The Scarlet Tanager is just one of 386 migratory bird species that will benefit from passage of the Natural Resources Management Act. Photo by Dan Behm
(Washington, DC, February 25, 2019) Passage of the Natural Resources Management Act (S. 47), expected tomorrow in the U.S. House of Representatives, will signify a bipartisan win for birds and people, and a step in the right direction toward advancing wildlife conservation and recreation initiatives. The bill passed the Senate with a vote of 98-2.
American Bird Conservancy (ABC) strongly believes that passing this bill is essential to achieving our nation’s conservation goals, which support our environment and our economy, through bird-related recreation totaling billions of dollars annually.
The bill includes permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which supports the protection of federal public lands and waters. It also designates wilderness areas, monuments, and other public lands that will help conserve habitat for birds and other wildlife.
Birds will also benefit from the bill’s reauthorization of the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act (NMBCA), which provides direct conservation support for 386 bird species and their habitats in Central and South America, where many birds winter. The Scarlet Tanager, Wood Thrush, and Cerulean Warbler are just a few examples of bird species that benefit from the NMBCA.
“Thanks to NMBCA funding, we have created a network of reserves to provide essential wintering habitat,” said Andrew Rothman, ABC’s Migratory Bird Program Director. “The NMBCA is one of very few sources of funding available to help protect the full life cycle of migratory birds in the Western Hemisphere. These species engage in one of the greatest animal migrations on the planet. NMBCA is the lifeline for our migratory birds.”
Since 2002, the NMBCA has supported 570 conservation projects — including habitat protection, monitoring, research, and education — on more than 4.5 million acres of critical bird habitat across 36 countries.
The 2016 State of the Birds Report found that over one-third of North America’s bird species are in decline or facing serious threats.
“This decline signals a broader crisis that Congress has now, through its support of the Natural Resources Management Act, acted upon to help reverse,” said Jennifer Cipolletti, Director of Conservation Advocacy for ABC. “Birds are sensitive indicators of how we are protecting our environment as a whole, so this is an important step and a big win, not only for birds, but for the economy as well.”
American Bird Conservancy applauds the broad bipartisan support for public lands and migratory birds in Congress and across a diverse coalition of conservation and recreation interests. Thanks to this support, the Natural Resources Management Act will preserve vital conservation funding for the country’s birds and the critical habitats they depend upon.
American Bird Conservancy is dedicated to conserving birds and their habitats throughout the Americas. With an emphasis on achieving results and working in partnership, we take on the greatest problems facing birds today, innovating and building on rapid advancements in science to halt extinctions, protect habitats, eliminate threats, and build capacity for bird conservation. Find us on abcbirds.org, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (@abcbirds).