Proactive, Continuous Species Management
In Tennessee alone, more than 1,400 plant and animal species have been identified by the State Wildlife Action Plan of being in greatest need of conservation. More than 70 animals are federally listed as threatened and endangered species. Currently, management of nongame species doesn’t have funding that is dedicated, adequate, or recurring. This makes it nearly impossible to plan and execute the long term projects needed to improve populations.
Tennessee species at risk include the Northern Bobwhite Quail, the Chickamauga Crayfish, the Virginia Big-eared Bat, and the Red Squirrel. As these and other nongame species decline, so do a countless number of interconnected species and habitats, including game species. And by keeping species from becoming threatened or endangered now, we avoid needing to take more drastic and expensive steps later to rescue them from extinction.
Funding proactive management has proven to be more effective and cost less. The House version of Recovering America’s Wildlife Act will provide $1.397 billion in dedicated, adequate, and recurring funding. Tennessee will receive an estimated $29 million of those funds each year. This enables meaningful, long term gains to be made.
Passing Recovering America’s Wildlife Act would be a once-in-a-lifetime success for wildlife conservation. More support must be secured for the House version. And people of all walks should join the Tennessee Alliance for America’s Fish and Wildlife to show their support.