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$40 Billion in New Spending Earmarked for Wildlife Conservation

The Congressional Sportsmen Foundation (CSF) based in Washington, D.C. reports that the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (H.R. 3684), which was signed into law on November 15, 2021, will provide approximately $40 billion to wildlife conservation measures. 

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Programs and funding highlights include: 

The reauthorization of the Sport Fish Restoration, Recreational Boating Safety, and Wildlife Restoration Act of 2021, which ensures that more than $650 million annually be provided to state fish and wildlife agencies for local fish habitat conservation, and improved resource access, through the excise taxes paid by anglers and boaters. 

“The reauthorization of ‘Sport Fish’ is the cornerstone of so much of what recreational boaters and anglers connect to while on the water,” said David Kennedy, manager of government affairs for BoatUS. Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Debbie Dingell (D-MI) and Garett Graves (R-LA) played a decisive role in getting that done for boaters and anglers, he added.

The new law also establishes an innovative grant program aimed at reducing wildlife-vehicle collisions and enhanced wildlife habitat connectivity, providing $350 million in spending over the next five years.

Restoring aquatic organism habitat connectivity will see $4 billion in new expenditure. 

H.R. 3684 also included the Repairing Existing Public Land by Adding Necessary Trees (REPLANT) Act, which hopes to reduce the 1.3 million acre tree-planting backlog of the U.S. Forest Service. 

Improving access to federal lands maintained by the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management and the Army Corps of Engineers will receive $2.1 billion in new spending over five years.

Restoring abandoned mine lands, a projected habitat boon to wildlife, receives an $11 billion boost.

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