Skip to Content

Press Releases

House Passes Reps. Wittman & Jeffries Bipartisan Bill to Reauthorize Vital Funding to Protect National Wildlife Refuges

WASHINGTON, DC – On Monday, September 19, 2022, the House of Representatives passed the Keep America’s Refuges Operational Act. Introduced by U.S. Representatives Rob Wittman (R-VA) and Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), the bipartisan legislation will reauthorize the National Wildlife Refuge System volunteer, community partnership and education program to ensure access to public land for exploring, hunting, fishing, and studying wildlife.

America’s 568 National Wildlife Refuges are located across all 50 states and five territories. They consist of 850 million acres of pristine public lands and waters dedicated to conservation and generate more than $3 billion in local economic activity through fostering more than 60 million visits per year.

“The incredible impact of National Wildlife Refuges each year would not be possible without the valuable contribution of volunteers and community groups. The reauthorization of these programs is necessary to ensure that our nation’s refuges will continue to be enjoyed by tourists, sportsmen and women, and conservationists for years to come,” said Rep. Wittman. “Yesterday’s House passage of the Keep America’s Refuges Operation Act is a huge win for Wildlife Refuges across the entire nation, and I look forward to further advocating for this legislation to become law. As an avid outdoorsman and life-long conservationist, I am proud of the work done and thankful for the leadership of Rep. Jeffries and my colleagues to advocate for the House passage of this legislation.”

“We must remain vigilant in protecting the breathtaking wildlife and beautiful environment God has given America. The Keep America’s Refuges Operational Act is a commonsense measure that represents a strong step in that direction. Each year, 60 million Americans visit wildlife refuges, generating more than $3 billion in local economic activity,” said Rep. Jeffries. “This bill will keep our refuges operational by supporting the volunteers that dedicate thousands of hours to ensure we can all experience the vast natural beauty our great nation has to offer. I thank the tremendous leadership of Rep. Wittman and all my colleagues in the House who supported this legislation and are committed to protecting national wildlife refuges.”