Congress Continues to Prioritize Conservation by Passing America's Conservation Enhancement Act
On October 1, the U.S. House of Representatives passed America’s Conservation Enhancement Act (ACE Act), sending the bill passed by the Senate in September to the President’s desk. The ACE Act is aptly named - it hosts a number of strong conservation provisions that will enhance wildlife habitat and management, provide funding for chronic wasting disease (CWD) and recruit, reactivate and retain hunters. These provisions include:
- Reauthorization of the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA). Reauthorization will allocate $60 million to wetlands conservation through the year 2025. Since its original passage, NAWCA has conserved and improved more than 30 million acres of wetland habitat - a huge conservation success.
- Establishment of a Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) task force. The CWD task force would be led by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and would be designed to addressed the spread of CWD by coordinating research, surveillance and management among the states. Currently, 26 states have had deer, elk and/or moose test positive for CWD.
- Modernization of the Pittman-Robertson Fund. Modernization would bring the beloved Pittman-Robertson Act into modern times with language that allows for more flexible state spending. If signed into law, Pittman-Robertson funds could be used for campaigns and initiatives to recruit new hunters, reactive those who have stopped, and retain those hunters still heading afield.
“NDA and QDMA will always support the expansion of wildlife habitat and management efforts, funding for wildlife disease research and coordination, and efforts to recruit, reactivate and retain hunters. The ACE Act bolsters all of these priority areas via strong conservation provisions,” said NDA policy and outreach coordinator, Torin Miller. “In the weird year that is 2020, our Congress continues to produce landmark conservation legislation, and for that, we couldn’t be more excited.”
The National Deer Alliance (NDA) and the Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA) prioritize deer conservation, state and federal land management, deer diseases and hunter access and growth. The ACE Act’s inclusion of these priority areas, as well as many others, is a huge bipartisan success, and we’re looking forward to seeing this legislation pass the finish line that is President Donald Trump’s desk.