Indiana’s endangered wildlife can’t wait, US senators must pass RAWA

The Hoosier state is home to some of America’s most cherished wildlife. Today, Indiana has more than 150 species that are at a heightened risk of extinction. Extinction is forever; the time to act is when animals are plentiful. We need to address the threats leading to extinction: from habitat loss and fragmentation to invasive species and degraded water quality.

What is happening here in Indiana is part of a larger national trend where more than one-third of America’s wildlife are edging toward extinction. Fortunately, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to help save Indiana’s incredibly rich biodiversity through a bipartisan bill in Congress called the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (RAWA). The bill is designed to fund proactive, collaborative and locally led efforts to help recover at-risk fish, wildlife and plant species. Indiana could receive more than $18 million annually. It’s a solution that matches the magnitude of the wildlife crisis.

IndyStar file photo: A federally endangered piping plover at Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area in Linton.

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The RAWA has significant bipartisan momentum. The House passed the bill in June in a bipartisan manner. The bill has more than 30 co-sponsors in the Senate, including 16 Republicans. Indiana’s Congressional delegation may hold the key to RAWA’s fate, and we need our members of Congress to help bring this vital funding back home to Indiana.

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