Elk NetworkLegislative Update

Conservation | January 27, 2020

FEDERAL ISSUES

LWCF Funding – Congress approved $495 million for LWCF in the year-end budget agreement President Trump signed into law just before Christmas. This represents an increase of $60 million over the previous year.

Chronic Wasting Disease – The 2020 budget agreement also designated $9 million for cervid health activities, including $5 million to states for surveillance and response as well as research funds for a live test.

Wildlife Corridors – Leadership in the House of Representatives directed the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee to prepare an infrastructure bill for introduction by the end of March. RMEF is working with committee members and other organizations to ensure the bill includes funding authorization and policy direction to address wildlife crossings and habitat connectivity.

SHOT Show Meetings – RMEF President and CEO Kyle Weaver participated in roundtable discussions with U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and U.S. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt at the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show in Las Vegas January 23, 2020. Weaver led discussions with Secretary Perdue on RMEF priorities such as migratory corridors, CWD funding, forest management and predator control. Weaver, RMEF Marketing Vice President Steve Decker, RMEF partner Eric Siegfried with onX Maps and RMEF federal representative Mike Williams hosted an individual meeting with Secretary Bernhardt at the RMEF SHOT Show booth. The group covered mapping of public lands to increase access, migratory corridors, public land film permits, delisting of grizzly bears and CWD.

STATE ISSUES

Colorado Wolf Ballot – Proponents of the wolf ballot initiative in Colorado collected the required signatures to place the initiative on the 2020 ballot. RMEF is working with other organizations to develop a strategy to affect public opinion on the ballot and produced a video with important information about the negative impacts of a forced wolf reintroduction.

State Legislative Sessions – RMEF is tracking and engaging on bills on behalf of members in many states on a variety of issues. Bills attacking conservation easements and public lands have already been introduced in Colorado and Nebraska, while others including firearm restrictions, wildlife funding and hunting methods are emerging throughout the country. Members are encouraged to visit rmef.org to keep informed and engaged on state legislative issues.