TWS submitted testimony to House and Senate appropriations subcommittees on Federal Conservation Programs

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The Wildlife Society submitted testimony to House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies, making comprehensive recommendations for the Fiscal Year 2025 budgets of the U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service.

TWS requested $69.3 million for the U.S. Geological Survey Climate Adaptation Science Centers, which play a crucial role in addressing challenges posed by climate change on regional wildlife, ecosystems and communities.

In support of our leadership role within the National Cooperators’ Coalition, TWS also requested $36 million for the Cooperative Research Units program. The request highlights the program’s role in producing applied wildlife science and fostering federal, state, NGO and academic partnerships.

TWS also emphasized the need for $66 million to support the National Wildlife Health Center, the sole federal BSL-3 facility—a high biosafety level center for studying infectious disease—dedicated exclusively to wildlife disease research.

As a member of the Cooperative Alliance for Refuge Enhancement coalition, TWS called for $602.3 million for the USFWS’ National Wildlife Refuge System, emphasizing the system’s critical role in conserving native species and providing recreational opportunities. Specifically, TWS urged Congress to address chronic underfunding in NWRS’ operations and maintenance budget, particularly in conservation planning efforts, which have been hampered by inadequate resources.

TWS also requested $100 million for State and Tribal Wildlife Grants, aimed at benefiting over 12,000 at-risk species, and $338.2 million for the Ecological Services Program, $10 million for the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act program, $68.1 for Partners for Fish and Wildlife, and $25 million for Migratory Bird Joint Ventures.

TWS urged Congress to consider the importance of funding the BLM’s Wildlife Habitat Management program and to provide at least $153.4 million for it. TWS’ testimony also spoke to the critical role of. Forest Service research and development programs in delivering science-based solutions to enhance the health and management of forests and grasslands, requesting at least $315.6 million.

Testimony provided by organizations like The Wildlife Society is essential for informing policymakers about the specific needs and priorities within the profession of wildlife conservation. Appropriations subcommittees in the House and Senate will be developing FY 2025 appropriations bills in the upcoming year.

This article by Hannah Henry was first published by The Wildlife Society on 29 May 2024. Lead Image: A bachelor group of pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) run across the sagebrush at the Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge in Wyoming. Credit: Tom Koerner/USFWS.

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