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A bipartisan U.S. Senate bill would steer millions of dollars to conserve species in AZ

A renewed effort to prevent wildlife extinction has been re-introduced in the U.S. Senate.

The $1.4 billion legislation would direct tens of millions to conservation of species in Arizona.

The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (RAWA) would inject $31 million annually to help implement Arizona Game & Fish Department’s existing Wildlife Action Plan, which identifies over 500 at risk species according to a release from the Arizona Wildlife Federation.

Scott Garlid, executive director of the nonprofit, stated in that release the bill would, “create jobs and give the necessary support for at-risk native species like the Apache trout and Sonoran pronghorn.”

Up to $98 million annually would go to tribal nations in the state, “to fund wildlife conservation efforts on the millions of acres under tribal management,” according to the release.

RAWA was introduced by Democratic Sen. Martin Heinrich and Republican Sen. Thom Tillis. 

A draft summary of the legislation states, "In addition, the bill requires certain revenues generated from fees and penalties for violations of environmental requirements to be used as a source for the funding."

Tom Maxedon is the host of KJZZ’s Weekend Edition on Saturday and Sunday from 6-10 a.m. and All Things Considered on Monday from 3-6 p.m.