking Member Carper for his partnership and I look forward to President Trump signing the ACE Act into law.”

“America’s Conservation Enhancement Act builds on state and stakeholder commitments to restore wetlands and improve water quality by reauthorizing effective programs like the North American Wetlands Conservation Fund and the Chesapeake Bay Program,” said Carper. “While helping to protect and restore important habitats, the conservation efforts supported by the ACE Act also help to fuel multibillion-dollar fishing and ecotourism industries. The ACE Act will also help to drive the development of new and innovative solutions for growing threats like invasive species and wildlife disease – threats we know will only become more challenging with our changing climate. This legislation is a bipartisan win for conservation and outdoor recreation, and I thank our colleagues in the House for their support.”

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.

Background Information:

On September 16, 2020, the ACE Act passed the Senate unanimously in the form of a substitute amendment that was negotiated with the House of Representatives.

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.