“We were worried that a diminished bill might cut imperative funding for endangered species recovery, but we are thrilled to see these provisions and many more have made it through.”

Robert Dewey, vice president of government relations for Defenders of Wildlife
Washington, DC

After months of negotiations, today, the House leadership released a near-final version of the Build Back Better Act, a core piece of President Biden’s agenda that has drawn stiff opposition and been the source of intense conflict in a politically divided Congress. The bill has also been called the reconciliation bill and is a separate piece of legislation from the infrastructure bill currently in the House. 

“This version of the bill should be welcome news to wildlife lovers and reflects a concerted effort to address the joint biodiversity and climate change crises,” said Robert Dewey, vice president of government relations for Defenders of Wildlife. “We were worried that a diminished bill might cut imperative funding for endangered species recovery, but we are thrilled to see these provisions and many more have made it through.”

 Among the notable investments in the $1.85 trillion bill: 
•    A repeal of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Oil and Gas program. 
•    $200 million to implement the Endangered Species Act, our nation’s most effective tool for preventing extinction. 
•    $250 million for National Wildlife Refuges and state wildlife management areas to address climate resilience, wildlife corridors, invasive species, and extreme weather events. 
•    $10 million to identify, conserve, and manage wildlife corridors.
•    Investments in the National Forest System, including $50 million to protect at-risk species, $50 million to conserve older and mature forests and $50 million for the nonlethal resolution of livestock-predator conflicts.
•    $450 million to restore fish passage and reconnect wildlife habitat by fixing culverts and decommissioning unneeded roads through the Forest Service’s Legacy Roads and Trails program.
•    Billions of dollars of funding spread across various departments for a Civilian Climate Corps.

“This bill, as it stands now, would be a historic investment and is direly needed. It must be passed with the urgency owed to the serious perils our planet is facing. The sooner the better,” said Dewey. 


 

Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With nearly 2.2 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit defenders.org/newsroom and follow us on Twitter @Defenders.

Media Contact

Communications Specialist
hhammer@defenders.org
(202) 772-0295
Vice President for Government Relations
(202) 682-9400

News

Image
Bald eagle sitting at the top of an evergreen tree
Madison, WI

Judge Halts Power Line Through Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife Refuge

Defenders of Wildlife and three other conservation groups – the National Wildlife Refuge Association, Driftless Area Land Conservancy, Wisconsin Wildlife Federation – prevailed on January
Image
Lindsay Rosa headshot
Washington, DC

Defenders of Wildlife Names Dr. Lindsay Rosa as Center for Conservation Innovation Director

Defenders of Wildlife is pleased to announce that Dr. Lindsay Rosa is the new director of Defenders’ Center for Conservation Innovation (CCI). Rosa joined Defenders in 2019 as head of CCI’s science team.