We could talk about birds and bunnies and warm, fuzzy, charismatic things. They’re in trouble, too. But more than half of North America’s freshwater fishes are vulnerable to extinction, and not just obscure species- iconic sportfish like Pacific salmon and bull trout.
Seventy percent of freshwater mussels are considered imperiled. These species maintain water quality by filter-feeding, as well as providing food and habitat for numerous fish and wildlife species.
It is estimated 20% of North America’s freshwater crayfish are imperiled, the prey base for innumerable recreational fisheries.
Across the continent, the outdoor legacy our grandparents protected is threatened in the 21st century. In April, Michigan representitive Debbie Dingell re-introduced the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, which would provide more than $1 billion in dedicated funding to state and tribal agencies across the country. It’s an investment that could reverse the trajectory of species declines across the nation. It would implement species recovery before listing under the Endangered Species Act, ultimately saving federal dollars. And it would allow landowners and developers the sort of regulatory stability they need to plan responsibly for the future.
So please, read up on this legislation. Talk with your local conservation organizations. And tell your representitives you would like to see this legislation passed.