Safari Club International (SCI) today commended the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works for passing S. 2302, the America's Transportation Infrastructure Act of 2019 out of committee in a bipartisan 21 to 0 vote.
“This bill takes important steps to protect iconic big game species by providing a $250 million grant program, spread over five years, to prevent wildlife-vehicle collisions,” said SCI CEO W. Laird Hamberlin. “By funding competitive programs for the construction of wildlife crossing structures, Congress proves that we can simultaneously protect both American motorists as well as the big game migration corridors our road systems can bisect.”
According to the Department of Transportation, wildlife-vehicle collisions kill approximately 200 people a year and cost Americans an average $8 billion annually. By investing in wildlife crossing structures, Congress can not only help protect motorists but also ensure wildlife is protected via connected habitats and interconnected wildlife populations.
In addition to wildlife crossing structures, this bill will also direct the Secretary of Agriculture to prioritize the restoration and maintenance of forest service roads that relate to hunting, fishing, or ecosystem restoration.
“Prioritizing hunters and anglers’ access to our wildlife is essential to protecting America’s hunting and fishing heritage and contributes to the species management plans in which sportsmen participate,” said Hamberlin. “SCI thanks Chairman John Barrasso (R-WY) and Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) for taking common sense measures to benefit America’s wildlife populations. We look forward to helping advance this legislation.”