WASHINGTON -- Bills introduced in the House and Senate Monday will create institutions and a grant program dedicated to conserving tribal lands that link up animal habitats. The Tribal Wildlife Corridors Act, authored by Rep. Ruben Gallego of Arizona in the House and Sen. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico in the Senate, will fund both infrastructure projects like wildlife crossings for animals to get under or over roads and the protection of land that animals need to pass through in order to find new habitat.
If passed into law, these bills would help such animals as threatened grizzly bears and migrating pronghorn antelope access important habitat. An earlier version of the bill passed the House last year as part of the larger infrastructure package H.R.2. But it was not passed by the Senate.
In response, Environment America Conservation Advocate Alex Petersen issued the following statement:
“Whether to migrate, hunt, mate or seek out new territory, animals need to be able to move around. But in America, animals face a labyrinth of obstacles from highways and fences to residential neighborhoods that impede this necessary freedom. When animals are cut off from other members of their species they lose genetic diversity, which makes them more vulnerable to other challenges, such as disease and climate change.
“Americans of all stripes understand the value of protecting our incredible wildlife for future generations. We need to keep nature in mind as we build out the infrastructure of the 21st century, and wildlife corridors represent a golden opportunity to help the animals we hold so dear survive and thrive in the long term.”
Environment America is a national network of 29 state environmental groups. Our staff work together for clean air, clean water, clean energy, wildlife and open spaces, and a livable climate. Our members across the United States put grassroots support behind our research and advocacy.