WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), and committee ranking member Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE), praised the committee’s passage of S. 268, the Wildlife Innovation and Longevity Driver (WILD) Act.
“The committee has taken major action to protect wildlife,” said Barrasso. “The WILD Act is bipartisan legislation to protect threatened species and to support innovative ways to manage invasives. Congress should support efforts to keep the United States a world leader of wildlife conservation. I will work with Senators to have this bill pass full Senate."
“Since 1970, around the globe, wildlife populations have fallen by 60 percent due to a myriad of threats that include pollution, deforestation and climate change. Sadly, we know all too well that once species are gone, they are gone forever,” said Carper. “I’m proud this committee came together in a bipartisan way to approve the WILD Act. This bipartisan bill will provide new tools to help efforts to protect endangered species, prevent poaching and wildlife trafficking, and make the United States a global leader on conservation. For the sake of our global wildlife, I look forward to working with our colleagues in the House to ensure this bill moves swiftly to the president’s desk.”
“The WILD Act will support unprecedented and much-needed conservation partnerships and will unleash innovative strategies to overcome some of the greatest threats facing wildlife,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “Thank you to Chairman Barrasso and Ranking Member Carper for their leadership in getting this bill through committee and to the full Senate. Congress should follow suit and swiftly pass this critical bill into law.”
Barrasso and Carper introduced the legislation last week. 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 bill passed the committee by voice vote.
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).
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 imperiled species such as elephants, great apes, turtles, tigers, and others until fiscal year 2023;
- 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.
On March 15, 2017, the EPW Committee held an oversight hearing on “Examining Innovative Solutions to Control Invasive Species and Promote Wildlife Conservation.”
Barrasso, Carper, Inhofe, Booker, Boozman, and Whitehouse introduced the WILD Act on April 4, 2017.
The WILD Act passed the EPW Committee by unanimous consent on April 5, 2017.
The Senate passed the WILD Act by unanimous consent on June 8, 2017.