Trump signs bipartisan bill funding conservation grants
President Trump on Friday approved a bipartisan bill that funds several popular conservation grants.
The move reauthorizes the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Act and Chesapeake Bay Program through 2025.
The North American Wetlands Conservation Act protects wetlands from floods, erosion and poor air and water quality and seeks to increase bird populations; the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Act helps conserve wildlife, plants and habitats, and the Chesapeake Bay program helps to restore the mid-Atlantic body of water.
The bill also authorizes funding to combat invasive species, creates grants to help states and tribes pay farmers for livestock that was attacked by protected species and aims to tackle a neurological disease that impacts deer, elk and moose
However, Trump said that a portion of the bill that would have a task force on the disease collaborate with other countries would be taken as “advisory and non-binding.”
“This provision interferes with my exclusive authority under Article II of the Constitution to conduct the Nation’s foreign affairs,” he argued in a statement.
The legislation was noncontroversial, passing the House by a voice vote this month and unanimously passing the Senate last month.
It follows the passage of another major conservation bill this summer that provided funding to secure new lands for parks and trails and also address a maintenance backlog at national parks.
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle celebrated the passage of the new legislation, called America’s Conservation Enhancement (ACE) Act.
“President Trump has signed the most significant wildlife conservation and sportsmen’s law in decades,” said a statement from Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman John Barrasso (R-Wyo.). “Conservationists, hunters, anglers, and farmers all agree that the ACE Act is a win.”
Committee ranking member Tom Carper (D-Del.) added that the bill will “support proven efforts to preserve important ecosystems in our country and promote innovative ways of addressing growing threats like invasive species and wildlife diseases.”