Pheasants Forever advocates for America’s Conservation Enhancement Act (ACE), which gains momentum in Congress
By Bethany Erb and Jim Inglis of the Pheasants Forever Government Affairs Team
Over the past few months we’ve kept our focus on several moving bills that are important to the Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever mission, including Pittman Robertson Modernization (PR Mod) and reauthorization of the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA). Shortly before Christmas, PR Modernization was included within the Omnibus package and signed into law.
When Congress reconvened after the New Year we turned our focus to NAWCA reauthorization. In January, the Senate passed a package known as “America’s Conservation Enhancement Act” (ACE) with unanimous consent. ACE contains a package of vital conservation provisions including NAWCA reauthorization at $60M annually through Fiscal Year (FY) 2025. Critical to our PF/QF mission, NAWCA has improved over 30 million acres of wetlands and associated upland habitat since its enactment, making it one of our nation’s most effective voluntary conservation programs.
Other important conservation provisions within ACE are the establishment of a U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service-led task force to address the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). This provision enables states to have a coordinated plan to research, surveil and manage the spread of the disease which is critical to containment. ACE also codifies of the National Fish Habitat Partnership (NFHP). Since 2006, the NFHP has overseen over 840 projects to benefit fish habitat and populations.
The package now awaits action in the House of Representatives. House bill number H.R. 925 is identical to the Senate-passed version and we are asking the House to keep the packages identical. Our staff has been active on Capitol Hill asking members to support the package and urging leadership to move it to the floor as quickly as possible.
We are excited to see this package of conservation bills move and will keep you updated on our efforts to get it enacted.
Jim Inglis and Bethany Erb of the Pheasants Forever / Quail Forever Government Affairs Team visited Capitol Hill to advocate for ACE.