EPW Committee Passes Bipartisan Wildlife Conservation Legislation

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), delivered the following remarks at a committee business meeting to consider S. 826, the Wildlife Innovation and Longevity Driver (WILD) Act. The bipartisan WILD Act passed the committee by voice vote.

The WILD Act was introduced by Chairman John Barrasso (R-WY) and is cosponsored by committee ranking member Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) and Sens. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Cory Booker (D-NJ), John Boozman (R-AR), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). The legislation has also received support from World Wildlife Fund and the Family Farm Alliance.

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 invasive species, promote conservation, and protect endangered wildlife.

In addition, the EPW Committee also passed by voice vote: S. 518, the Small and Rural Community Clean Water Technical Assistance Act; S. 692, the Water Infrastructure Flexibility Act of 2017; and S. 675, the Long Island Sound Restoration and Stewardship Act.

To watch video of the full business meeting, click here.

Senator Barrasso’s full remarks:

“The Wildlife Innovation and Longevity Driver Act, or ‘WILD Act,’ is bipartisan legislation I introduced with Senators Carper, Inhofe, Booker, Boozman, and Whitehouse, designed to promote new innovative solutions to better battle and manage invasive species, to conserve wildlife, and to limit illegal poaching.
“Wyoming grapples with many of these challenges that innovators can help solve. 

“So do other states and other nations.

“America’s innovators are developing cutting-edge technologies to help us more effectively fight poaching, better manage wildlife, and control invasive species.

“The WILD Act incentivizes their contributions by establishing four separate cash prizes for technological innovation in these four categories: the prevention of wildlife poaching and trafficking; the promotion of wildlife conservation; the management of invasive species; and the protection of endangered species.

“The WILD Act protects water and wildlife by requiring specified federal agencies to plan and carry out activities on land and water that they directly manage to control and manage invasive species.

“It reauthorizes the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program, which provides technological and financial assistance to private landowners to improve fish and wildlife habitat.

“It also reauthorizes: the African Elephant Conservation Act of 1988; the Asian Elephant Conservation Act of 1997; the Rhinoceros and Tiger Conservation Act of 1994; the Great Ape Conservation Act of 2000; the Marine Turtle Conservation Act of 2004.

“The business meeting also includes consideration of three bills that address issues under the Clean Water Act.  

“S. 518, S. 692, and S. 675 are sponsored by our committee colleagues and passed our committee with bipartisan support last year.”