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Bill before Congress would benefit Iowa wildlife, water resources

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is in support of the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act bill, introduced in Congress last Thursday, as a way to support Iowa’s State Wildlife Action Plan.

The bill would reallocate a portion of the existing royalties from the development of energy and mineral resources on federal lands and waters to the Wildlife Restoration Program to conserve fish and wildlife.

Introduction of the bill was announced by Congressman Jeff Fortenberry of Nebraska and Congresswoman Debbie Dengell of Michigan. The bill has bi-partisan support.

“In its current form, this bill would provide an estimated $16 million to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources that would be used to implement the federally required State Wildlife Action Plan,” said Chuck Gipp, director of the Iowa DNR. “Approving this bill would be a win-win for Iowa. It provides federal funds to implement a federal plan that is a blue print to improving our natural areas for an array of wildlife species which in turn would have a positive impact on our water resources.”

Recovering America’s Wildlife Act is supported by a coalition of state fish and wildlife agencies, members of the outdoor retail, recreation and manufacturing industry, educational institutions, energy and automotive industry, private landowners, conservation organizations and sportsmen and women groups.