Today, U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) joined U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), along 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 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 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.”
“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.”
“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.”
Specifically, the WILD Act will:
- Reauthorize and fund the Department of the Interior’s Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program until fiscal year 2022;
- 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.
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.