WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Congressman Dave Joyce (OH-14) and Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12) led the bipartisan introduction of the Wildlife Innovation and Longevity Driver Reauthorization Act. The bipartisan legislation would reauthorize critical U.S. Fish and Wildlife conservation programs. Specifically, it would reauthorize the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program, which enables wildlife and habitat conservation in all 50 states and territories, and the Multinational Species Conservation Funds, which help conserve some of the world’s most iconic species, including rhinos, elephants, tigers, great apes, and turtles.
Representatives González Colón (R-PR), Costa (D-CA), Carter (R-GA), Thompson (D-CA), Garbarino (R-NY), are original cosponsors of this legislation.
“Commonsense, community-centered conservation helps restore habitats and endangered wildlife, lifts up economies, and makes communities more secure,” said Congressman Joyce, Co-Chair of the International Conservation Caucus. “The WILD Act reauthorizes proven conservation programs through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that have had a positive impact in my home state of Ohio, but also in countries around the world.”
“The Multinational Species Conservation Fund has been a highly successful tool in strengthening global wildlife conservation. For years, it has played a key role in protecting some of the world’s most treasured species – like elephants, rhinos, tigers, and great apes – that are being pushed toward extinction due to the threats of poaching, human encroachment, and illegal hunting and trapping. I am proud to join Congressman Joyce in introducing the WILD Act to reauthorize this critical program that supports the survival of these endangered species for generations to come,” said Congresswoman Dingell.
“For over 30 years, the Multinational Species Conservation Funds have helped developing countries to protect and restore populations of imperiled species in the wild, including elephants, rhinos, tigers, great apes and marine turtles. These grant programs run by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have provided a lifeline to endangered wildlife while building the capacity of local communities to engage in and benefit from conservation. Through modest but targeted investments, they have supported successful projects in dozens of countries, including helping to nearly triple the tiger population in Nepal, turn turtle nest poachers into turtle nest protectors in Costa Rica, and support the first-ever coordinated population survey across five southern African countries home to more than half of the continent’s remaining elephants. Congress should move quickly to pass the bipartisan legislation introduced today by Rep. David Joyce and Rep. Debbie Dingell, which would reauthorize these popular and highly effective programs for another five years,” said World Wildlife Fund’s Senior Vice President for Wildlife Conservation, Ginette Hemley.
“The planet is suffering through a catastrophic loss of biodiversity. Reauthorization of the WILD Act and the Multinational Species Conservation Fund will renew critical programs that support the conservation and recovery in the wild of many of the world’s most iconic species—elephants, rhinos, tigers, gorillas and great apes, and turtles and tortoises. Saving our natural world will positively impact each of us. WCS is grateful to Representative David Joyce and Representative Debbie Dingell for leading the way on this important legislation,” said John Calvelli, Executive Vice President, Public Affairs for the Wildlife Conservation Society.
This legislation is endorsed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, Bonobo Conservation Initiative, Environmental Investigation Agency, Humane Society International, Humane Society Legislative Fund, The Humane Society of the United States, International Crane Foundation, International Elephant Foundation, International Fund for Animal Welfare, Pan African Sanctuary Alliance, Re:wild, Wild Earth Allies, Wild Landscapes International, Wildlife Conservation Society, World Wildlife Fund, Zoological Association of America, National Wildlife Federation, Ducks Unlimited, and Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership.
Companion legislation was introduced in the Senate by Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Tom Carper (D-DE).
Congressman Joyce currently serves as Co-Chair of the House International Conservation Caucus, Co-Chair of the Great Lakes Task Force, and Member of the Climate Solutions Caucus. He is a leader on commonsense conservation, energy, and environment policies that support healthy ecosystems, strong economies, and our national security. For example, earlier this Congress, Congressman Joyce introduced H.R. 1298, the United States Foundation for International Conservation Act of 2023. This bipartisan, bicameral legislation would create a U.S. Foundation for International Conservation to help attract more private funding to promote long-term management of protected and conserved areas, which will help address the threat of wildlife trafficking and other illicit activities that destabilize communities and regions around the world.