Recovering Americas Wildlife Act


Restoring ecosystems and protecting, conserving, and enhancing biodiversity are essential to all life. Currently, our planet is facing an alarming biodiversity crisis driven by human activities, including habitat fragmentation and degradation and climate change. Landscape architects are uniquely trained to address many of the root causes of the biodiversity crisis. They plan and design habitat connections and corridors, restore degraded ecosystems, and increase biodiversity through the incorporation of native tree and plant species – all of which have significant climate benefits as well.


The 2022 World Wildlife Foundation’s Living Planet Report reveals an average decline of 69 percent in species populations since 1970. Further investment is required to slow and then reverse the loss of biodiversity and ecosystems. Habitat loss and fragmentation are major contributors to the biodiversity crisis, and landscape architects are uniquely positioned to take a leadership role in planning and designing nature-based solutions to these challenges.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has taken steps to help conserve our nation's many species and prevent species from becoming threatened or endangered. The agency funds each state, territory, and the District of Columbia’s federally approved Wildlife Action Plan—science-based blueprints for protecting at-risk wildlife and habitats. The current source of federal funding to implement these plans is the State Wildlife Grants Program, which only provides an estimated $65 million annually for all the states, territories, and the District of Columbia. This amount of funding is not nearly enough to address the biodiversity crisis. It is estimated that about $1.3 billion is needed to implement these plans.

Bill Summary

On March 30, 2023, Senators Martin Heinrich (NM) and Thom Tillis (NC) announced the reintroduction of the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act. Representative Debbie Dingell (MI) is leading the reintroduction of the legislation in the House of Representatives. This measure would safeguard and enhance biodiversity through proactive conservation efforts. The bill will codify and establish a dedicated source of funding for the existing Wildlife Conservation and Restoration Account under the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act for the conservation, restoration, or management of wildlife and plant species of greatest conservation need, including endangered or threatened species, or the habitats of such species.

Specifically, the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act will provide state and territorial wildlife agencies with $1.3 billion in annual funding to implement their Wildlife Action Plans. This measure also invests an additional nearly $100 million annually for the first-ever dedicated source of federal wildlife funding for Tribal Nation conservation efforts. Tribal Nations own or influence an estimated 140 million acres of land that provide habitat for more than 525 threatened and endangered species. These investments would provide opportunities that drastically increase the conservation and protection of more than 17,000 at-risk species of wildlife and wildlife habitats nationwide.

Additionally, the bill requires the federal government to study and report on the progress of conservation methods as well as to annually submit a list of threatened and endangered species for recovery plans.

Recent Action

On March 30, 2023, S. 1149 was reintroduced and referred to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.


Senator Martin Heinrich (NM), and cosponsors.


Roxanne Blackwell, 
Esq., Hon. ASLA,
Director of Federal
Government Affairs

Elizabeth Hebron,
Director of State
Government Affairs