North Carolina Support for Recovering America’s Wildlife Act

Letter to Members of the North Carolina Congressional Delegation

We, the undersigned North Carolina groups and organizations, support preventing fish and wildlife from becoming endangered by dedicating general treasury funds annually to the federal Wildlife Conservation and Restoration Program. We believe that collaborative conservation is the most effective way to recover wildlife populations and strongly support the bipartisan Recovering America’s Wildlife Act.

Our nation and state have been blessed with a diverse array of fish and wildlife. While some of these species are thriving, many more are facing increasing challenges and are in steep decline. State fish and wildlife agencies have identified 12,000 species nationwide with 457 in North Carolina that are in need of proactive conservation action. With the passage of Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, North Carolina would receive an estimated $26.47 million dollars annually to support species conservation.

At the request of Congress, every state has developed a State Wildlife Action Plan (North Carolina had the first plan in the country) to assess the health of its state’s fish and wildlife and outline conservation actions necessary to sustain them. Time and time again, proactive, collaborative, and voluntary conservation efforts have allowed our nation to recover wildlife species. America has a successful history of bringing wildlife back from the brink of extinction through professional wildlife management combined with collaborative, on-the-ground conservation.  A century ago, prized game species like elk, wood ducks, wild turkeys, bighorn sheep and striped bass were at risk of extinction.  Now these species are largely thriving, because license fees and excise taxes paid by America’s hunters and anglers have been dedicated to the conservation of their habitat.  While collaborative conservation has led to numerous successes, today more than 12,000 wildlife species across our nation are considered “species of greatest conservation need,” as identified by various state fish and wildlife Agencies. These species—such as pollinators, frogs, turtles, songbirds and shorebirds, freshwater mussels, oysters, etc.—often receive neither the attention nor funding sufficient to recover them.

This growing wildlife crisis poses a threat to the vibrant outdoor economy of America and North Carolina. Hunters, anglers, birders, hikers, campers, and backyard wildlife watchers have created a fast-growing outdoor economic base that depends on healthy wildlife populations. Today, the outdoor economy contributes $887 billion to the national economy and $28 billion to our state economy annually, creating 7.6 million direct jobs with 260,000 in North Carolina, and generating $124.5 billion in federal, state, and local tax revenue.

The Blue Ribbon Panel on Sustaining America’s Diverse Fish and Wildlife Resources, comprising industry and conservation leaders, recommended that the best way to recover these species of concern is to build upon the conservation model that has produced the remarkable successes for game species by investing a portion of existing energy revenues in proactive, collaborative, voluntary efforts at the state-level. This should be done through the existing Wildlife Conservation and Restoration Program, as proposed in The Recovery America’s Wildlife Act. This non-regulatory, collaborative approach is a proven means of recovering species and leverages additional funds through innovative public/private partnerships.

Further, by preventing the decline of species so that they do not require the stricter protections of the Endangered Species Act, businesses will be able to operate with more regulatory certainty and reduced risk. As the decline of numerous species and their habitats across the country worsens, preemptive action can reverse this trend and keep species from the critical, yet often costly, “emergency room” measures required by the Endangered Species Act. This will be especially important to rapidly developing states like North Carolina.

Proactive conservation is good for wildlife, good for taxpayers, good for business, and good for North Carolinians. We encourage you to support the protection of our nation’s fish and wildlife heritage by supporting efforts to direct dedicated funding into the Wildlife Conservation and Restoration Program through the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act.

 

Sincerely,

Alamance County Wildlife Club

 

Albemarle Conservation and Wildlife Chapter (Elizabeth City)

 

Albemarle Sound Delta Waterfowl (Elizabeth City)

 

Arts & Science Council of Charlotte-Mecklenburg

 

Audubon North Carolina

 

Bird House on the Greenway

 

Box Turtle Collaborative

 

Cabarrus Brewing Company

 

Carolina Raptor Center

 

Carolina Thread Trail

 

Carolina Wetlands Association

 

Charlotte Reconnecting Ourselves with Nature

 

Coco F.A.R.M

 

Concord Engineering & Surveying, Inc.

 

Concord Wildlife Alliance

 

Coastal Carolina Delta Waterfowl (Bayboro)

 

Coastal Carolina Riverwatch

 

Coastal Wildlife Refuge Society

 

Community Alliance for Wildlife (Charlotte)

 

Criterion Investors

 

Crystal Coast Waterkeeper

 

Discovery Place Nature

 

Discovery Place Science

Edgemont, Ltd.

 

Duke Energy

 

Fish & Wildlife Conservation Council

 

Friends of Pocosin Lakes

National Wildlife Refuge

 

Gaston County Piedmont Area Wildlife Stewards

 

Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation

 

Greathorn Development

 

Green Acres Family Farms, LLC

Habitat and Wildlife Keepers (Matthews)

 

HoneyBee Realty

 

Johnston County Wildlife Association

 

Julie Jones Team, Realtors (Cornelius)

 

Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Hospital

 

Kirk Palmer & Thigpen, P.A.

 

Lake James Area Wildlife and Nature Society

 

Lake Norman Delta Waterfowl

 

Lake Norman Rod and Gun Club

 

Lake Norman Wildlife Conservationists

 

Law Offices of Robert M. Critz, P.A.

 

Lee County Wildlife Club

 

Martingale Manor, LLC

 

Mecklenburg Audubon Society

 

Middle Neuse River Delta Waterfowl (Smithfield)

Moccasin Gap Delta Waterfowl (Roxboro)

 

Mountain Wild! (Asheville)

 

NC Chapter American Fisheries Society

 

NC Delta Waterfowl Foundation

 

NC Falconers Guild

 

NC Hunters for the Hungry

 

NC National Wild Turkey Federation

 

NC State Advisory Council Quality Deer Management Association

 

North American Land Trust

 

North Carolina BASS Nation

 

North Carolina Camouflage Coalition

 

North Carolina Wildlife Federation

 

North Central Branch QDMA (Roxboro)

 

Neuse River Hawks

 

Pamlico Albemarle Wildlife Conservationists (Washington)

 

Plastic Ocean Project, Inc.

 

Ramseur Records

 

Ridgeline Development Corporation

 

Rocky River Trout Unlimited

 

Sandhills Rod and Gun Club

 

Smokey Mountain Sportsmen Association

 

South East NC Delta Waterfowl (Wilmington)

South Wake Conservationists

(Holly Springs)

 

Southern Piedmont Delta Waterfowl (Albemarle)

 

Stallings Nature and Wildlife Chapter

 

StreetFare Farm

 

Table Rock Trout Unlimited

 

Team Honeycutt, Realtors

 

The Avett Brothers

 

The Carolina Hawking Club

 

The Conservation Fund

 

The LandTrust for Central North Carolina

 

The North Carolina Chapter of  The Wildlife Society

 

The Sedgefield Hunt

 

The Woodlands at Davidson Development Company

 

Town Creek Delta Waterfowl (Tarboro)

 

Triad Delta Waterfowl (Winston Salem)

 

Triangle Delta Waterfowl

 

Triangle Fly Fishers

 

Trips for Kids Charlotte

 

Twenty-Six Acres Brewing Company

 

Quail and Upland Wildlife Federation

 

Wake County Wildlife Club

 

Watery Swamp Hunt Club

 

Woodbridge Company