Legislation Introduced to Build on Migration Corridor Conservation

For Immediate Release

Jun. 24, 2024

Contact: Thomas Plank, 303-720-0111 [email protected]

Legislation Introduced to Build on Migration Corridor Conservation

WASHINGTON, D.C. – New bipartisan legislation introduced today in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives with the support of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers would build upon collaborative efforts to conserve big game migration corridors, posing significant benefits for healthy populations of wildlife as they range seasonally across public and private land.

The Wildlife Movement Through Partnerships Act, introduced by Sen. Alex Padilla (D-CA) and Reps. Ryan Zinke (R-MT) and Don Beyer (D-VA), would work in coordination with both the Secretarial Order 3362 “Improving Habitat Quality in Western Big-Game Winter Range and Migration Corridors,’’ issued in 2018 by then Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and praised by BHA, as well as the Wildlife Crossings Pilot Program within the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, passed into law with the support of BHA in 2021.

“Big game species such as pronghorn, elk, and mule deer rely on established movement and migration routes to access seasonal habitat. The Wildlife Movement Through Partnerships Act would build on successful and innovative partnerships between government agencies, private landowners, and conservation organizations to benefit these and other species,” said Kaden McArthur, BHA Government Relations Manager. “We applaud Sen. Padilla and Reps. Zinke and Beyer for their bipartisan leadership on this legislation that would further prioritize critical resources to conserve habitat and reduce obstacles to wildlife movement.”

This legislation would promote habitat connectivity for migratory species and improve habitat quality by providing financial and technical assistance to state and tribal fish and wildlife agencies, private landowners, and non-governmental organizations. It would also direct the Department of the Interior, Department of Agriculture, and Department of Transportation to coordinate efforts in conjunction with those entities.

Included within these directives are the establishment of the State and Tribal Migration Research Program to collect, research, and analyze data on wildlife movement corridors and the Wildlife Movement and Movement Area Grant Program to improve or conserve habitat through projects including habitat leases, fence modifications, and reducing wildlife-vehicle collisions. Fifty percent of funds would also be directly allocated for conserving big game species including mule deer, elk, pronghorn, moose and wild sheep.

Underscoring the importance of hands-on work to achieve the conservation of seasonal wildlife habitat is three years of restoration work on the California/Nevada border led by BHA. This project also includes a camera study along Highway 395 that will help to inform the location of a wildlife overpass project to avoid wildlife-vehicle collisions.

“BHA volunteers and staff members have worked diligently to restore priority winter range habitat for migratory mule deer and pronghorn herds through a $165,000 grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation facilitated through Secretarial Order 3362 in combination with funding from the California BHA chapter and partners SITKA Gear and the Wildlands Network. As a result, thousands of bitterbrush plants have been planted at the Hallelujah Junction Wildlife Area and another 10,000 will be planted this fall,” said Devin O’Dea, BHA Western Policy & Conservation Manager.

Backcountry Hunters & Anglers seeks to ensure North America's outdoor heritage of hunting and fishing in a natural setting, through education and work on behalf of wild public lands, waters, and wildlife.




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