Senate Passes Bipartisan Wildlife Conservation Legislation
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), top Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, and Chairman John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) released the following statements after the Senate unanimously passed America’s Conservation Enhancement (ACE) Act. The ACE Act language passed the Senate in the form of a substitute amendment that was negotiated with the House of Representatives. The legislation will now go to the House of Representatives.
“At a critical time for the future of wildlife and our planet, the ACE Act would help to improve species conservation, protect vital ecosystems and ensure outdoor recreation opportunities abound for generations to come,” said Senator Carper. “This bipartisan legislation supports locally-driven restoration and conservation programs throughout the country, many of which leverage private dollars and local partnerships to foster economic activity and job creation in the regions they serve. For example, the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Establishment Act and Chesapeake Bay Program support critical efforts in protecting species and restoring habitat in the Delmarva region, which boasts a multibillion-dollar ecotourism industry. While building on existing programs like these that have a proven record of success, the ACE Act would also drive new and innovative initiatives to address threats like invasive species and wildlife disease. With no shortage of challenges facing habitat and species conservation today, the ACE Act will deliver much-needed support to those who are on the ground and working to protect the Earth and all the creatures who inhabit it.”
“The Senate is working together to protect wildlife,” said Senator Barrasso. “The ACE Act will help Washington work with tribes and states on conservation. Our bipartisan legislation will establish a special task force to combat the spread of chronic wasting disease. It will also help protect livestock from predators. This legislation is a win for ranching communities in Wyoming. I am thankful to Ranking Member Carper for his partnership. Now it’s time for the House of Representatives to pass the ACE Act and send it to President Trump for his signature.”
The ACE Act helps conserve wildlife and wildlife habitat, including by reauthorizing the North American Wetlands Conservation Act and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Establishment Act. It also addresses the threats of emerging wildlife diseases like Chronic Wasting Disease, protects livestock from predators, and combats invasive species. The legislation has received support from a broad group of stakeholders. Collin O’Mara, the president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation praised the Senate’s passage of the bill.
“At a time when one-third of wildlife species are at heightened risk of extinction, Chairman Barrasso, Senator Carper, and Senator Heinrich are again showing that conservation can bring our leaders across the political spectrum together to achieve real progress,” said O’Mara. “The ACE Act confronts systemic challenges facing wildlife by restoring essential wildlife habitat like wetlands and the Chesapeake Bay, fighting Chronic Wasting Disease in deer and elk, and removing invasive species. We urge the House to immediately follow suit and pass these common-sense, bipartisan measures to restore wildlife populations and conserve our outdoor heritage.”
On January 9, 2020, the ACE Act initially passed the Senate.
On December 17, 2019, the EPW Committee unanimously passed the ACE Act at a business meeting.
On December 13, 2019, Barrasso and Carper introduced the ACE Act. Senators Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), and Jim Inhofe (R-OK) are cosponsors of the bill.