Senate Unanimously Passes Massive Package of Conservation Bills

News for Immediate Release
Jan. 9, 2020
Contact: Katie McKalip, 406-240-9262, mckalip@backcountryhunters.org

ACE Act represents consensus priorities of hunting and angling community;
BHA urges House to advance to president’s desk

WASHINGTON – Earlier today the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a diverse package of conservation measures, the America’s Conservation Enhancement Act, or ACE Act (S. 3051). The bipartisan bill represents a number of consensus priorities for hunters and anglers, including establishing or reauthorizing programs critical to fish and wildlife populations.

Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, which has consistently advocated for S. 3051’s advancement, celebrated today’s Senate passage.

“Patience is a virtue,” said Land Tawney, BHA president and CEO. “Tonight, public lands sportsmen and women are raising a glass to Senate leadership who championed this important legislative package, a hard-won victory that was a long time coming. We appreciate the unanimous support for this vital legislation. Good things come to those who wait, and the ACE Act promises to pay dividends from which our fish and wildlife, U.S. lands and waters, and hunting and fishing opportunities all stand to gain.”

Highlights of S. 3051 include the following:

  • reauthorization of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation until fiscal year 2025;
  • reauthorization of the Chesapeake Bay Program until fiscal year 2025;
  • reauthorization of the Chesapeake Bay Initiative until fiscal year 2025;
  • Great Lakes fisheries legislation to conduct monitoring, scientific assessments and research between the United States and Canada;
  • reauthorization of the North American Wetlands Conservation Act until fiscal year 2025 at $60 million annually;
  • the National Fish Habitat Conservation Through Partnerships provision, which encourages partnerships between stakeholders.

Two other noteworthy provisions in S. 3051 are the Chronic Wasting Disease Task Force and Chesapeake Watershed Investments for Landscape Defense Grant Program. The CWD task force requires collaboration between foreign governments (i.e., Canada) and interstate fish and wildlife agencies to develop recommendations from science-based studies. These actions can help isolate and contain the spread of CWD in wild cervid populations. The Chesapeake WILD grant program enables the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to assist federal, state and local stakeholders in expanding conservation and restoration efforts in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Tawney urged members of the House of Representatives to advance S. 3051 without delay.

“Let’s take this momentum on to the House,” Tawney said. “Conservation is truly a bipartisan issue. Our nation’s conservation legacy depends on our willingness to unite in commitment toward a common goal. The ACE Act is just that and deserves our wholehearted support.”

Backcountry Hunters & Anglers is the voice
for our wild public lands, waters and wildlife.

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